Is It Safe To Approach Real Estate Agents For Your Housing Needs?

Finding a new place to live is stressful enough without worrying if the real estate agent you choose to work with is trustworthy. While most real estate agents like Pen Rose Real Estate genuinely want to help their clients find homes that meet their needs and budgets, unfortunately there are some unscrupulous agents out there you’ll want to avoid. So how do you know if it’s safe to work with a real estate agent when looking for a new house or apartment? Here are some tips.

Do Your Research

Don’t just pick the first real estate agent you find or the one with the flashiest online photos. Take the time to research different agents and read reviews from past clients. You can check sites like Zillow or to read client reviews. Google the agent’s name to see if any complaints come up. And ask friends, family members, coworkers, etc. if they have recommendations. A little upfront research goes a long way towards weeding out any shady agents.

Interview Multiple Candidates 

Sit down with three to five candidate agents for in-person interviews before deciding who to work with. This gives you a chance to assess their knowledge, professionalism, and trustworthiness. Make sure to ask how long they have worked in real estate, what their typical clientele is, what their process is for helping buyers find homes, and for references from past buyer clients. Pay attention to how responsive they are, if you feel comfortable with them, and whether your personalities mesh.

Check Credentials

Verify that any potential agent holds an active real estate license and is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors. Being a NAR member signifies agreeing to their Code of Ethics. Also inquire about designations like the Accredited Buyer’s Representative certification. Credentials don’t automatically equal honesty, but they do show a certain level of professional commitment.

Get Recommendations in Writing

If a real estate agent makes any verbal promises or recommendations about properties, financing, inspectors, etc.Always get these types of recommendations in writing rather than just taking someone’s word That creates accountability. And review any written materials thoroughly before signing anything. 

Pay Attention to Red Flags

Some clear warning signs of untrustworthy real estate agents include pressuring you to work with certain lenders, inspectors, contractors etc. for their own financial gain, rushing you to make an offer or sign contracts before you are ready, discouraging you from reading contracts thoroughly or seeking input from others, presenting inaccurate facts about properties or financing, and being difficult to get ahold of.

Consider a Buyer’s Agent

Rather than just working with a traditional agent who may represent both buyers and sellers, you may want to contract with a dedicated buyer’s agent. Buyer’s agents have a legal fiduciary duty to represent the buyer’s interests. They can help negotiate better deals on your behalf and avoid conflicts of interest that sometimes happen when agents work with both buyers and sellers.

Trust Your Instincts

At the end of the day, the most important barometer is your gut check. If your interactions with any real estate agent seem overly sales-y, opaque, rushed or insincere, listen to that little inner voice telling you something may be off. Keep looking until you find an agent who feels like someone you can trust.


The process of finding a home and agent to work with requires doing diligent research and asking lots of questions. But taking these steps will give you confidence that you have found a real estate agent who will honestly look out for your housing needs and best interests. With a trustworthy agent guiding you, your home buying journey will hopefully be smooth sailing.