Most people find a real estate agent by one of the following basic approaches.

By market size.  Agents with a large market share become familiar to you by their shear presence. Buyers and especially sellers are more likely to hire someone they are familiar with and market size creates familiarity. These agents will have their names all over the area on yard signs, ads in the newspaper, on the grocery cart at the neighborhood grocery store, etc. With all that exposure they will become known as a “top agent” and knowledgeable, which is appealing to people. For most people this is enough of a reason to hire someone.

By referral.  Agents grow their business by having people refer new clients to them. They market to their friends and family to find some clients then hope to expand that source over time.

By chance.   A lot of people simply end up with an agent. They weren’t looking for one but they connect with one because of the agent’s marketing. You stop by an open house, call the yard sign, email them from their internet listing, etc. and before you know it they are showing you homes or selling you the one you asked about.

Before you start looking for a home and just end up with an agent recognize how all this works and you will be the one in control. Do you really want to just end up with an agent because you happened to find them at an open house? For that matter the most successful agent with the most name recognition isn’t necessarily the best choice either. Step back and think about what is important and take the time to actually hire an agent and not just end up with one.

The same holds true if you are selling a home. Don’t assume the agent with the most listings or name recognition is your best choice. They may be great at getting listings and their size means they know how to handle a large volume of business. But as a seller you are interested in the outcome of one transaction, yours. Take the time to interview the agent and find the best match.