The first step you need to take if you're looking for a great real estate agent is to know the basics about what real estate agents are and what they do. Otherwise you'll never know what to look for or what questions to ask.

Real Estate Buyer’s Agent

Now many real estate agents will help anyone buy or sell a home, but there are real estate agents out there that specialize in helping clients buy houses. They're called buyer's agents.

Real Estate Seller’s Agent or Listing Agent

And then there are agents that only work with people selling their houses, and they're called seller's agents or listing agents.

It should go without saying, but real estate agents don't work for free. They usually get paid four to six percent commission from the seller's side of the deal.

Okay, now it's time for the next step. Make sure you're ready to buy or sell your home.

Steps for Buying a House

Buyers, before you get a real estate agent, figure out how much house you can't afford. Then save up a down payment for a home. A twenty percent (20%) down payment is ideal, but if you're a first time home buyer, five to ten percent (5-10%) is okay. But you'll have to pay an additional private mortgage fee on top of your monthly mortgage payments.

Lastly, get pre-approved for a mortgage you can afford. A 15-year fixed rate mortgage with a payment that's no more than 25% of your take-home pay.

Steps for Selling a House

Okay sellers, before you get a real estate agent make sure your home equity is on your side. You don't want to owe more than what your current home is worth. You need to be in a good Financial spot to pay off your entire mortgage with the money from the sale of your house and have enough money left over to buy another house.

Once your house is sold, next you need to narrow down your requirements for a real estate agent. There are hundreds, if not thousands of agents in your area, but only a handful of them will be the right agent for you.

Finding a Real Estate Agent

To find the right agent, start looking for these things first.


Look for an agent with at least four years of full-time real estate experience.

Certifications and Professional Memberships

Next certifications and professional memberships. This will tell you that the agent takes their work very seriously.

Local Market Knowledge

Then familiarity with the local markets. Your agent needs to know your area like the back of their hands and have a track record for closing a lot of homes there.

Reviews and Referrals

And look for reviews. You want to make sure that the agent you choose has a reputation of being excellent. This is not too much to ask.

The next thing you want to do is ask for referrals. Not too long ago, your only option was to ask your friend or your neighbor for their referral. But today, you can get great referrals online. You can learn a ton about real estate agents in your area and you can read their reviews.

Try even looking for a referral program that you can trust, like Ramsay Trusted real estate agents.  Cottonwood Properties is a Ramsey vetted agent and listed as a Ramsay Trusted ELP (Endorsed Local Provider).


Now that you've got some referrals, it's time to interview at least three real estate agents. At least three.

You know what else is important, asking them good questions like…

How long have you been a full-time agent in my market?

How many houses do you close in a year?

What's your commission fee?

The answers will tell you a lot about their work ethic, character, and how they're going to serve you.

Contact us at Cottonwood Properties today. We'd love to answer these questions and more.  We have in-house specialty Buyer's Agents and Seller's Agents ready to help you buy a new home, sell your current house, or both.

Posted by Eddie Colley on
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