Selling or buying a home can be a challenge. To help you navigate the tricky housing market, you need a professional, reputable real estate agent who can answer questions, help you get the best deal possible in a reasonable time period and negotiate all the final details. Consider these tips for choosing a real estate agent who will work with you, not just for you.

  • Ask around. Talk to your friends and family members about their experiences with different real estate agents. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of working with each, and be sure to check the agent’s online reviews and testimonials.
  • Check the agent’s licensing. Look up your state’s regulatory body to find out if the agent is licensed and if there have been any disciplinary actions or complaints.
  • Look at their listings. Most buyers start their search online, so this is an easy way to check out an agent’s listings and how closely they mirror the type of home you want to buy or sell. This will help you decide whether you and the agent are compatible or not.
  • Interview! Once you’ve narrowed the search down to a few agents, schedule individual meetings with each prospect. Questions to ask include how long the agent has been in the business, why the agent’s plan is the best fit for your needs and what separates the agent from his/her competition.
  • Trust your gut. After doing your research and interviews, it really comes down to one thing: Is the real estate agent you choose competent, trustworthy and likely to deliver what you need? Trust your instincts because the agent you choose will represent you and your home, or help you find a home you’ll live in for years, so hire someone you 100% trust with that responsibility.