Buying or selling a home is one of the most significant and stressful financial

decisions you will make in your life. A good real estate agent can make a big

difference in the process. The agent you choose will be your partner for a substantial

amount of time and it’s important to find an agent that fits your needs.

Getting a personal recommendation is one of the most effective ways to find a real

estate agent. Ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors who have recently

bought or sold homes for recommendations. Make sure to get the full story – the

good, the bad and the ugly – so you can determine if they’re a fit for your personality

and situation. Also read

Once you have a list of agents with referrals, start interviewing them. Make sure to

ask about their work style, availability and communication preferences. Also, find

out if they specialize in a particular type of property or neighborhood.

If you’re a buyer, pay special attention to the agent’s knowledge of the

neighborhoods where you are considering purchasing. A good agent should be able

to tell you about the schools, crime rates and other important factors that influence

home values.

Buyers should also find out if the agent has specialized credentials, such as

certifications for working with seniors and military members or a designation for

luxury properties. Also, buyers should find out how much they charge for their


For sellers, a good agent should have a clear understanding of the home-selling

process and how to position your property to sell quickly for the best price. They

should be able to explain the current market trends in your area and recommend

strategies for pricing your home. They should also be able to answer any questions

you have about the local market, including how long the average home stays on the


Both buyers and sellers should find out how often the agent communicates with

clients. A good agent should be responsive to emails and text messages, so you can

reach them at your convenience. They should also be able to tell you about recent

sales in your area and give you an idea of what similar homes are selling for.

It’s important to remember that real estate agents are human and no one is perfect.

If an agent has a few negative reviews, don’t be discouraged. However, if you notice

patterns of behavior that raise red flags, such as being difficult to work with or not

communicating well, it’s probably best to keep looking. You want an agent who will

be your best advocate when it comes to negotiations and closing a deal. You should

never have to wait more than a few days for an agent to return your phone call or

respond to a text. The last thing you want is an agent who gives you false

expectations or unrealistic goals about the sale of your home.