Competence, efficiency and ethics. According to the All America’s Real Estate Book by Carolyn Janik and Ruth Rejnis, good agents take the time to qualify buyers and show properties in their price range. They plan showing routes carefully and have pre-inspected most properties. They have a thorough knowledge of financing options, are up on the latest housing trends, and share with prospective buyers data on the local housing market and home sales. Good agents also adhere to a strict code of ethics. They avoid high-pressure sales tactics, refrain from showing properties that do not fit your needs or goals and alert you to problems about the condition of the property. And they show respect for other agents and real estate firms by not “bad mouthing” them.