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As the saying goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But when you’re hiring a real estate agent, it can be easy to base your decision on things that might seem to matter, even though they aren’t always an accurate gauge, since you probably won’t hire an agent more than a couple of times in your life.

So let’s take a look at 5 things people often take into consideration when hiring an agent, so you can make a more informed decision the next time you do:

1) The car they drive

Real estate agents are often portrayed as driving nice (often expensive) cars, and many do. Some make more than enough money to spend lavishly on a sweet set of wheels that enhances their image, while others can barely afford to, but buy or lease as high-end of a car as they can.

However, a nice car isn’t necessarily an accurate sign of whether or not the agent you’re hiring is a good agent or not. An agent who drives a rather boring, but reliable car, or even a rusty, dented, used one may be a phenomenal agent who can get you the highest price on the sale of your home, or the best deal on the home of your dreams.

2) The number of sales they do in a year

High sales volume is certainly a good sign that an agent is successful, and probably doing pretty well for themself, but that doesn’t mean he or she will necessarily get you the best results possible when buying or selling. An agent who does fewer sales than the local “top producers” may very well be able to give you better service and get you better results.

3) The brand they are with

Just because a company happens to have more for sale signs in the area, more agents, or cool marketing, does not mean you should hire an agent from that company. Hire an agent based upon their skills, not the color of their sign or company logo. An agent with a smaller, lesser known brand in your area may be the best choice for you.

4) How old they are

This can go both ways. If an agent looks too young, you might wonder if they’re old enough to have even bought a house of their own, or gotten much experience in the field. On the other hand, an older agent might be seen as someone who isn’t up on the latest technology. Or, an older one may be presumed to have more experience and sales under their belt, when a younger one actually does. Don’t make a snap judgment based upon how old an agent is. Give them a chance to show you what they know, and how well they can help you buy or sell a house.

5) How many years they’ve been in the business

Experience is certainly an important factor when considering an agent. But just because an agent has been in the business for 17 years doesn’t mean they’re definitely a better agent than the one who’s been an agent for 3 years. Take the amount of years they’ve been in the business into consideration, but don’t make a choice entirely based upon it.