How do you choose a real estate agent?

By | February 10, 2014

title insurance New YorkFor example let’s say you want to buy or sell a home or commercial property on Long Island or in New York City!

Some of the property legwork can be accomplished on your own but when it comes time to seek the help and advice of a real estate professional, how would you choose between the multitudes that are available?

Referrals are always a great place to start but in the case of choosing a real estate agent it is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

What works for one may not work for another and you cannot be sure that your personality and an agents personality will mesh simply because your friend loved them.

And, when it comes to the emotional and monetary experience of real estate, you don’t want to have a personality conflict with your main advocate and/or any more anxiety and stress than is absolutely necessary!

When the time comes to make a decision there are some questions that you need to ask yourself as an article from Inman News suggests.

Here are some examples:

  • How close do you want your real estate agent to live to your property?
  • Do you want a single agent to handle your entire transaction or do you want a team approach where different specialists handle different aspects of the transaction?
  • Do you prefer an agent who is a fast-moving, get-it-done type, or someone who can spend as much time as necessary answering your questions?
  • How important is it to you to have someone who is a “neighborhood specialist”?
  • How important is your agent’s experience level to you in terms of (a) years of experience vs. (b) number of transactions closed?
  • How important is it that your agent is paperless?

Also discussed is considering how others who have dealt with a specific agent would rate the experience.

Not simply in terms of a one to five-star ranking because that provides little true added-value. The rating should be more encompassing and delve into multiple aspects of the client-broker relationship.

Once again from Inman News, these are some potential questions that need to be asked in order to make a referral or recommendation truly valuable:

1. Would you recommend this agent to your friends or family?

2. Did the agent provide you with a written guarantee of the services that they provide and if so, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how well did they deliver on what they promised?

3. If you were selling your home, did the agent provide you with a written marketing plan? If yes, which of these items did it include?

  • Print advertising including brochures and marketing postcards?
  • Newspaper advertising?
  • Web marketing plan including a single-property website for the property?
  • Listing syndication to major sites including their company website, their personal website, and major portals such as, Trulia and Zillow?
  • Social media marketing plan for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Instagram?
  • Video marketing plan including YouTube and video syndication?
  • Global marketing plan to reach people who speak other languages?

4. If you were buying a home:

  • Did your agent ask to have you pre-approved by a lender?
  • Did the agent spend at least 20-30 minutes interviewing you about what is important in your next home?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how well did the properties that your agent showed you fit the criteria you gave them, including the price and the location?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how well did your agent explain the offer and the closing process to you adequately?

5. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being highest), rank your agent in each of these areas:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving during the transaction
  • Prompt response to my questions
  • Knowledge of my area
  • Competence
  • Integrity and trustworthiness
  • Supportive, easy to work to with
  • Willing to take responsibility when he or she made a mistake
  • Closing the transaction. (Source)

This type of thought and consideration into the selection of  the real estate agent to use and rely on is critical when making what will likely be one of the largest purchases or sale decisions of one’s financial life!

Do you have a broker you would recommend for a specific geographic location?

Leave their contact information and why you would recommend them in the comments section below but, for the consumers in the audience, remember that a good referral is only the beginning of the process!

Don’t Pay Too Much For Your Title Insurance!

If you have any questions about title insurance in New York you can contact Hallmark Abstract Service for the answers!

Also remember that you have the right to choose your title insurance provider and that non-title insurance fees in a real estate purchase or refinance can vary substantially from firm to firm!

If you would like to have Hallmark Abstract Service provide you with a sample title bill for an upcoming transaction (we charge our cost for the non-title insurance premium fees) please give us a call at 516.741.4723 or send us an email at 


8 thoughts on “How do you choose a real estate agent?

  1. Kim Goldstein

    As a real estate attorney, it is essential for me to have a team of people working with me to insure that my clients’ transaction close successfully and effortlessly.

    In all my years of practicing, I have never met a real estate broker more dedicated to their clients as Maria Kafetzis ( of Douglas Elliman ( She works tirelessly for her clients, going above and beyond everyday to make sure her clients are satisfied. It is my pleasure to be able to work with Maria and her clients and to recommend her services. If you know anyone who is buying or selling their home, refer them to Maria. You will be amazed at the results!

  2. Dee Pershay

    I would just like to say that my Husband and I closed on a house in Long Island in December, 2013. We have worked with many Brokers but Maria Kafetzis was by far the best experience we’ve had. We were very comfortable with her and she held our hand through the process and even stayed in touch after closing.

  3. Jason Abelove

    I have been a real estate attorney for 20 years, and I have never met a more devoted real estate broker than Maria Kafetzis ( of Douglas Elliman ( . I refer all of my clients to her.

    She closes deals that no other agent can seem to close. Maria also has an extensive legal background that gives her a perspective on the complexities of certain transactions that other agents do not share. If you want an agent to treat you like a member of her family, please call Maria– You will be so happy you did!

  4. Sherri Lydell

    We recently signed a commercial office lease in NYC and had great success using Scott Bloom and his team at Bloom Real Estate. I highly recommend that anyone seeking new space use the services of a broker and highly recommend Scott Bloom (

  5. realty agents in tampa

    Choosing a good real estate agent is one of the most important things a seller or a buyer must do before moving forward in the real estate market. It is essential to choose a highly skilled, professional and experienced realtor so that he can help you in getting out of any sort of problem you may experience in this market. Your tips and explanation is really amazing and to the point. Thanks a lot for this valuable information.

  6. lucy

    Just writing to thank Anna Beigelman of EXIT Realty for a wonderful experience while selling my summer home.
    Your professionalism, patience, knowledge, and efficiencies helped in selling in a very
    hard time in selling market.
    I will recommend your service to all my friends, one sale already succeeded.

    Sincerely, Lucy

  7. Pingback: Buying a house? Why you need a Realtor! | Hallmark Abstract LLC

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