The Valley’s Best Real Estate Agents of 2023

Editorial StaffMay 11, 2023
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Is buying or selling a home on your to-do list in 2023?

Consult this exclusive resource to find the Valley’s highest-performing agents, from brokerage-provided lists of top producers to our annual editorial roundup of the most creative, dependable agents in Greater Phoenix.

Search our Directory for Top Realtors
Search our Directory for Top Realtors

Top 5 Billboard Agents 

These real estate agents march to their own beat – and connect to clients by using their unique brands to stand out from the crowd.

Legally Blonde Realtor Brooke Watton

Watton is an attorney turned agent with a penchant for pink, à la Elle Woods. In addition to her legal know-how, Watton comes from a long line of agents, carrying the mantle of her father and grandfather.

Photo courtesy Brook Watton
Photo courtesy Brook Watton

Mid Mod Realtor Ryan Smith

The postwar building boom birthed a bevy of midcentury modern homes. Realtor, designer and builder Ryan Smith has taken his love for the architectural style and used it to to help connect people to and restore or preserve these historic homes.

Photo courtesy Ryan Smith
Photo courtesy Ryan Smith

Harpist and Home-Seller Adrienne Knauer

An agent with Twins & Co. Realty by day and harpist by night, Knauer doesn’t keep her two pursuits completely separate. She’s been known to host harp sound meditations before kicking off an open house.


Photo courtesy Adrienne Knauer
Photo courtesy Adrienne Knauer

The Tattooed Realtor Justin Mercer

Realtor Justin Mercer may be the Valley’s most recognizable agent – and not just because of the tattoos. Mercer, a one-time teacher and truckdriver, has leaned into punny, pop culture-focused billboards and commercials to market himself and his agency.

Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon

Sister, Sister 

It’s two-for-one when sisters Alin and Meg Khajadorian team up to support their East Valley clients. Their partnership continues on social media, where they lean into viral marketing to provide insight into buying, selling and the real estate market.


Photo courtesy AMK Sister Realtors
Photo courtesy AMK Sister Realtors
Search our directory/database for the Top Agents
Search our directory/database for the Top Agents

To curate this list of the Valley’s top residential real estate agents, we surveyed 25,000 PHOENIX magazine subscribers for their opinions on agents who helped them buy or sell a home – or both – over the past 20 years. Grading the agents in five different practice areas, from closing skills to design knowledge, the respondents also offered written testimonials on the agents in question, many of which are included below. PHOENIX editors evaluated the surveys, added our own candidates to fully represent the geographic and cultural sweep of the Valley, and created a final list. To help you find the right agent, we’ve included the neighborhoods where the agents respectively tend to specialize, but these are only examples. Most agents will work anywhere in the Valley.

Frank Aazami 
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arcadia

The former Top 40 radio pro has a well-earned reputation for genial professionalism and sales tact spanning eight-figure mansions all the way to modest tract homes. Says one client: “Frank and team worked hard to get what I needed in a timely and professional manner. With the uncertainty of the future economy, I was very happy with the end result.”

Celina Acosta
eXp Realty
East Valley, Phoenix,Scottsdale, Tempe

“Despite having several clients, Celina made me feel as though I was her one and only,” says a Valley resident who worked with the bilingual realtor. “She made my first-time homebuying experience a breeze [and brought] the deal across the finish line in an unprecedented, extremely competitive market.”

Jordan Ayan
Launch Real Estate
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree

“Very competent, detailed and accommodating to sellers’ needs!” one client says of the veteran realtor, who has penned four books on real estate. “A distinct pleasure to work with his team.”

Rachel Barkley
Scottsdale, North Phoenix

“Rachel is the best and she truly cares about her clients,” one client says of the 25-year industry vet. “She will always do what is right and/or best for them.”

Jean-Pierre Brietta
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Anthem, North Phoenix, Scottsdale

“Jean-Pierre was readily available throughout the entire process of selling and when buying,” one client says of the 30-year Valley resident and race car enthusiast. “[He] was creative on financing suggestions and also leveraging sale of houses.”

Steve Caniglia 

North Central Phoenix, Paradise Valley

Like any good Italian kid, Caniglia is loyal to his mom – which is why he joined her Shelly Caniglia real estate group in 2004, helping drive lifetime sales north of $600 million. “Steve is incredible to work with and brings such a high level of industry knowledge and expertise to the process,” says one client.

Judy Casiano 
Launch Real Estate

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek

“Judy is the best of the best! She’s sweet and kind but knows how to make a deal – a bulldog in lipstick! Her knowledge of the industry is outstanding. I cannot say enough wonderful things about her.”

Marilyn Cavanaugh
The Agency AZ
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arcadia

Named the 2020 No. 1 Agent/MVP at The Agency AZ (along with husband and partner Jim Cavanaugh) and recognized in 2019 and 2021 by the Scottsdale Women’s Council of Realtors for Top Units Sold, Cavanaugh “has thorough knowledge of the best single-family homes in the most prestigious areas,” according to one client. 

Anthony Celaya
Keller Williams Realty
Chandler, Tempe

“Anthony helped me find the perfect house toward the end of the pandemic, when the market had limited inventory. He went above and beyond to provide insights at every step of the homebuying process,” a satisfied client says. “His extensive knowledge and expertise are what got my offer accepted and I could not recommend him more!”

Vincent Clark
Marketplace One Realty
Deer Valley, North Phoenix, North Scottsdale, Southeast Valley

“Vincent is very in tune with the current market,” says one recent client. “He took to heart everything we desired in a home and far exceeded our expectations in every way, from walking us through the process [to] working with our lender, negotiating on our behalf and successfully closing on both our homes on the same day. You will not be disappointed.”

Kimberly Cocuzza
Phoenix, Scottsdale, Prescott

“Absolutely the best realtor we have ever dealt with!” enthuses one client of the New River resident, who also reps sellers and buyers in her native California. “Sold our house very quickly and was so knowledgeable! Would highly recommend her to everyone!”

Walt Danley
Walt Danley Christie’s
Scottsdale, Phoenix, Paradise Valley

“I never pull the trigger on any real estate purchase in any state without running it by Walt,” one client says of the Valley realty vet and his namesake agency. “He has experience and skills I have never seen, [and] his experience and integrity permeate his agents.”

Marie De Leon
Central Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe

Formerly the branch manager at Dan Schwartz Realty, De Leon describes herself as an aggressive negotiator. “I was able to close on my 2021 sale and subsequent purchase on the same day because of [her] expertise and waiver of property appraisal on my purchased home.”

KC DeMaree
eXp Realty
West Valley, Southeast Valley, Phoenix

“KC stands out among all the agents I know because she lives and breathes real estate,” a client says. “She is an investor herself and helps her clients make data-driven, fully informed decisions. And even better, she makes the process fly by with her fun personality!”

Stacy Dragos
Century 21
West Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale

The NAU graduate’s impressive résumé includes Teacher of the Year in the Deer Valley Unified School District and a No. 1 ranking among Century 21 agents in 2021. “She takes on all the heavy loading and makes the process so simple and laid-back. Overall, I will never use another realtor again. 100 percent recommended.”

Frank DiMaggio
Launch Real Estate
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, North Valley

The repeat PHOENIX Top Agent (and third cousin of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio) boasts three-year sales totaling more than $150 million, with a 90-percent sales batting average that places him in the top echelon of Paradise Valley agents, according to 

Jasmine Downing
eXp Realty
West Valley, Laveen, Chandler

“It was a pleasure working with Jasmine. She was personable as well as thorough and concise when it came to addressing any concerns that arose. She is top-notch in every aspect, and I would definitely recommend and/or work with her again.”

Christie Giannetto
REAL Broker
Surprise, West Valley

“Christie not only excels in her expertise, she has a network of professional resources when needed and goes above and beyond with her clients and contributions to the community. She is truly invested in making her community a better place.”

Vikki Gorman
Realty Executives
Chandler, Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale 

The former Miss Yuma and three-time PHOENIX Top Agent “went above and beyond to help us find our home,” according to one client. “She was persistent with the other realtors and worked constantly. She is great about her communication and always made us feel like a top priority!”  

Trevor Halpern 

North Phoenix, Downtown, Southeast Valley, Scottsdale

North&Co.’s No. 1 independent agent for two consecutive years is also the CEO of Halpern Residential Group and holds a law degree from Arizona State University. “We worked with Trevor to buy our first home and I would rate the experience 6/5 stars if I could,” one client says.

Matt Huff
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International
North Phoenix, Scottsdale

“Matt was fantastic! He was happy to answer all of our questions (and there were a lot), was easy to get ahold of and was great with communicating throughout the whole process. [He went] above and beyond to help us with things that aren’t typically the responsibility of a realtor, even after we have moved into the house.”

Laura Jewett
Platinum Living Realty
Phoenix, Scottsdale, East Valley

The 20-year industry pro and three-time PHOENIX Top Agent is known to have keen negotiating skills and ample handyman contacts. “When my husband and I moved to back to Arizona six years ago, Laura… quickly understood what kind of house we were looking for in our budget. I was so impressed with her deep knowledge of the housing market.”

Lisa Jones
Realty One Group
Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek

East Valley specialist holds the e-Pro and CSSN (Certified Short Sale Negotiator) designation and graduated from Thunderbird School of Global Management. “My home had been on the market for two years with another agent,” a client says. “There were a few challenges, but Lisa was able to find solutions and got the house sold within a few months.” 

Jay Jordan
Engel & Völkers
Phoenix, Scottsdale

“Jay is a phenomenal agent! We own our own home as well as invest in real estate [and] have worked with many agents in the past. None come close to the expertise/experience Jay has to offer. We’ve actually been asking him to get licensed in other states just so we can branch out of Phoenix without a different agent.”

Tim Klimek
Keller Williams Realty Elite
West Valley, Verrado

“Always honest, reassuring and extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of his industry,” one client says. “Years later, he still answers our calls immediately and is a reliable source for any trade people to do work on our home, or even a good place to eat!”

Shelly Lane
Launch Real Estate
North-Central Phoenix, historic neighborhoods, Biltmore, Arcadia

“Shelly is not only an expert on market conditions, but she was patient, informative and compassionate throughout my entire first-time homebuying process. She is one-of-a-kind as a professional, mentor and human being.”

Joan Lebigot
West USA Realty
West Valley, North-Central Phoenix, Northern Arizona

The West Valley specialist recently expanded her service reach, including the cooling pine forests of Northern Arizona. “Joan was instrumental in finding us our home. If it wasn’t for her persistence and research, we would not be where we are today.”

Joan Levinson 
Realty One Group

Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale, Arcadia

Nationally ranked as one of “America’s Best Realtors, 2020” (Newsweek), the luxury specialist “has consistently demonstrated a remarkable blend of insight, character and tenacity,” according to one repeat client. “It is rare to find someone in her profession who is equally committed to completing transactions with both fearlessness and integrity.”

Catherine C Lewis
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s
Shea and Cactus corridor, Greater Scottsdale

“Catherine provides exemplary service. [She and business partner Joshua Shaver] are responsive, listen carefully [and] go above and beyond to make the selling process easier and the buying process more tolerable. Also, Catherine has the patience of a saint.” 

Bobby Lieb
Launch Real Estate
North-Central Phoenix, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, Arcadia

“Bobby makes the entire process a joy!” one client says of the North-Central specialist. “He is extremely skilled at his trade and possesses the unique ability to make all parties happy and satisfied. He listens.”

Monica Manning
Epic Home Realty
Peoria, Glendale, West Valley

A repeat Top Agent and top producer at Epic, Manning “was very helpful and knowledgeable when I was new to Phoenix and looking for property,” one client says. “She was very easy to get along with and kept me informed throughout the whole process and still keeps in touch with me.”

Matthew McKenney
Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Southeast Valley 

The Valley real estate vet owned multiple RE/MAX offices before joining Greg Hague at 72SOLD. “Matthew always returned our calls and follow-ups… within minutes, never left us wondering if he would call us back. Loved his attention to detail, and his customer service was first-rate.”

Jonathan Miller 
Realty Executives

Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak, East Valley

“Along with having all the experience and knowledge you’d look for, Jonathan is patient and accommodating through the home-search days and is genuinely invested in finding the right property or buyer for his clients.”

Denise Monteforte
Realty Executives
Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley

“Denise is one of best realtors out there,” one client says of the certified relocation specialist. “She listens to you and optimizes your time by showing you only homes within your parameters. She is knowledgeable about construction, and she makes the buying experience enjoyable.”

Brian North
Arcadia, Paradise Valley

At his eponymous brokerage, North “priced and sold our home in the Biltmore area quickly,” according to one client. “He knows the Arcadia/Biltmore area and understands what price point you can get. The photos his team took were amazing and contributed to the quick sale. We couldn’t say more about the professionalism and ease with which we sold our house.”

Debbie Pontikas
Cave Creek, Carefree, Phoenix, Scottsdale

“Smart and knowledgeable in the field and great with negotiation and handling everything through completion” is how one client describes the Rice University MBA and one-time stationery shop owner. 

Terry Radigan
Cave Creek, North Scottsdale

“Even after three years of buying and selling with Terry, he sends us updates on recalls if necessary. He also sends us current market trends and what the needs of a house are by month… i.e., heating, cooling, pool, construction. Amazing! Highly recommended.”

Jean Ransdell
Coldwell Banker Realty
Scottsdale, North Valley

“Jean is very thorough, knowledgeable and personable. She’s been in the industry for over 15 years and her expertise is some of the best out there! Hands down, she’s the agent you want on your side.”

Sindy Ready
RE/MAX Excalibur
Phoenix, Scottsdale

“I am picky. I change my mind a lot, and we often needed her cool head and knowledge to keep us on track,” says one client of the 25-year industry vet. “I have referred her a lot and my friends have always been thrilled at her professionalism.”

Brock Rideout
Dana Hubbell Group
Tempe, East Valley

The ASU business major was “very helpful in preparing our home for sale, advising us on updates to make and staging,” says a client. “And [he showed] great skill in advising our nephew in his first home purchase.”

Brandon Rogeness
HomeSmart Lifestyles
Phoenix, North Valley, Wickenburg, Paradise Valley, Peoria 

The native Midwesterner is bilingual and brings panache to the job – as evidenced by designer glasses and distinctive patterned blazers. Between making luxury sales, he also produces TikTok videos about realtor life. 

Mario Romero
The Melcher Agency
Central Phoenix

“Mario and his team are amazing. They’re so knowledgeable when it comes to the Valley. I love the Downtown area, and he and his team know it like the back of their hand. Working together has been great and I highly recommend!”

Peggy Sala
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Scottsdale, Mesa

“Highly experienced, excellent marketing plan and follow-up,” summarizes one client. “[She’s] also a skilled negotiator with a clear read of market conditions, daily communications and immediately responds… the best agent I have encountered in my 67 years of using agents.” 

Lauren Sato
West USA Realty
East Valley, Phoenix

“Above and beyond, extremely thorough,” says one client of the “Top 1% Arizona REALTOR” Tempe native. “[She] understands the market and is meticulous with every aspect of the selling process. I highly recommend Lauren!”

Rebekka Schwegler
RE/MAX Fine Properties
North Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree

“We have bought and sold numerous properties in several states over the last 20 years, [and] Rebekka stands out as incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of her business,” says one client of the Switzerland native, who speaks German and French fluently. “She’s an excellent negotiator and well-connected.”

Susan Seiber
eXp Realty
East Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix

“Susan has been such a pleasure to work with! Even almost three years out, she’s my go-to gal for any questions that we have. [We’re] so blessed to have a 30-plus year relationship with Susan.”

EJ Tallman 
Realty One Group

East Valley, Ahwatukee

“EJ is the most knowledgeable realtor I have ever known in the 44 years I have been purchasing properties. She listens to her clients’ needs and desires and adeptly directs them to the most appropriate properties for them. She couldn’t do that without exceptional knowledge of the entire Valley real estate market and the ever-changing mortgage industry.”

Dana VanDeman
Realty One Group
Goodyear, West Valley, Phoenix

“Dana is the best realtor in Arizona… We’ve had nine purchase or sale transactions in three states, and Dana is by far the best realtor we’ve come across. She showed us over 100 houses when we bought without complaint, indicating our happiness was her priority.”

Pamela Vega
Ahwatukee, Avondale, East Valley, Laveen

“Pam was great. She found us the perfect home for us to winter in. Even though we were 1,200 miles away, she worked tirelessly to have several homes ready for us to preview several times a week.”

Darwin Wall
Realty One Group
Chandler, Gilbert, East Valley

Besides closing deals, the East Valley specialist raises awareness and money for breast cancer with his annual Save 2nd Base Pub Crawl. “Darwin helped me purchase my first home in the beginning of 2023. It was painless the entire way through and [he] really held my hand through this process.”

Read the PDF version of the Top Real Estate Agents