Dating your real estate agent

Especially at the beginning, “when this is all new, you want to be in touch every single day to make sure the homeseller has seen the listing and approved it,” Allan says.

“If you get something wrong, the seller could be held liable, and you want to be in touch to find out if there’s anything the seller needs to tweak.” Having an ongoing conversation with your agent, Allan adds, could mean the difference between selling within the ideal timeframe of five to seven months, or leaving it to languish on the market.

“A lot of times they’re just machines snapping up every listing they can get and overpricing them so they don’t sell.” Photo Credit: Getty Images Acting disorganized or canceling and showing up late to appointments is unprofessional and sends the wrong message to everyone involved, says Glink.

“If, as an agent, you’ve broken the professional trust, when you approach the seller with advice or feedback about something they’re doing to impede showings or offers, the seller’s going to be too mad at his agent to listen,” warns Allan.

Another tip-off it’s time to ditch your agent is when you find yourself working a little too closely with the agent’s assistant, instead of the agent his or herself, says Glink.

“The agent should lay out clearly for the seller what the expectations should be,” she says.

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On top of all this, don’t be tempted to hire the mega-star “top producer” realtor, says Allan.

You’ll know your agent’s on the right track, says Allan, when he or she asks these thoughtful questions: What’s your timeframe to buy or sell? Photo Credit: Getty Images Finding a full-time agent is a must in today’s battered market, our experts insist.

Tell me about your dream house/the house you’re selling. “That’s huge,” says Allan, adding that she would never hire someone who was working a different day job.

Here are 10 questions to ask a potential real estate agent or broker. What percentage of your clients are sellers (versus buyers)? Hint: The busiest agents often are also the most efficient. And it doesn’t hurt to ask if they own their own homes: A Trulia Trends study shows that 85% of brokers and agents are homeowners. Insights from past customers can help you learn more about an agent and give you a greater comfort level.

Agents who mostly work with buyers will have a different set of skills from those who primarily represent sellers. You want someone who can spout off neighborhood stats like a true local. In other words, will your agent handle all aspects of the transaction or will they delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? Picking a real estate pro is a key decision in the home-buying (and selling! So many great real estate professionals are out there willing to work hard for you, so consider the advice above as you make your selection.

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