Wed. May 25th, 2022

It’s been estimated that there are more than 3 million active real estate licensees in the United States. Membership in the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is currently over 1.5 million. If you Google “best real estate agent near me” you will receive about 800,000,000 results.

And now it’s time for you to figure out the best way to find the best agent.

Rather than wish you good luck and be on our way, we’re here to help you sift through the results and actually find a top performing agent near you!

So, where do you start?

We did a lot of digging and talked with Denis O’Brien, a top real estate agent in Indianapolis, Indiana, filled out agent match tools, and discovered where to find agent ratings, so we can guide you through the process of finding an agent that will be the best fit for you as you sell your home.

Let’s get started on your search for an agent near you!

There are a few different ways to start your search for the best agent near you. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Leverage agent match tools

To get personalized recommendations, agent match tools are a great place to start. HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform analyzes over 27 million real estate transactions and thousands of reviews. In just two minutes, you can find local real estate agents that sell homes faster and for more money.

Unlike some other agent matching services, HomeLight gives you more than one top agent recommendation, so you have options. HomeLight also includes information like transaction data, days on market (DOM), average sale to list price ratio in your city, certifications, specialties, reviews, and rankings to help you get a jump start on your decision.

Here are a few other sites that have agent match tools that can match you with qualified agents near you:

  • Zillow
  • Ideal Agent
  • My Agent Finder
  • Realtor Match

Sift through local ratings and reviews

Looking at ratings and reviews of local agents is a huge part of the vetting process.

“As you read the reviews, you start experiencing what somebody else has already gone through,” O’Brien says. “I think it’s crucial in today’s world that you devote the time and walk down the line that somebody else has experienced.”

Here are a few different ways to look up local ratings and rankings:

Yelp: You can browse their list of the top agents in your city and check ratings and reviews. Yelp also offers free price estimates from local real estate agents after you answer a few questions. You’ll typically get responses from local businesses in 24 hours.

Local publications: Depending on where you live, your local publications may publish a list of top agents in your area. Phoenix Magazine in Phoenix, Arizona, for instance, creates an annual list of 50 top agents based on a survey of 25,000 of their subscribers.

Google: You probably head to Google for everything from how to roast a chicken to how to fix a toilet. So, why not leverage Google for its reviews as well? Search a phrase specific to your location, such as “real estate agent reviews in [city name].” You’ll typically see a set of Google-screened real estate agents nearby with 5-star ratings and the number of reviews they’ve received.

Property Spark: Property Spark, a company that helps agents use social media, offers lists of top agents based on their social media performance. Social media savvy agents often get better results for their clients.

US News and World Report: Powered by HomeLight, US News & World Report offers a list of top agents in cities around the country.

Get referrals from people you trust

Getting a referral from a friend or family member — or hairstylist, server, or neighbor — can be a great way to begin the vetting process, especially if you trust the person giving the referral. It’s still important to interview the agent and make sure they’re right for you because what your mom likes in an agent may not be what works for you.

Some agent matching services such as HomeLight and Zillow also maintain their own client reviews and testimonials.

Once you’ve found the names of a few agents near you, the real vetting begins. Conducting research on the agents and their performance, and ultimately an agent interview, will determine which agent is the best real estate agent for you.

Find the Best Real Estate Agents Near You

It takes just two minutes to match you with the best real estate agents near your home. To connect with a performing agent, simply tell us a little bit about your property and how soon you’re looking to sell.

How do I find a top real estate agent?

Here’s a sample process (but you can tweak this to your needs):

  1. Search for agents near you with HomeLight’s Agent Match tool and receive a list of a few top agents in your area.
  2. Take to Google. Look up Google and Yelp reviews, check out their website, and deep dive into their social media.
  3. If you know anyone else that has worked with the agent, reach out and ask about their experience.
  4. Do a 15-minute phone interview with at least three of your top agent picks.
  5. Meet with the one you feel will work best for you to confirm that it’s a great fit.
  6. Hire the agent and get started!

Today’s market is very fast paced and appreciation is so high, a conversation a month ago is going to be dramatically different than a conversation today. So make sure that your agent knows the market frontwards and backwards.

  • Denis OBrien
    Denis OBrien
    Real Estate Agent


    Denis OBrien
    Denis OBrien
    Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams

    Currently accepting new clients

    • Years of Experience
    • Transactions
    • Average Price Point
    • Single Family Homes

What should I look for in a real estate agent?

Once you’ve found a few names of agents in your area, it’s time to figure out which one is the best agent for you. A few things to look for include:

Clear and timely communication: Does the agent answer your calls or do you get sent to voicemail? And if they don’t answer, do they call back in a timely fashion? Also, do they communicate clearly? They’re the expert, but they need to communicate in a way that you understand.

Competent expert in the market: Given the current market, O’Brien says this is one of the top things to look for in an agent. “Today’s market is very fast paced and appreciation is so high, a conversation a month ago is going to be dramatically different than a conversation today. So make sure that your agent knows the market frontwards and backwards.”

Proven sales transaction results: Look for actual results within the last year for homes similar to yours. If an agent is highly skilled at selling beach condos, but you’re selling a suburban single family home, it might not be the best fit.

Experience that fits your situation: Every seller’s situation is different. Whether you’re moving to a new area, relocating for a job, or selling as a result of a divorce, selling a house can be a stressful process. Finding an agent that will partner with you and provide the support you need is crucial.

Current online marketing practices: At this point, it’s pretty easy to tell who is highly effective on social media and who is using it as an afterthought. If the agent doesn’t seem to have put effort into their online presence (website, Instagram, etc), they may not have what it takes to help you sell your home.

Skilled at handling all legal documents with integrity: There is a lot of paperwork that happens during a home sale. Your agent should be able to handle all of it with accuracy and integrity.

Appealing listings: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few top agents, take a look at other homes they’ve listed. If the listings aren’t appealing to you and filled with grainy photos and a vague listing description, don’t expect them to do any better for your listing. If the photos showcase the home and the description makes you want to book a showing even if you’re not ready to look for a home, then you can expect that they’ll put the same effort into your home’s listing.

They have a team: Agents should have an established team around them. O’Brien says that “even if you’re an individual agent, your team is the lenders and the title companies. It’s the inspectors and the general contractors.” As for O’Brien, he has a team of 11 people that includes agents and admin as well as vendors that he trusts.

What questions should I ask my real estate agent candidates?

If you’ve done your due diligence by checking out ratings and reviews and digging into an agent’s online presence, chances are, the actual interview will go pretty well. If, when you meet in person or talk on the phone, you don’t feel like it will be a good fit, “you owe it to yourself to interview somebody else,” says O’Brien. Here are a few questions to ask during an agent interview:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How well do you know the area?
  • What sets you apart from other agents here?
  • How many clients do you represent at a time?
  • How do you handle prep work and staging?
  • How often will we be in touch?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you think we’ll face?
  • If I pick you, what’s the first thing we need to do to get started?
  • What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

If you’re interviewing for a buyer’s agent, see this HomeLight link for good questions to ask.

O’Brien emphasizes that an agent should come to the meeting prepared with “a list of questions to dive deeper into the most important things for that buyer or seller.”

This is important because, according to O’Brien, “I can give you my resume and I can tell you how good I am, what properties I’ve sold, etc, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to strike a chord with you. Meaning I haven’t hit on those key elements that’s going to create an exceptional experience.” When he coaches an agent, he tells them to come to the meeting with an open mind and really zero in on the most important things to the client so they can deliver the best experience.

Conclusion: Find a great Realtor® near you now

Finding the best real estate agent near you takes some work on your part. But conducting searches, using agent match tools, reading reviews, and sifting through rankings can ensure that you find the best agent for you.

To see how HomeLight can help, you can check out what happy buyers and sellers have to say and try out our free Agent Match tool to get matched with top-performing local agents in just two minutes.

Get a Free Home Value Estimate

Enter a few details about your home and we’ll provide you with a preliminary estimate of home value in less than two minutes. This won’t be a guarantee of what your home will sell for, but it is a helpful starting point.

Header Image Source: (XPS / Unsplash)

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