By: Home seller in the USA – I am NOT a real estate agent.
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Criteria #1: Not _______ _______ (flakey agent who represented current property we live in).  She didn’t read emails, answer phone calls, or really care.  Too bad we had to use her. Be nice and know some information about the area. Duh.
Criteria #2:  Common sense.  If you come over to “talk to me about my house to see if we can work together” then make sure you actually walk through my house.  Friend in Houston, TX interviewed three agents – one came over, spoke 40 minutes about her company, marketing, herself and five minutes about the house. She didn’t even ask to do a walk through.  Lame.
Criteria #3:  When you tell me what the price should be on my house be prepared with WHY.  Why not more, why not less?  Is price changing part of the marketing plan?  Why can’t we just price the home right at first so it just sells?  These will be the questions I will ask you and I am intently listening to your responses.
Criteria #4:  Manage my expectations: time frames, pricing, logistics for open houses, communication, and negotiation proceedings.  Most importantly don’t make me feel ignored, answer and reply to my phone calls and emails promptly.  Also, I hate automatic out of office emails with generic phrases “out showing homes” or “lot’s of appointments will reply after 3pm”.
Criteria #5: Care.  Care about me, my family, my house.  This is a big step for us to sell. I know you make a commission, I am happy to pay it.  Don’t make me feel like I am getting mediocre service or that I am one of “many clients”.  I am busy too. I have a job, family, and stress.  This will be the largest financial transaction I do this year/lifetime – I expect it done professionally and in my best interest.
Remember, I am hiring you because you are a subject matter expert on real estate; however, I am an educated, savvy, well-informed person who will be doing research as well. I have questions and will be looking to you and the Internet for answers.  You will put my mind at ease not because you have 20 years of experience (that is less important to me), but because you are comfortable with my questions, you listen, and you exceed my expectations.  I want to tell everyone I had the best Real Estate Agent working for me, not the crappiest one.