There are probably hundred of agents in the St Louis market who espouse to be NUMBER 1, just as there are in almost every market in the United States.

They could be #1 in their office, their company, their city...

They could be #1 in units, in written dollars, in closed dollars...

They could be #1 in their minds...

Rankings do not tell the whole story, certainly.  And they are confusing to the public, I think.  And they don't necessarily guarantee the best agent for the job of helping you buy or sell real estate.  So here's 10 tips to help you determine the best agent for you!  Does your agent have:

1. Experience

If you were having open hear surgery, would you choose a surgeon who performs 5 such surgeries a year, or one that performs several every day?  Practice makes perfect, and the more experience an agent has, the more problems they have solved, the more resources they probably have.


2.  Brains

An agent who is intelligent, and who is actively learning, no matter how long they have been an agent will be proactive, and will be aware of trending indicators in your market area.  A complete understanding of every term in your local real estate contract can make a world of difference.

3.  Honesty

It's not easy telling someone their house is ugly...a great agent will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, and do so constructively (and hopefully with kindness!)

4.  Ethics

The Realtor Code of Ethics is based on the Golden Rule for a reason.  My personal version is " will always come back and bite you, so always do the right thing in the first place!"

5.  A Sense of Humor

Selling or buying a house is serious business, but if I see something like this, I think at least a discreet chuckle is called for.It's fun looking at homes with an agent who can smile with you!

6.  A Professional Appearance

I am not saying that a pair of blue jeans and flip flops are awful.  Not at all!  But dressing the part of a competent professional isn't asking too much most days, is it?  (Maybe I am showing my age here...)

7.  A Heart

Moving is stressful.  Maybe your agent doesn't have to weep with you when you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of packing up your life into literally 200 boxes.  But maybe your agent should at least have a good understanding of, and care about how much a move can disrupt every day life.

8.  A Strong Back Up Plan

Believe it or not, real estate agents breathe oxygen, have families, and occasionally have a life.  If your agent has a day off, or a vacation, who is going to be there to show you property, or negotiate an offer on your house.  One of the proven facts in real estate is that the minute your agent goes out of town, the perfect house comes on the market, or that offer finally comes in.  A great agent has you covered, even when they are not available.

9.  The Right Motivation

A very wise person once told me "Never want the deal more than your client does."  Having your best interest at heart first and foremost, all of the time, is critical.  Sometimes your best interest is hard for you to see.  A great agent can help you see the big picture, see the forest through the trees, and guide you through the emotions of the moment to your true best interest.  


10. Resources

A great real estate agent has a rolodex worth its weight in gold.  A walking and talking "Angie's List", you should be able to get recommendations not only for great lenders, title companies, and lawyers, but also plumbers and painters and handymen.  If you have a great agent, you have someone you can call any time for a recommendation.

Please interview more than one agent, ask lots of questions and get a great agent.  You deserve that when you are dealing with such a huge investment.