What to Look For When Choosing a REALTOR® to Buy & Sell a Home

Alan J. DiStasio  |  March 26, 2023

Real Estate Guidance

What to Look For When Choosing a REALTOR® to Buy & Sell a Home

Perhaps you’re considering buying a home in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire or Vermont, including Hanover, NH, luxury homes or properties for sale in Lyme, Lebanon, Norwich, Thetford, or Fairlee. Are you wondering how to choose the best person to help you along the way? Maybe you’re interested in selling your home and want a partner with whom you can ask questions and share ideas. REALTORS® provide tremendous value to anyone buying or selling a home, but choosing the right person to partner with is essential.

Ask Questions… Lots of Questions!

The only way to truly understand whether a potential agent is right for you is to ask any number of pointed questions that will shed light on their qualifications and processes. The following thoughts should help you formulate questions to help you make the best decision.


Today's real estate market has brushed aside traditional norms. Sales are down, yet pricing remains stable. Not typical of most markets. To be successful, sellers and buyers must rely on a skilled real estate practitioner who has the perspective of up-and-down markets over many years. A savvy real estate agent knows how to leverage this knowledge to the advantage of their customers and clients. Any qualified agent should be able to communicate their experience in a way that illustrates how it will benefit a buyer or seller.


One of the benefits of working with a veteran real estate agent when selling a home in Hanover, NH or any other Upper Valley town, is that you’ll benefit from their industry connections. The opportunity for real estate agents to connect through networking events or working on transactions together is common. But many agents don't invest the time necessary to create genuine relationships with their network. Ensure your agent can demonstrate the width and breadth of their network and how they plan to use it. 

If you’re shopping for a home in the Upper Valley, your agent may hear about new properties before they officially come onto the market. This gives you a head start on scheduling an in-person showing or preparing an offer if purchasing a home.


You’ll spend a lot of time working with your agent. Therefore, you want to collaborate with someone you connect well with and who you enjoy working with. Don't just limit the interview to how they will conduct their business. Ask them what activities other than real estate they enjoy. You can learn a great deal about someone based on their interests. Ask the agent about their qualifications, experience in the local market, past transactions, and professional connections.

Attention to Detail

Pay attention to how organized the agent is for your meeting. The best agents show up prepared. They should be able to articulate clearly how they will contribute the most value to your home sale or purchase. There is also a tendency for agents to "mail it in" when they are meeting with someone they know well. The belief is that they already have the listing or buyer agency contract. No agent should automatically assume anything.


Your agent should be ahead of local and national real estate market trends. They will use this insight to advise you on how best to market and price your home or to prepare a buyer to make a competitive offer which is critical in this market. They should also know about the area cold where you're selling or buying. As your REALTOR® gets to know you, they should be able to fine-tune their approach to make your sale or search more efficient. After your initial meeting, you should have a good idea of whether the agent truly understands the market in a way that will help you achieve your goals.

Transparency Matters

Most agents understand they won't get far in the industry if they don't carry themselves professionally and with integrity. As you think about which agent you'll work with, look for someone you believe places your interests above all else. It's usually pretty easy to get a feel for an agent's core values after the first conversation or two.

Google The Agent

Don't automatically hire an agent just because they were recommended. The typical seller or buyer will Google an agent that is referred to them by someone they know 85% of the time, and for good reason. You can learn a lot about someone from their online presence. The process will even spark a potential question or two that you may never have occurred to ask. Which leads to…

Interview At Least One Other Agent

It may surprise you to learn how two different agents conduct their business. For instance, ask the agent how they plan to communicate with you…Email, Text, Phone Calls, Zoom? One may prefer to communicate by text only, another via Zoom. What would you do if you hate Zoom or don't want to text? One agent may only conduct digital marketing. Another relys on postcards to market a property. Are you good with that? Dig into their methodology. It can be revealing.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right agent is not as difficult as it may seem. Asking the right questions upfront will help you make (or save) more money during your home transaction and give you peace of mind that you're preparing for the road ahead in the most responsible way possible. Set aside time early in the process to think critically about the agent you'll work with, and you'll thank yourself later on.

Partner with an expert real estate professional

Alan DiStasio
understands how important it is to choose the right agent, and he takes great pride in helping navigate his clients through the process of buying and selling Hanover, NH, luxury homes and real estate throughout the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. He values clear communication and prioritizing the needs of his clients.

Alan built a personal network from connections he has nurtured throughout his 23-year real estate career as an agent and executive leader with organizations in multiple states. His 16-year association with Sotheby's International Realty has produced a personal referral network in excess of 400 associates around the globe. Alan leverages his network to the benefit of his customers and clients whenever the right opportunity presents itself.

 Contact Alan if you have questions about the local market or are ready to move forward with your home sale or purchase. He will be glad to help however he can.

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