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Woloszyn’s Insights: How to pick a real estate agent

This is a sponsored column by Joseph Woloszyn Esq. of Maximo Mortgages LLC. Have a question or comment? Contact Joseph at [email protected].

Choosing the right real estate agent can be a pivotal decision in the home-buying or selling process. A good agent can make the transaction smoother, less stressful, and more financially advantageous. Here’s how to select the best fit for your needs.

Identify Your Needs

Before you start your search, outline what you’re looking for:

  • Are you buying or selling?
  • What type of property are you interested in (e.g., residential, commercial)?
  • Do you need someone with local market expertise or a particular niche (e.g., luxury homes, foreclosures)?

Ask for Referrals

Begin by asking friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors about agents they’ve had positive experiences with. Personal referrals often yield the most trusted and tested recommendations.

Check Reviews and Testimonials

Online platforms like Zillow,, and Google can provide client reviews. While not every review is indicative of an agent’s overall service, consistent feedback can give you a clearer picture.

Consider Experience and Credentials

While longevity in the industry can be a strong indicator of expertise, it’s also crucial to consider other factors.

Specializations: Agents might have additional credentials indicating specialization, like CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) or ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative).

Recent Sales: An active agent with sales in the past year is a good sign they’re up-to-date with the current market.

Interview Potential Candidates

Once you’ve shortlisted a few agents:

  • Meet in person or via a video call.
  • Ask about their current listings and past sales.
  • Discuss their strategy for meeting your specific needs.
  • Note their communication style — you’ll want an agent who communicates in a way that makes you comfortable.
  • Inquire about their fees and commissions. Understand what services are included.

Assess Local Knowledge

Local market knowledge is invaluable. An agent familiar with the area can provide insights on neighborhoods, school systems, market trends, and community amenities.

Understand Their Network

Good agents have a strong network of professionals like mortgage brokers, home inspectors, contractors, and lawyers. Their connections can streamline the buying or selling process for you.

Evaluate Their Marketing Strategy

If you’re selling, ask about their marketing plan for your property. This might include:

  • Professional photography
  • Home staging
  • Online listings and virtual tours
  • Open houses

Clarify Communication Expectations

Your agent should be available to answer questions, provide updates, and handle any issues that arise. Set clear expectations about:

  • Frequency of updates
  • Preferred communication methods (e.g., email, phone calls, texts)
  • Availability on weekends or evenings

Trust Your Gut

Finally, trust your instincts. You’ll be working closely with your agent, so it’s crucial you feel comfortable with and confident in your choice.


Picking the right real estate agent is a combination of research, recommendations, and personal comfort. By taking the time to thoroughly vet potential candidates, you set yourself up for a smoother, more efficient property transaction. Whether buying or selling, the right agent can be your biggest ally in the world of real estate.

If you have any mortgage related questions or would like to inquiry about applying for a mortgage, please reach out to us at Maximo Mortgage LLC at [email protected] or 703-755-0045! Happy house hunting!

Joseph Woloszyn Esq. boasts a diverse professional background, including roles as a real estate attorney, mortgage broker, real estate broker, general contractor, and real estate investor. When he isn’t working, Joseph enjoys watching football and taking trips to unwind. In his personal life, he lovingly reports to his two superiors: his wife, Haimei, and their daughter, Elizabeth.

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