7 Things to Expect When Working with a Real Estate Agent

by | BiggerPockets.com

Good deals are the foundation of becoming a good real estate investor. There are many different methods of finding deals, but using an agent is still the way the majority of real estate is purchased—and it’s also the safest.

For those reasons (and several more), an agent can be an incredibly valuable addition to your team.

But there are some things you need to know about working with one before you jump in. Understanding the key aspects of a real estate agent’s job will vastly improve your relationship, in addition to your chances of becoming a successful investor.

Related: 7 Signs of a BAD Real Estate Agent

What to Expect When Working with an Agent

In the video above, I discuss seven things to expect when working with an agent.

I’m a firm believer that the more you know about someone else’s job, the easier you can make it for them to help you.

I love finding deals through an agent and think more investors should utilize them. It’s my preferred method, because I firmly believe it makes the whole process easier.

Have you ever worked with an agent? Would you recommend doing so to other real estate investors?

Let’s discuss below in the comments.

About Author

David Greene

David Greene is a former police officer with over nine years of experience investing in real estate that includes single family, multifamily, and house flipping. David has bought, rehabbed, and managed over 35 single family rental properties, owns shares in three large apartment complexes, and flips houses. He also owns notes and shares in note funds. A nationally recognized authority on real estate, David has been featured on CNN, Forbes, and HGTV. Now the co-host of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast, David has a passion for teaching and helping others grow wealth through real estate. In 2016, David started the "David Greene Team" and became the CEO of the top producing Keller Williams East County team as well as the top producing real estate agent. The author of Long Distance Real Estate Investing and Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat, David has won several awards including second place for real estate book of the year awarded by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (Long Distance Real Estate Investing).


  1. Nina Grayson

    You Nailed it on the Head, Dave! Every point is spot on! I work with Investors and I am an Investor, and as an Agent, I need Investors to provide their specific criteria up-front, but I find it challenging because many Investors don’t know what that means – they’ll just give me PP, Area, preferred ROI. I’ve spent several back and forth emails getting all other answers. So, I created an REI Criteria Form on my website that I fill out or have them fill out.

    The other point that I applaud you fro including is regarding agent payments. Most investors don’t want to pay the agent, and while it is true that the Buyer does not pay, when the Investor is read to sell, they do, but they always want the lowest possible commission rate. But what Investors don’t understand is that it takes time to find deals, research the property, assess the market for projected value, etc. All of that is on the buy side. The sell side requires a lot more work to market a property, which incurs expenses. And the agent has to pay their brokerage fees as well. So, agent commissions are the gross income, their net income is much lower after all of the costs associated with representing a client. It’s great that you suggest a bonus to the agent when they find a great deal for an Investor.

    I would add that Investors should never try to pretend to be retail buyers to get agents to search for them. I’ve run into a few of these who tell some sob story about family to get me to tell them ‘inside scoop’ or to setup searches for them only so they can go do the rest of the work and keep the me out of the loop. It’s shady and stinky. Be an Investor of integrity and honesty, and utilize agents because they do give you more than what you can find on your own, given the access they have to records and networks of resources. Keep it a win-win with your agent!

    • Katie Rogers

      On the other hand, in my community the median sale price of a house is about 3 times more than in most other parts of the country. However, it takes the same amount of work from the agent. Why should agents in my community deserve three times more for doping the same work? The commission system is terrible.

      Even worse, buyer’s agents rarely fulfill their fiduciary duty to their buyers. The justify themselves by narrowly defining the buyer’s interest as getting the buyer to close on a property. A moment’s reflection shows that closing a bad deal is in the agent’s interest, not the buyer’s interest. Buyer’s pay (Yes, buyers-because both commissions come from the buyer’s funds) thousands of dollars for their agents expertise. However, what they usually get for all the money is largely nothing but someone to unlock the door.

      Buyers who find themselves in a dual agency situation because it turns out their agent works for the same broker as the seller’s agent will soon learn that they have no real representation at all.

  2. James Gorman IV

    Katie Rogers is spot on! I’ve unfortunately have had the opportunity of experiences with several agents and brokers that “Do not have a clue about Real Estate values or client service processes” many are only ” Good folks well met; in need of some real world experience, business, tax and investing education.”

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