Choosing a Realtor is a highly important element in the process of getting your new home.Learn about ten traits to look for in your next realtor.

When you’re choosing a realtor to represent your interests as a buyer, your choice should be based on a variety of different criteria that will allow you to make an informed decision and give you peace of mind.  Of course, strong recommendations from a reliable source about your prospective agent will help, but, what are the most important things to look for when the time comes to execute that agreement?

1.  Designations REALTORS Hold

While all licensed real estate agents must meet the minimum requirements of their state laws, you may also have noticed a string of letters attached to the REALTOR®’s name on a business card. These abbreviations mean that the agent has taken additional courses, has documented experience and has passed a test to earn a particular designation. The following list shows the most common designations and what they mean to you as a buyer:

ABR—Accredited Buyer Representative: As a buyer, you may want to look for someone with this designation since it means the agent has taken a course in buyer representation, passed the test and has extensive experience with buyers.

ABRM—Accredited Buyer Representative Manager: This designation is for brokers, owners and managers who have documented experience and education managing other agents who represent buyers.

ALC—Accredited Land Consultant: If you’re looking for land to build a custom home, you may want to consider this type of specialist.

CIPS—Certified International Property Specialist: If you want to buy overseas, or you’re from another country and want to buy in the United States, a CIPS designation means the REALTOR® has specialized in the international marketplace.

CRB—Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager: This designation means the broker or owner of a real estate company has completed advanced classes in Brokerage Management.

CRE—Counselor of Real Estate: Membership in this elite group of REALTORS® is by invitation only to professionals with extensive experience in Real Estate.

CRS—Certified Residential Specialist: If you want a REALTOR® with more experience in residential properties, you may want to look for one with a CRS.

Green Designation: Buyers interested in finding an environmentally friendly home can work with an agent with a green designation since they will be able to find the best fit for an eco-friendly property.

GRI—Graduate REALTOR® Institute: Graduates of the REALTOR® Institute have received additional education related to the residential real estate.

RSPS—Resort & Second-Home Markets Certification: If you’re in the market for a vacation home or timeshare, look for an agent with this certification.

SRES—Seniors Real Estate Specialist: REALTORS® with this designation have expertise meeting the needs of buyers and sellers over age 50.

2.  Only hire a full-time REALTOR®.

Full-time service means that your needs will be met as they arise. Full-time agents are best prepared to resolve problems that crop up during negotiations, inspections, as well as those that occur after the purchase.

3.  Hire an agent with a reputation for enthusiasm and dedication.

This is the agent who goes the extra mile to get the best results and do whatever it takes to make it to closing.

4.  Make sure your REALTOR® is market savvy.

Do your research and review sales records in areas that you are interested in either buying or selling.  Consistent sales in a given neighborhood reveal geographic market savvy that can save or make you money.

5.  Will they market my listing properly?

Marketing is an investment that always almost pays off; many realtors, however, are resistant to doing what it takes to get you the most exposure.  Remember that marketing the property is their responsibility, so look for someone with a proven record of effective marketing skills.

6.  Do they use video?

A video is a tool that has become invaluable in the purchase and sale of real estate.  It allows the potential buyer a better view than a still photograph. Video also allows potential buyers to see a property without actually being on location which comes in handy for out-of-state buyers and agents.

7.  Are they willing to incur the cost of drone photography to present the listing in the best light?

If you are selling a large parcel of land or commercial property drone photography provides a complete view of the property.

8.  Do they use technology effectively in order to tap into the market beyond the scope of the immediate surroundings?

Take a look at their website, make sure it is current, look for their testimonials, as well as online presence. If they use technology for their own advancement, they will use it too to get the best out of your property.

9.  Get a well-respected agent.

Agents make deals with agents they respect, trust and with whom they enjoy working. Get the scoop on your agent. Ask to speak to past and present clients and ask to review multiple listing service (MLS) reports of his or her sales.

10.  Get an agent you trust.

It is imperative to select a Realtor who understands you, one who you respect and with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and concerns. There must be a level of trust between a client and their realtor.

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.