Having a good realtor is essential to buying or selling a home successfully, but having a great realtor means that you’ll come out of the process with much more than just a successful transaction — you’ll feel like your agent has looked out for your interests and needs and has handled the process in a way that everyone involved has felt they gained something from it. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to know the difference between a good real estate agent and a great one.

1. A great real estate agent is a problem solver. You never know what challenges will arise during the transition of property. From loans falling through to evolving technology, natural disasters to political uncertainty, the real estate market has seen it all. A great realtor can think fast on her feet and will come up with creative solutions for challenges that arise. If she can’t solve it, she’ll think of a Plan B. 

2. A great real estate agent is self motivated. Your agent doesn’t get paid unless your property is sold, so she’s going to make sure she’s doing all she can to make sure your deal closes. Someone who isn’t a self-starter will let things lag; they probably won’t have good communication and you’ll find yourself wondering just what they’re doing. A great agent will keep in close contact with you and will let you know everything she’s doing to to handle your project. 

3. A great realtor has honesty and integrity.  Agents operate by a Code of Ethics and Standards; it should go without saying that your agent should always act in a manner that is truthful, forthright, and honest. 

4. A great agent has a great network. A great real estate agent will make sure she has a solid network of contacts and support. She’ll belong to real estate boards and national organizations, as well having solid contacts with other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, and appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers. 

5. A great real estate agent has an interest in houses and properties. Is your agent enthusiastic when she talks to you about different types of houses, properties, and even architecture? If so, you’ve got someone who loves their job!

6. A great realtor is up to date on the latest trends and topics in real estate. Are we in a buyer’s or seller’s market? How are local, state, and national political situations affecting the market? What season is best to buy or sell a house? A great agent will be in the know about what’s affecting the current real estate market and will be able to help you navigate accordingly. 

7. A great realtor has good time management skills and gives attention to detail. Does your agent arrive on time for appointments? Does she have all her paperwork filled out and ready? Is she on top of staying in touch with you and everyone involved? Agents who are dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s are the ones who will make the buying and selling process smooth sailing. 

8. A great agent has good hustle. A great real estate agent will always be “on.” She’ll constantly be looking out for opportunities to help her clients and grow her business.

9. A great real estate agent has a win-win mindset. Good agents can close the deal; great agents close deals in a way where everyone feels like they’ve gained something. This doesn’t mean everyone necessarily gets exactly what they want; it means the agent has negotiated in a way that everyone is able to reach a place where they feel comfortable and satisfied with the end result. 

10. Relationships are more important than a sale to a great realtor. That’s right - a great realtor will put a relationship above a sale. A great realtor knows that relationships are what business is built upon. Agents who volunteer in their communities, who truly care about their clients, and who work hard to build trust within their network are the ones who truly succeed. 

The real estate process can be challenging, but by hiring a great agent, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that she has your best interests in mind and can help you successfully navigate it all!