For most of us, real property is probably the biggest commodity we have and buying or selling it would be the biggest transaction of our lives.  It is thus imperative that such a big deal should be entrusted into the hands of no less than a professional and reliable person.  Here are some things you should look for in a real estate sales agent.


Look for personal word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends.

Family and friends who have just bought or sold a home are the best sources of firsthand information on real estate agents.  Ask around for agents they can wholeheartedly recommend and from there, create a shortlist of your prospective agents.


Do a background check on each real estate agent in your shortlist.

In today’s techie age, running a background check would not require much sleuthing.  In fact, it would be as simple as “googling” the name.  Alternatively, you can also enter the prospective agent’s name in the search engine bar of your local newspaper and see what comes up.   A good real estate agent would have searchable contact details such as a website, email address, office address, mobile and landline number.  In the event of complaints, you need to have someone you can file your complaint to.  If the agent has a website, you can check at for the age of his website.  If he claimed, for instance, that he has been in the industry for a decade but his website has just been launched, you have found a phony.  Plus points would include social media connections such as a facebook page and twitter account, as these are indicators of good marketing skills.


Schedule a personal meeting with your prospective agent.

It is best to have a face-off with each of the remaining prospects you have.  When you come to think of it, an agent is not just an agent, he will be your partner for the months leading up to the selling or buying of property and it would be well to have someone you are comfortable with.  During the meeting, try to learn how he intends to find or sell the property, how well he knows the particular location the property is situated and how his claims match with your background check.


Test for communication habits.

It would be a major advantage if your real estate sales agent has kept up with the modern modes of communication.  At best, he needs to have a cellphone, an email address or an interactive website.  But of course these modes of communication would be of no use if he does not have the promptness to return calls and respond to text messages.  For a week or so, test how soon he responds to your messages or calls-- chances are, that is also how he will communicate with his clients.


Ask the agent for references.

A good real estate sales agent would not stutter when asked for references—people he has represented in the past.  Be sure to ask for contact details of his references and then go the extra mile—call some of the references he cited.