real estate agent abr man showing documents to potential homebuyers

What Kind of Real Estate Agent Do You Want?

This content was originally published on September 24, 2018, and updated on May 1, 2023.

Finding a new home is an exciting experience! You’ve probably spent hours online, window shopping for homes and daydreaming about how fantastic living in your new space will be. However, you face a critical decision before pursuing your dream.

Which real estate agent will represent you?

This decision will significantly impact the rest of your homebuying experience. Choose carefully. Not every real estate agent is skilled in representing buyers. Even fewer have earned their Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. (It’s easy to search online for ABR® designees near you.)

Interviewing Agents

Take time to talk to several buyer’s agents. Listen to how they describe their services and be ready to ask questions.

It’s essential to have a solid partnership with your agent. You want to choose one before viewing homes so the buying process is as successful as possible for everyone involved.

Real estate agents want a rewarding partnership as much as you do. It’s always more enjoyable working for loyal and satisfied clients. Plus, you’re more likely to provide referrals to help your agent’s business grow.

Different Styles

Before selecting agents to interview, consider your personality and how it might align with a real estate professional. What type of agent is most suitable? Here are three possibilities.

1. A Consummate Professional

Are you the person who makes lists, prioritizes, and knows what you want? Have you already decided where you will compromise and what’s non-negotiable?

If this is not your first real estate rodeo, you may not need or want hand-holding. Instead, you may prefer to accomplish your purchase quickly and efficiently, so you can begin the next phase of your life—living in your new home.

You may not want your agent to arrange showings until they’ve identified several properties that meet all your requirements, viewed in one day. You are well-organized and want an agent with the same temperament. If so, let them know your preferences. 

If this sounds like your style, consider a “top producer”—a buyer’s agent with an extensive transaction history backed up by a team of assistants. They’ll be able to pinpoint eligible properties and complete all details in a speedy, orderly manner.

2. An Expert Guide

Suppose your decision to buy a home involves venturing into new territory. In that case, you may be interested in an agent who already has, or can get, answers to your long list of questions and can point you to the best resources for information and assistance.

Search for an agent who has expertise in addressing your specific needs. For example, you might want someone who specializes in assisting first-time buyers, or an agent with expertise in helping retirees and empty-nesters downsize, or someone who focuses on condo buyers or lakefront properties.

If you’re relocating from another city, you may prioritize an agent who has lived in the area for many years.

Find the expertise you need to help you make the best buying decision.

3. The Soft Touch

What if you need extra attention, don’t want to feel rushed, but don’t require specialized expertise?

If you are new to home buying and have no idea what the right decision might be, you may prefer working with an agent with fewer years under their belt. Why? Because they are more likely to welcome the opportunity to provide the extra attention you desire.

Helping you explore all your options before making a decision helps them gain additional on-the-job expertise. They may be more patient and willing to go the extra mile. Working with this type of agent could provide a more relaxing experience.

There are as many types of buyer’s agents as there are types of houses—perhaps more!

Choosing the right agent will make your home search more enjoyable. But, regardless of which style feels right for you, remember that an Accredited Buyer’s Representative has specialized training and experience in understanding and meeting buyers’ needs.