15 Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

May 14th, 2024

Selling | Buying
15 Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

What are the best skills that every real estate agent should have? Here are 15 skills necessary for a real estate agent to ensure that they have what it takes to buy or sell your home.

When finding the right real estate agent, you want to ensure they have what it takes to help you buy or sell your home. You will also want to identify whether they possess the qualities of a high-level professional in the field. 

Real estate agents should possess certain qualities that will benefit their clients. An Exceptional real estate agent is well rounded and has developed and honed their skills to advocate for their clients best. Not only should your agents advocate for their clients, but they should also act as their advisors.

Here are the top 15 skills every real estate agent should have

1. Communication

Communication is a paramount skill every real estate agent must have, especially when meeting new people. You will want an agent in your corner who is quick to respond and keep you aware of what is happening every step of the way.

There are a lot of moments when buying or selling a house where you will need and expect your agent to be responsive to you and to the others involved in a real estate deal. This includes communicating with the other agent on the other side of the agreement and with the closing attorneys, lenders, inspectors, and vendors.

Photo of a laptop on wood desk with phone notepad and tablet with black pen and three white notecards

Every real estate agent should have excellent communication skills to keep you, the client, aware of what is happening and act as a liaison on your behalf. They will be able to communicate with you to keep all parties informed every step of the way and ensure a successful and smooth transaction.

2. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is an absolute must-have skill for every real estate agent. Let's face it: we all hope things will go smoothly without any problems arising.

Many times, unexpected things might come up that we couldn't foresee. Any seasoned real estate agent will be ready and armed with plans A, B, C, and D to account for any change while working with them. 

Problems could range from inspection reports reflecting a significant defect to unforeseen lending issues, appraisals coming in lower than anticipated, surveys coming back with an easement or encroachment that wasn't discovered prior, and perhaps your home has yet to receive any offers despite being on the market for over 30 days. 

These are all situations that could arise, and your real estate agent will be armed with the resources and skills to solve problems and find a solution that will ensure they can still get you to the closing table.

3. Negotiation

Whether you're interviewing a listing or a selling agent, you will want to get a clear picture of your real estate agent's negotiation skills. Negotiation skills are essential on either side of a real estate transaction.

Your listing agent will want to negotiate on your behalf to get the highest possible purchase price. The goal for your listing agent is for you to make the most money on your home as possible.

Two hands shaking with contract below

Your seller's agent will negotiate on your behalf to "win the house." They will run comps, give you offer recommendations, and negotiate so you pay the price you are most comfortable with for your future home.

Additionally, if items show up on your inspection report, they will negotiate to either have the sellers agree to make repairs or give you credit at closing so that you can make the repairs on your own.

4. Time Management

Time management is essential for any professional, especially your real estate agent. Real estate agents work at all hours of the day, and often, time is of the essence. You want to be sure your agent can show you the home when you need to see it, write the offer, or even pick up the phone when you have questions. 

5. Local Knowledge

For some buyers and sellers, having an agent who is well-versed in what is happening in the micro markets locally will be very valuable. You will want to know what is happening in that specific area, and if you're moving from out of state or outside of the area, you may want to know specifics that only a local moving to Raleigh would know.

For example- what gyms are in the area? What is the shopping like? Are there parks and places for my children to do activities locally? What are the best restaurants?

In addition to lifestyle, you will want your agent to be able to articulate how the housing market performs year after year in that area. Understanding this will be important as you consider the possibility of resale.

6. Active Listening

When you're looking to buy or sell your next home, you will want to be sure that your agent knows and understands your wants and needs. The realtor will ask the buyer questions. It will be paramount to put your goals at the forefront of this process, and that will all start with an agent who listens to you and what you need. 

Photo of hand cupped around ear and another person speaking into ear of another

When we often want to buy or sell our homes, there is a reason that catapults us into this life change. There will be a lot of money on the line, and it's important to know that your agent is listening and asking you the right questions to get the best understanding of what you're looking for.

7. Persistence

You will want to make sure that your agent advocates for you. Persistence is key. Many times, especially when negotiating with the other side of a real estate transaction, you will need an agent who constantly communicates on your behalf. You will want to see that when you have questions, your real estate agent will go to great lengths to get you the answers you need. 

8. Marketing Skills

Marketing is an integral quality of any great real estate agent. Especially for a listing agent. You will want to be sure that your agent knows how to market your home to sell by taking good real estate photos and not just listing the property. There are so many avenues that real estate agents should take advantage of to ensure that they are reaching the most buyers in the buyer pool in your current market. 

Be sure to take a peek at their social media pages when you are interviewing your agent. Pay attention to their activity and see if you can find evidence that they will leverage their social media to market their listings.

Additionally, many agents today will use their social media to market to clients looking to educate themselves on all things related to the real estate market in their area.

Maybe they will post about what is happening in their area. They may talk about favorite hotspots, things to do on the weekend, home renovation tips, and vendor recommendations. Most importantly, you will want to see in their daily marketing habits that they have their finger on the pulse regarding the real estate market in your area. 

9. Patience & Empathy

There are many times when you will face disappointment in real estate. It will be essential to have an agent who will be patient with you and your family as you look to buy or sell a home. Finding an agent willing to understand when disappointment arises and show empathy will allow you the space you need to process when things don't go your way. 

Losing out on the house because there was a better offer can devastate some buyers in the market for a home. As much as we try not to allow our emotions to get ahead of ourselves, it is sometimes difficult to do so. You will want to make sure that if and when those moments happen, you have an agent who cares and will be there to help you navigate after the loss. 

10. Teaching

Some may not know or be aware of this, but for many newbies dipping their foot into the real estate waters for the first time, you will want an agent who will advocate for you, advise you, and teach you. There are so many aspects to real estate that are constantly changing, so make sure that your agent is explaining and teaching you everything you need to know and be aware of along the way. 

Word teach with pink highlighter highlighting the text

11. Ethics

This is often seen as a hot topic in any profession. Honestly, loyalty and integrity are all qualities that you will want to be sure your agent possesses before you hire them to represent you. You want to be able to put your trust that your agent is putting your interests above their own.

Ethically, you want to be sure that no lines will ever be crossed. Unfortunately, as in any profession, there are times when this may not be the case. Any great real estate agent will play by the rules and always follow the NAR's code of ethics.

Confidentiality is just one piece of the code of ethics that should always be taken seriously. You will develop a trusting relationship with your agent seamlessly when you have an agent with an excellent moral compass who will also follow the code of ethics they are expected to uphold as a member of the National Association of Realtors

12. Tech Savviness

The real estate world is continually changing when it comes to technology. Your agent must be well-versed in all e-sign platforms to get contracts signed and paperwork moving along for all parties involved. Additionally, they must navigate the various social media platforms and local MLS software seamlessly.

This is necessary for any great real estate agent, so pay attention. Suppose you have an agent who needs help with the technology side of this profession. In that case, they will not be able to help you gain the information you need, market your property correctly, or get your offer signed, sealed, and delivered promptly. 

13. Resilience

When faced with any loss in this industry, you must ensure that your agent keeps you moving forward. Think of it as having a cheerleader in your corner.

Sure, there will be times when it may be difficult to accept the loss, whether a deal falls through due to financing or you were outbid on a home that you were envisioning raising your family in for years to come. Your agent will be there to act as your safety net. Having someone who will remain upbeat and face any challenge with extreme resilience is always important. 

14. People Skills

Real estate is a relationship-based industry. This doesn't just mean a relationship between the agent and the client. It also means you will want someone with good communication and people skills when they advocate for you on your behalf to the agents on the other side of a transaction and various other professionals, including attorneys, lenders, inspectors, and vendors.

This should be a red flag if your agent needs to possess stellar people skills. Your agent will need to show that they are willing to work with all different sorts of personalities and move fluidly through the process without letting personalities clash, which could, in turn, get in the way of your personal home buying or selling experience. 

15. Networking Skills

Similar to having great people skills, you will want to ensure that your agent lives a lifestyle where they are constantly out in front of people, networking and following up with clients. The more exposure your agent has to other professionals and clients in the real estate field, the more access you will have to resources that you may need during your home buying or selling process. 

Small wooden people with arrows connecting them

An Exceptional real estate agent will work this into their weekly duties and often plan their calendar to ensure they consistently schedule proactive networking activities. Remember, the more your real estate agent networks, the more they learn how to improve their services for you as their client. 


We have used data from the National Association of Realtors, Forbes, and Investopedia to determine the 15 skills that every real estate agent should have.


What type of skills do I need to be a real estate agent? 

Your real estate agent's essential skills should include good communication, excellent negotiation skills, ethical practices, and sharp time management skills, to name a few. Your needs as the client should always be taken care of and of the utmost importance. 

What is a complex skill in real estate?

The ever-changing market is one of the biggest challenges that real estate agents will face. One of the most important skills for agents to possess is keeping their finger on the pulse and keeping up with all of the changes we are seeing in the marketplace.

What is the most important for a real estate agent?

For any great real estate agent, the most important aspect is to ensure that their clients are happy with the work they have done. 

How hard is it to be successful in real estate?

It takes a lot of work to be a successful real estate agent. You will need to be very organized and understand that. The paycheck is all commission-based. You may go weeks or months until the next check, which can be challenging for many real estate agents.

Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Have- Final Thoughts

As you can see, many qualities and skills are essential to identifying a great real estate agent. Be sure to ask all the questions you need while interviewing to buy or sell your next home. 

If you want to buy or sell real estate in Raleigh, contact our agents at Raleigh Realty. We are happy to help.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!

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