What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent and How to Find the Best One

finding top real estate agents


When you’re buying a house, finding a quality real estate agent is almost as important as finding the best lender and loan officer.

Finding a top real estate agent is very important.  They will be the key component in finding your new home and negotiating the best terms for you. This choice can save OR cost you thousands of dollars. This article will outline some ways to find an agent that fits your needs. 

Learn More in our Steps to Buying a House Series:

  1. Determine if You're Ready
  2. Getting Pre-Approved
  3. Finding Top Real Estate Agents


Why Is It Hard to Find a Top Real Estate Agent?

 Here are the few most common reasons:

  • Commissions – sometimes the realtor can be more concerned with getting the deal done than they are with protecting you and your interests. Real estate agents are 100% commission and they will invest a ton of time driving you around to see homes, etc. As with most people in their professions, they want to get paid so they can feed their families and pay their bills.
  • Lack of experience – some real estate agents haven’t been in the business long or haven’t dealt with the various loan programs the borrower is using. New home loans have different property requirements and realtors need to be on the lookout for those, for example, there is such a thing as FHA approved homes and townhomes.
  • Lack of time – the most experienced and highest producing realtors aren’t always the best. You’ll often get passed down to an assistance or a broker working underneath the realtor you’d found online because they’re too busy with high-end clients.


Can You Trust Sites Like Zillow & Realtor.com?

These sites claim they can place you with top real estate agents in your area.

In reality, “Premier Agents” aren’t necessarily top real estate agents. They are simply the people paying Zillow and Realtor.com to appear higher in the realtor rankings in your area.

Not every realtor on these sites pay for their rankings though, so while these sites can be helpful you shouldn’t choose the “Premier” agent only for their status. You should do more research and questioning, which we’ll hit on below.


Preferred Ways to Find Top Real Estate Agents

  • Referrals – talk to your friends and family, SPECIFICALLY, ones that are homeowner’s. See if they had a good experience when they bought or sold their home. If so, ask for a referral or the agents contact information. Do not talk to an agent solely because your friend or family member “knows” them. That’s generally how you get stuck with a bad agent.&nbsp
  • Industry Professionals – if you have a relationship with a mortgage loan officer, insurance agent, financial planners, or title professionals, they may know of a top realtor to help you in your area.  These people work everyday with financial and real estate transaction and they will know who they have had personal good experiences with.


At United Fidelity Funding we have a vast network of top real estate agents to work with throughout the country.  This list has been compiled over the 19 years we have been in business to make sure that our clients will receive the best representation possible when being paired with a top real estate agent.  We created out directory based off client recommendations and excellent working relationships.


Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

One you determine which agents you would like to interview, then it’ll be important to try to get a feel for if you’ll work well together and get an idea of their knowledge and the service they provide.

Here are a few questions and topics you should address:

  • Find out what type of transactions they specialize in. Are they a buyer’s agent or seller’s agent? 
  • Determine how long they’ve been a real estate agent and ask how many transactions they’ve completed in the last 12 months. Depending on the area, successful realtors will close around 10-20 transactions a year. Anybody doing more than that is a higher producer (which is likely good, but again can be bad if they don’t dedicate enough time to you or pass you off to somebody else)
  • Ask if they’re full-time or part-time. It’s important to find a full-time agent. Obviously, it indicates they’re successful enough to make a career out of being a real estate agent and it also means they’ll be able to give you more time than somebody that’s doing it part-time.
  • Ask them if they’re familiar with the property requirements necessary to get your financing (loan program) approved. Hopefully you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, so you know which loan program you’ll use. Make sure they’ve worked with buyers that have used that program before, particularly if you’re using a USDA, FHA or VA loan. As those are the programs that have different property requirement rules.
  • Clarify if they’ll be doing the primary research for you or if it’s up to you to tell them which homes you want to see. This is often a topic of miscommunication and some buyers think their real estate agent will constantly be sending them homes to consider. But not all do, so you need to confirm how they handle things and what they expect from you.


When conducting your interviews be sure to treat them like you are hiring an employee, not searching for a friend.  Though it is great to have a friend-type relationship, the goal is completing your transaction with the most favorable terms possible.

Finding Top Real Estate Agents Summary

Choosing a top real estate agent can save or cost you thousands. It’s not always about how nice they are or friendly they seem, as you really want somebody in your corner that is a great negotiator but will also provide you with a great level of service and education.

Make sure the agent has plenty of availability for you.  Many agents have teams they are a part of or administrative assistants.  Having these business strategies in place will free up the time your agent needs to effectively market your home or find you the perfect property. 

It is very beneficial to find a top real estate professional that is familiar with what you’re looking for (whether you’re buying or selling), and which loan program you’ll be using.  Many times, top real estate agents will have pocket listing or become aware of an upcoming listing before it even gets on the market. These types of top agents are exceptionally helpful as they may be able to give you first look before anybody else sees the home. 

If you haven’t yet gotten pre-approved, it’s important you do that before finding a realtor. Be sure to read our 10 Steps to Buying a House. You can also apply to get pre-approved online. We will be able to assist with determining which loan program you’re eligible for, help you establish your budget and prepare you to find a top agent to start shopping for homes.


United Fidelity Funding

At United Fidelity Mortgage, we have some of the best loan officers in the business. Some of our branch managers and loan officers have led and coached large teams. Most of us have worked for one of the largest internet lenders in the nation and gained tons of experience due to the volume of loans we originate. On average our loan officers have been in the business for 7 years and have closed more than 500 loans. Our experience is unmatched, we know what we’re doing, and we are by far one of the best mortgage lenders in the nation.