Make sure the real estate agent you are hiring cares - While this may be hard to prove at first glance, you will see this being reinforced throughout the transaction. They should always shield you from harm and make sure they are holding your hand throughout the real estate buying process.
Exclusivity should be something spoken about - If a real estate is too busy, they are going to neglect your home buying or selling needs. They need to let you know if they have a team, or if they are a solo agent and express the ability to keep a handle on their business.
Local Housing market experts - this is very important, because if the agent you are hiring does not have a better than average grasp on the local real estate market, you could potentially suffer. Heck, it's their business -they should know better than most!!!
Setting you and forgetting you - there is a way or a real estate agent to set their clients up on a MLS search. It's an automatic system that will email you as soon as the latest real estate listing, fitting your criteria, enters the market for sale. That's great and I would suggest you get your agent to set you up on that. However, this is not the solve all and the agent you have hired needs to remain active in the searching for real estate.
Knowing the Market Analytics - Not only knowing about the local real estate homes for sale. They should know if the listing to sale price is higher, lower or if sellers are getting what they are demanding. They should also know what types of financing is most prevalent and how to best "structure" your offer on a home to get you the best benefit.
Born Negotiators for Real Estate Sellers and Buyers - There are a couple of different hats that need to be worn by a top producing realtor. If they are representing a real estate buyer - the hat changes to a Buyer Rep Mode. If they are representing a real estate seller - they are donning the Seller Rep Hat. With each of those modes - there are specific things the real estate expert will focus on. However, with both hats - the Buyer or Seller are protected with the agent's negotiation ability.
Remembering Who's the Boss - easier said than done for most of the "alpha" types that are in real estate representation and service providing business. However - while never making a client make a mistake, if one insists - the agent should be flexible to let the client get what they want.
Being connected - The real estate agents should be those that are dug in with the local communities and vendors you are going to be working with. They should be transparent in their relationships and should always keep your "bottom line" in proper focus.
Good Communicators - When it comes to keeping people informed and updated - A top Producing Realtor will shine above everyone else for sure. Even when there is nothing to report - they will give updates and give their clients intel even when their is nothing to report.
Be safe and search well, please let us know when you are ready to move...