The first step to buying or selling your home is finding a realtor that you trust. Here are some tips to help you find the realtor that best fits your needs.

1. Talk to Recent Clients.

Good realtors are happy to provide you with references. But their references have been pre-selected by the realtor, so they most likely had a great experience. Do a little digging and asking around to find other previous clients. Ask them about their experience with the realtor – were they responsive? Good at negotiating? Had their best interest at heart? All of these questions will help you assess if the realtor is a good fit for you.

2. Geographical Area

When considering a realtor’s experience – consider many different angles. Do they have experience in your neighborhood? For some, working with a very local realtor will be beneficial, because of the nuances of your neighborhood’s real estate market. For instance, a local realtor in a small tight-knit Denver suburb with low inventory may be able to find you a home to buy before it goes to market just by using their connections in the community.

3. Price Range

Do they have experience in your price range? Realtors tend to give the most attention to the properties that will make them the most money, meaning, the highest priced properties. Therefore, a realtor who may be great, but typically sells homes in the $700k-$900k range may not give your home the attention it needs. Or, if you’re looking to buy, they may not spend as much time finding properties for you to visit or negotiating with sellers.

4. Style of Home

All realtors have experience with many types of homes, and the Denver area has many different types of homes. But if you are looking for a particular style, for instance, a downtown condo, a farmhouse, or multi-family, it may be best to seek out a realtor with experience in these different types of properties. A realtor with style-specific experience will also have a network of contacts familiar with that style which will help you sell your home or find the perfect home for you.

5. Do Not Pick a Realtor on Selling Price

This is a common mistake among sellers – picking a realtor because they recommend the highest listing price. The problem with this is that the highest listing price may be too high for the market, which means your home will sit on the market for longer and possibly becoming susceptible to low-ball offers or price reductions.

6. Credentials and Awards

Lastly, be sure to check a potential realtor’s credentials. If they are claiming to be an agent or broker, check with this national registry to make sure their license is active. If they are claiming to be certified by the National Association of Realtors, you can check their registry to confirm their status.

Also, the easiest way to find a great realtor is to look up local and national award winners. Many brokerages and professional organizations publicly recognize excellent real estate professionals and brokerages. These award lists can help guide you to finding the best realtor for you.