How to Find a Real Estate Agent That's Right for You

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By Jamie Ayers Updated June 18, 2023


Where to find a real estate agent | Agent matching services | Referrals from friends and family | How to choose a realtor | Realtors for specific situations | FAQ

The fastest and easiest way to find a great local realtor (by far) is through an agent matching service. These free online services recommend local agents from top brokerages, like Keller Williams and RE/MAX, who may be a good fit for your needs.

A good agent matching service can provide 2–3 solid realtors to compare — often within minutes. The best brands also offer built-in savings on realtor fees. That's a big perk, since it's hard to negotiate commissions rates with agents on your own.[1]

Asking family and friends for recommendations is also a smart move. agent is familiar with your neighborhood and price point.

If you have a special situation, like needing to move quickly, you may want to look for someone with that particular expertise.

In this guide, we break down all the approaches (good and bad) to finding a realtor. We also offer practical advice so you can move faster and choose the best agent for the job.

Find top local realtors, get built-in savings

Where to find a real estate agent in 2023

1. Try a free agent matching service

⚡️ Fast and easy, with potential savings

  • Agents are already screened for you.
  • The service is free to use, with no strings attached.
  • Top brands send you multiple agents to compare.
  • Some offer built-in savings for sellers and buyers.
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Agent matching services match you with local real estate agents from their partner network. Many of these companies have 10,000+ partner agents nationwide, allowing you to choose from multiple options. They're also free, so you can shop for agents with no obligation to work with someone in their network.

Why they're great: Agent matching services are much faster and easier than searching on your own. They'll ask you about your buying or selling situation, and you’ll usually get your agent matches within an hour or two. Top brands, like Clever, only work with highly rated agents, so you’re choosing from a short list of solid options. Some even offer pre-negotiated discounts, which is a big benefit (it’s hard to negotiate lower rates on your own[1]).

How to choose: To get the most value, stick with brands that offer built-in savings and solid customer service. Clever, for example, ensures that its agents are top quality by holding them to high performance standards, such as requiring them to have a minimum of five years of experience, a proven sales record, and positive reviews from clients.

Unlike most agent matching services, Clever has built-in savings for both sellers and eligible buyers. So you can rest assured you’re getting a top local agent, while paying less in realtor fees.

🏡 Find top local agents, save thousands

Clever matches you with top-producing local agents from name-brand brokerages like Keller Williams, Compass, and Century 21. Plus you get special savings: Clever sellers save up to 50% on listing fees. Buyers can get cash back after closing.

Find and compare local agents in minutes. Clever is 100% free with no obligation!

2. Ask family and friends

👍 Most credible option (if the fit is right)

  • This is a highly trustworthy and credible referral source.
  • It can make you feel more confident in your decision.
  • Make sure the referrer’s sale or purchase was similar to yours.
  • Compare the referral with 1–2 other agents to ensure the best fit.
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Getting good real estate agent recommendations from people you know (family, friends, neighbors, co-workers) is another great option — assuming you know people who have recently bought or sold a home in your area.

Why it's great: Tapping your personal network is a relatively fast and easy way to find the right real estate agent. It’s also your most credible referral source. These are people who know you and care about your outcome, so they probably wouldn’t recommend an agent if they had a bad experience.

Potential drawbacks: Just because someone you know recommends a realtor doesn’t mean they’ll be the perfect fit for your needs or preferences. Ask the person making the referral some basic screening questions before reaching out to their agent. Also, a personal referral likely won’t get you any sort of cost benefit. If savings are a top priority, we recommend trying one of our top agent matching service picks first.

Bottom line: It’s definitely worth asking around for recommendations. But even if you get a solid referral, you should still compare the agent with 1–2 others just to be sure you’re getting the best fit and value.
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3. Ask other real estate professionals

⚠️ Another fast option, but brings quality risks

  • Local loan officers and other pros can refer agents they worth with regularly.
  • This option offers speed and some quality control — but can yield bad fits.
  • These referrals are often about maintaining business relationships, not finding the best agent for you.
  • Compare with 1–2 other agents from other credible sources.
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Real estate pros — particularly loan officers, but also contractors, property managers, and so on — generally know a lot of local real estate agents. If you ask, they'll likely be able to give you a list of names and contact info for agents they work with on a regular basis.

Why it can work: If your first step before selling or buying is talking to a contractor or loan officer, they can usually provide some agent recommendations to help narrow the field. You get a bit of built-in vetting; these agents are (a) closing deals regularly enough to be on that industry pro's short-list and (b) legit enough that they're actually recommending them, which ties back to their own reputation.

Potential drawbacks: The biggest risk here is the "I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine" nature of these relationships. Loan officers and contractors will often refer you to an agent simply because the agent refers their clients to them — not necessarily because they're a top producer or the best fit for your particular situation.

Bottom line: If your first touchpoint in your buying or selling journey is another industry pro, like a contractor or loan officer, you should totally ask them for some names. Just know the potential risks and always interview at least 2-3 agents to ensure you're hiring the best fit (and not just supporting an ongoing business relationship).
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Not recommended: DIY online search

⛔️ Takes longer, difficult, risky

  • Avoid using platforms like Zillow and Google to find agents
  • Huge number of results makes it inefficient and overwhelming
  • Hard to tell top agents vs. agents who paid for more visibility
  • These tools are better for vetting agents than finding them
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You can try a DIY online search via agent finder platforms like Zillow and, or search engines like Google, but we don’t recommend it. These sites yield too many options, with too little quality control, for you to make an informed decision quickly.

Our recommendation: Use tools like Zillow and Google to screen prospective agents you’ve found via better sources, like asking people you know or agent matching services. They make it super easy to find key info to inform your decision, like sales numbers and reviews from past clients.

Bottom line: You can certainly find a good agent through a DIY online search – we just don’t think it’s the best starting point. If you want to give it a try, check out our advice on how to use agent finder tools properly and avoid potential pitfalls.
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Everything to know about agent matching services

⚡️ Key benefits of agent matching services

  • Fast and easy: Experts vet and find the agents for you, and matches typically come through in a matter of hours.
  • More choice: Most brands match you with multiple agents to compare.
  • Ongoing support: Some have customer service teams that guide you through the process and help manage the relationship with the agent.
  • Savings: A few companies offer built-in commission savings.
  • Free: All are 100% free to use with no obligation.
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Agent matching services learn about your situation and goals, then recommend a short-list of local agents they think will be a good fit for your needs. Once you have your agent matches, you can interview them, weigh your options, and pick the best fit. If you don’t like any of the agents, you can usually ask for more matches — or simply walk away.

Finding real estate agents through agent matching services is usually faster and easier than other approaches. You can typically sign up and get your first matches in a matter of minutes. The whole process usually takes less than 24 hours.

⚖️ How to choose an agent matching service

To get the most value and best outcome, always look for these qualities in an agent matching service:

Great customer service: The best brands have dedicated customer service teams that (a) help guide you through the selection process and (b) manage the relationship with your agent to ensure they deliver a good experience.

Strict quality standards for agents: You want a service that will match you with a highly rated, experienced real estate agent from a top nationwide brand or regional real estate brokerage. Clever removes agents who become inactive or get negative feedback from customers. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference — we break down the good ones vs. the bad below.

Provides multiple agent matches: Look for a company that lets you request 2–3 agent matches to compare. If you try a brand that only offers a single match (as a policy or because they don’t have many agents in your area), consider signing up for another free service to get a few more options to compare.

Includes cost-savings benefit: A few brands offer built-in commission savings when you find your agent through their service. If they find an agent you like, you could literally save thousands vs. had you found the same agent through a competitor or on your own.

Top 4 agent matching services in 2023

Company Listing fee Avg rating (# of reviews)
1. Clever 1.5% (min. $3,000) 4.9 (1,810)
2. Ideal Agent 2% (min. $3,000) 4.9 (4,343)
3. UpNest 2.2-3% (market rates) 4.6 (4,267)
4. HomeLight 2.5-3% (market rates) 4.7 (921)
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🏆 Best overall: Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate is fast, easy to use, and offers the biggest guaranteed savings of any nationwide agent matching service or discount brokerage.[2] Sellers get pre-negotiated 1.5% listing commission rates (instead of the typical 3%). And buyers can get cash back after closing to help pay for their move.

Another unique Clever benefit is that every member of our concierge team is a licensed real estate agent. Concierges can provide general real estate advice, in addition to helping find the right agent and manage the relationship throughout the process.

💰 SAVE: List with Clever for just 1.5% or buy a home and get cash back!

The competition

Ideal Agent

Good quality, less selection and savings

Ideal Agent has strict quality criteria for the agents in its network and a solid average customer rating. It also offers discounted 2% listing fees for sellers. That’s solid savings compared to the typical 3% listing fee, but about 1.5x more than you’d pay through Clever. Ideal Agent offers no savings for buyers. Unlike most competitors, Ideal Agent only matches you with a single agent. If you want to give Ideal Agent a try, get 1–2 more referrals from another agent matching service or someone you know so you can compare options.


No guaranteed savings

UpNest is fast, easy, and has solid agents in its network. It’s an online marketplace where agents submit proposals and compete for your business. In theory, the artificial competition drives savings. In practice, we found the savings to be pretty marginal (and not guaranteed). UpNest says sellers pay an average total commission of 5.2% — not much better than standard going rates (5.45% is the nationwide average[3]). In contrast, Clever sellers typically pay between 4–4.5% total, or up to $6,000 more in savings than UpNest on a $500,000 home.


No savings, spotty matches

HomeLight is probably the best-known company on the list, but we don’t recommend it. It has a lot of great agents in its network and is really easy to use. But the same could be said of Clever, Ideal Agent, and UpNest, and they all offer some sort of cost benefit. Just as importantly, the match quality can be spotty. Our mystery shoppers got great matches in certain markets, but the fully-automated process often yielded spotty results and off-base recommendations – particularly outside of major metro areas.

⛔️ Agent matching services to avoid

We recommend avoiding the following agent matching services: FastExpert,, TopAgentsRanked, and Dave Ramsey’s ELP Realtors program. We researched and mystery shopped every major agent matching service over a two-month period and felt these brands don’t offer enough value through quality control, customer support, or cost savings to make them worth considering.

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The right way to find real estate agents through family or friends

⚡️ Key takeaways

  • It’s definitely worth asking family and friends for recommendations!
  • This is the most credible referral source — but don’t just assume their agent will be a perfect fit for your needs.
  • You’ll need to ask the referrer several questions to ensure their recommendation is actually a good fit.
  • Always vet any agent recommendation thoroughly and compare with a few other agents to make an informed decision.

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Tapping your personal network for realtor recommendations is 100% worth it, assuming you know people who have recently bought or sold homes in your market.

Personal referrals are the most trustworthy, because they’re coming from people who actually know and care about you. It’s unlikely they’ll recommend an agent they had a bad experience with.

Just know that personal referrals aren’t always the best or most reliable option. And they definitely carry some risks.

Finding the right real estate agent is a highly subjective and personal thing. The situation surrounding your sale or purchase is unique, and so are your preferences when it comes to things like personality and customer service.

In other words, the perfect agent for a friend could be all wrong for you. The agent might not have the right experience for your price range or neighborhood. Or maybe you just won't connect with their personality.

We don't recommend agreeing to work with a real estate agent just because they helped a family member, friend, or relative. You still need to thoroughly vet the agent, as you would if you’d found them on your own.

Before you even start screening the agent, evaluate the person making the recommendation to ensure their preferences and circumstances line up with your own.

⚠️ You should still shop around!

When someone you know recommends an agent, it’s still important to shop around to get the best fit and value — even if that agent seems like a perfect fit. An agent matching service like Clever can quickly match you with 1–2 additional agents in your area so you can compare options and make an informed decision.

Try Clever's free agent matching service

Connect with top local agents now! Sellers get pre-negotiated discounted rates. Eligible buyers get cash back after closing. It’s 100% free with no obligation.

How to choose a real estate agent

We recommend you interview multiple agents before choosing one. You should choose those agents based on how much recent experience they have, how many closings they have in your local area, what online reviews say about them, and whether they hit any other specific criteria you may have.

Agent matching services make choosing 2–3 real estate agents especially easy. Many, including Clever, give you multiple agents to choose from and provide you with the essential information you need to know about their experience and specialties. If you don't like your first matches, you can also request to see other real estate agents.

Once you’ve chosen your top 2–3 candidates, you’ll need to interview each agent to make sure their communication style, personality, and responsiveness matches what you’re looking for. Jump ahead to find out which questions you should ask a real estate agent.

If you’re selling, agents should actually come to your house for the interview, if possible. This is an opportunity to learn important information, such as how much they think your home may sell for, what repairs or improvements may be needed, and what their marketing and negotiating strategies will be.

» MORE: How to choose a realtor to sell your home

Questions to ask a real estate agent

1. When was your last real estate transaction?

Ask when the realtor’s most recent sales or purchases were. Ideally they should be within the past year. The market conditions should be similar, too: Your realtor’s speedy sale may have been more due to a scorching-hot market than their skills (i.e., selling in a slower market may bring you a different outcome).

2. Where are your most recent transactions?

Avoid hiring an agent who focuses mostly on buying and selling properties outside of your target area. You need an agent who understands your local area. In lower population areas, it’s common for agents to cover several towns or zip codes. But in cities and high-population suburbs, try to find agents who specialize in your neighborhood.

3. What’s the average price of homes you handle?

Does the agent have experience in your price range? For example, the agent who just sold your cousin’s $300,000 condo might not be the best choice for selling your $2 million mansion. The agent should know what buyers in your price range are looking for and how to market your home effectively.

4. What’s your commission rate?

The agent's commission rate will help determine whether they’re in your price range and even worth considering. For traditional real estate agents, commission usually falls between 2.5–3% for both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. Your total commission, if you’re a seller, will typically be 5–6%. But that’s not set in stone and there may be wiggle room to negotiate the commission down.

5. How much communication can I expect?

Ask if the agent is a strong communicator and can handle your specific needs and preferences. For example, if you’re a first-time home buyer, you might want more proactive communication and guidance compared to someone with lots of home buying experience.

6. Can I talk to your previous clients?

Asking for references is a good way to find out about what the agent was like to work with. If someone tells you, "They weren’t exactly what I’d call ‘friendly’ — but they got the deal done," that’s useful info you can factor into your decision-making process. You should also research your agent's online presence for reviews from previous clients.

7. What specific services do you provide?

You want to get a clear sense of any and all services provided to help get a house sold or purchased. Will the agent go above and beyond the call of duty? Is there anything they don’t do that you know you absolutely want, like attending showings and inspections for buyers, or including 3D video tours for sellers?

Finding a good realtor via a DIY online search is hard

⚡️ Key takeaways

  • Finding an agent on an agent finder tool like Zillow or is much harder and more time intensive than other methods
  • A better use for these tools is to screen agents recommended by an agent matching service or someone you know
  • Sometimes top results aren’t the most qualified, but agents who paid for premium placement. Watch for "ad" or "sponsored" labels in your results
  • When you find an agent, call or email them directly. When you reach out through the platform, your info gets sold and you get spammed
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While it’s certainly possible to find a great realtor via Google or an agent finder tool like Zillow and, we don’t recommend it.

Agent finder tools surface and general search engines usually:

  • Give you an overwhelming number of results to sift through.
  • Contain unhelpful or completely inaccurate data and information.
  • Prioritize agents who pay over the most qualified or relevant ones.

While many agent finder tools offer filters to help narrow your search, they’re not very reliable or useful. And you don’t get that same level of built-in trustworthiness that comes with a recommendation from a good agent matching services or someone you know.

A good strategy is to find prospective agents through other, more efficient and reliable means, then use tools like to vet them by looking at past sales, customer reviews, and so on.

If you want to try your hand at a DIY online realtor search anyhow, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and advice on how to use (and not use) some of the top agent finder platforms in 2023.

🔎 Finding a realtor for specific situations or goals

Max savings | Sell fast | First-time buyer | Divorce or retirement | Relocation | Investing | Military and veterans | Selling in pre-foreclosure or short sales | Buying foreclosures

Saving on realtor fees

To save money on real estate commission, your best choice is an agent matching service that offers built-in discounts for sellers and buyers.

Clever Real Estate currently offers the best overall savings of any nationwide, full-service real estate company.

  • Sellers get full service for just 1.5% commission, vs. the typical 2.5% to 3% listing commission.
  • Buyers can get cash back after closing to help pay for their move.

Other savings-centric agent matching brands include UpNest and Ideal Agent. The agent quality is comparable to Clever's, but both are more expensive and have some significant drawbacks. Make sure you compare top agent matching services to achieve the best outcome.

It might also be worth investigating discount real estate brokerages like Redfin, Trelora, and Houwzer.

Redfin offers 1.5% listing fees in 80+ markets — but has limited selection and service quality risks. Trelora and Houwzer may also provide good value (particularly for pricier homes, due to their flat fee pricing models), but are only available in a handful of markets and have the same service-quality risks as Redfin.

» MORE: What real estate company has the lowest commission rate?

Selling your house fast

If you need to sell your house fast, one of your best options is finding a local seller's agent with a track record of fast sales.

You can look for a realtor with a Certified Residential Specialist designation, indicating that they're in the top 2% of realtors based on sales volume, education, and experience. Just keep in mind that plenty of top agents achieve impressive sales records without pursuing an official designation. Find a top local listing agent.

Another option for a fast home sale is to sell to an iBuyer. iBuyers, like Opendoor and Offerpad, are companies that make near-instant cash offers. They typically pay close to fair market value and can close in just a few weeks. But they only buy certain types of homes in a handful of cities across the country, so your home may not qualify.

A last resort option is selling to a local investor or "we buy houses for cash" company. They should only be used if you need to sell ASAP, or have a home in poor condition that will be hard to sell in a traditional sale. Investors purchase properties in any condition, typically pay all cash, and can close in a few weeks (or sooner). But expect to take a hit on price: Investors usually offer 70% or less of a home's after-repair value, minus estimated repairs.

First-time home buyer

If you’re wondering how to find a buyer's agent as a first-time home buyer, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Your real estate agent is there to guide you through the home-buying process. They'll empower you to make well-informed decisions when making offers and negotiating with sellers.

While most agents will gladly work with first-time home buyers, some make it their sole focus or pursue additional education to qualify as an Accredited Buyer's Representative.

Experience — particularly in your neighborhood — is especially important. An experienced agent knows what’s normal and what’s not and can alert you to potential red flags with a home you want to purchase.

Experienced realtors also tend to have more connections with industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, attorneys, and home inspectors. They can recommend reliable and trustworthy professionals, which takes some of the stress and risk out of buying your first house.

Finally, you’ll want a realtor who is patient and communicative. Buying a house is complicated and it’s normal to have a lot of questions. Your first realtor should be willing to take the time to answer your questions clearly and make you feel comfortable admitting if you don’t understand something. We recommend interviewing 2–3 agents to ensure they’re a good personality fit so you can get a sense of whether or not their communication style fits with yours.

Major life changes

Some real estate agents specialize in "change of life" situations, like downsizing for retirement or selling a house after a divorce.

In addition to the standard real estate license, some agents pursue extra certifications from the National Association of Realtors. They can become a Seniors Real Estate Specialist or Certified Divorce Specialist.

The key benefit to a specialization is that the agent has experience handling the issues and conflicts that may arise during that type of home sale, especially when parties are in disagreement about the best course of action. The agent may also be able to help you sell more quickly than the typical realtor.

Relocation (remote sale or purchase)

Some realtors specialize in helping clients who are relocating to a new area.

Often called relocation specialists, these agents not only help you sell or buy a home, but may also assist with your move.

There are a few key benefits to hiring a relocation specialist:

  • The agent can help with stressful tasks related to your move, like finding movers and booking travel.
  • If you've not yet relocated to your destination but need to buy a house, tech-savvy relocation agents can provide you with virtual tours.
  • If you're selling your home but need to move ASAP, a trustworthy agent can handle the sale in your absence.

Worldwide ERC, a trade group for the relocation services industry, has two designations for realtors: CRP (Certified Relocation Professional) and GMS (Global Mobility Specialist). You can search for certified agents at its online directory.

Clever can also refer you to top-rated local agents with remote sale or purchase experience. We offer pre-negotiated low commission rates for sellers and cash back at closing for eligible buyers.

👋 Need a great agent on your side?

Connect with top local agents who can help you sell on time and for top dollar. You'll pay just a 1.5% listing fee (half the typical rate), helping you save thousands!


Investors in need of an agent should consider using an agent matching service.

Companies like Clever can recommend investor-friendly agents in your local real estate market, and can even help you find agents with specific investing expertise, like rental properties, house flipping, or commercial investing. And Clever’s built-in savings can help widen your margins on the purchase and resale.

It's also worth digging into the BiggerPockets forums, which are a great resource for finding agents, investment opportunities, potential partners, or just real estate education.

Military and veterans

There are several agent matching services out there that cater specifically to members of the military, first responders, or veterans, like Homes for Heroes and Veterans United Realty.

These organizations aren't affiliated with any government agencies, but may be worth investigating to find an agent who understands the unique needs of service members and veterans. You can potentially get a commission discount or home buyer rebate as well.

That said, an agent matching service and discount broker can often match you with a military-friendly realtor and offer built-in savings.

For example, Clever provides matches based on your specific needs, such as if you’re looking for a good real estate agent who specializes in VA loans. Clever also pre-negotiates a 1.5% listing fee for sellers, the lowest of any full-service nationwide real estate company, and offers cash back for buyers on eligible purchases to help cover moving costs.

We recommend trying a few agent matching services so you can compare multiple real estate agents and price points to get the best overall fit and value.

Selling in pre-foreclosure or short sales

If you’re in pre-foreclosure or underwater on your loan, you’ll want to find a specialist to help you navigate the tricky process and get the best possible outcome.

Clever can find you a short sale specialist quickly. Not to mention, our pre-negotiated 1.5% rates will help you save big and minimize losses.

You can also try’s agent finder tool and use the filters to find agents with CDPE or SFR designations, which signify they have additional training for short sales and/or foreclosures. Though think of this as more of a starting point than a guarantee of practical expertise.

Zillow’s agent finder tool lets you filter for "short sale/pre-foreclosure" specialists, but these credentials aren’t verified. Agents self-submit their own specializations on their Zillow profiles, so this isn’t necessarily a trustworthy approach.

Just keep in mind that finding a seller's agent with this type of experience is hard. According to NAR, only about 14% of realtors have closed a deal involving foreclosure in the past 12 months. Only about 2% of realtors have handled more than six. Regardless of how you search, be careful and thoroughly vet any prospects to ensure they have legit experience.

Buying foreclosures and government-owned homes

If you're looking to buy a REO (real estate owned) foreclosure directly from a bank or lender, an agent-matching service can help you find a buyer's agent with extensive REO experience, as the process differs from a conventional purchase.

Same goes for government-owned properties; you need to work with an agent to buy HUD, VA, and USDA foreclosures.

You can also try to search for agents with investor designations, such as CDPE or SFR, or look for buyer's agents with "foreclosure" experience on Zillow. Proceed with caution: while these credentials signify the agent may have completed training, there's no guarantee it will translate into practical expertise.

FAQ about finding a realtor

What's the best way to find the right real estate agent in 2023?

The best way to find a realtor is through a free agent matching service. This method is much easier and faster than finding an agent on your own. These companies learn about your needs and quickly match you with 2–3 pre-vetted local agents. A few services, like Clever Real Estate, even offer significant savings on realtor fees. Find the best agent matching services.

Do you even need a real estate agent?

Sellers and buyers aren’t required to work with real estate agents, but it’s a smart choice for most situations. Roughly 90% of sellers[4] and buyers[5] use a real estate agent and broker. Listing agents have the experience and connections to help you get a better sale outcome. In most cases, an agent’s impact on final selling price more than makes up for their commission fee. Buyer's agents are effectively free to work with. A good buyer’s agent can save you a lot of time and stress, especially if you’re a less experienced buyer or relocating to a new area.

When should you start your search for a real estate agent?

It’s never too early to reach out to agents to start asking questions and weighing your options. If you're selling, try to find your realtor at least 4–6 months in advance. You'll have plenty of time to prep your home and choose the best time to sell. If you're a buyer, you can also reach out to agents in advance. But most agents will likely answer your questions, then recommend you get back in touch when you’re ready to start house hunting. Getting pre-approved by a lender before contacting agents can signal you’re serious and ready to make offers.

How much does a real estate agent cost?

Most real estate agents collect 2.5–3% of a home’s sale price as a commission fee at closing. Because most home sales involve two agents, the total commission is usually between 5–6%. If you’re the seller, you’ll typically pay the total commission out of your sale proceeds, not out of pocket. Some companies offer significant discounts on realtor fees for sellers — in some cases, with no reduction in service quality or scope. Find out which companies offer the lowest commission rates.

How to pick a real estate agent for buying

When buying a house, your real estate agent’s experience and negotiating skills matter a lot. You want an agent who has experience in the neighborhood or town you’re looking to move to and one who has a clear negotiating strategy for getting you the right price. You may also want to consider if an agent offers some sort of cost-benefit when you buy. For example, eligible buyers who find their agent through Clever can get cash back after closing to help cover moving costs. Find out how to save on your next home purchase with Clever.

How to find a real estate agent to sell

We recommend using an agent matching service when looking for a realtor to help sell your house. Agent matching services pair you with real estate agents based on your unique needs and expectations, such as your desired sale price, location, and property type. Some agent matching services, like Clever, will also pre-negotiate discounted listing fees on your behalf, which could save you thousands of dollars. Learn more about how an agent matching service can help.

How to find a real estate agent in another state

Agent matching services like Clever are the best way to find an agent in another state. They can match you with a top real estate agent in your new state. You’ll have a local expert who can find neighborhoods that meet your expectations and who can relieve the stress of finding a new home. Talk to a Clever Concierge now and find your real estate agent!

Why trust us?

Clever has helped thousands of people, just like you, find great real estate agents and save money when selling or buying their homes. Finding a good real estate agent is a topic we’re well acquainted with — and have a lot of opinions on.

About our recommendations

It's our honest and objective opinion that, for most people, the best way to find the perfect real estate agent is to use a free agent matching service — whether it’s Clever or one of our competitors.

Agent matching services are the fastest, easiest way to get a short-list of good options. If you find an agent you like through a brand offering built-in savings, you’re getting a lot of value with no real drawbacks. Discounts are hard to negotiate on your own, especially if you've never done it before.

Ultimately, the most important thing is finding the best agent for the job. Sometimes agent matching services (including our own) simply won’t have any agents you like — or another approach will make more sense.

Our primary objective is empowering you to make smarter real estate decisions, achieve your goals, and save some money while you're at it. To that end, we strive to deliver highly objective, practical guides that cover a variety of different methods and companies so you get the best possible outcome, whether you choose to use our service or not.

About the author

I've been writing about real estate professionally for the better part of a decade — I've written and edited dozens of guides about discount real estate brokers, agent matching services, and how to save money when buying or selling a home.

My wife and I found our realtor using Clever's agent matching service. We got matched with a great agent, who helped us buy our home for its asking price in a competitive market. Plus we got a check for $2,000 cash back after closing. Not too shabby.

While Clever's agent matching service worked for us, there's obviously no guarantee it will work for you. But since it's free, with no risk or obligation, it's definitely worth a try. If you don't like the agent Clever recommends, you can just walk away and find an agent elsewhere.

Jamie Ayers
Author, Researcher, Content Product Manager at Clever

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