The real estate agent you choose to work with is a critical partner during one of the

most financially significant and stressful parts of your life. The right agent can make

the process smooth and efficient. However, not all agents are created equal. You

should take some time to select the best possible agent for your needs.

When looking for an agent, start by asking for referrals from people who have

bought or sold homes recently in your area. Ask about the experience they had with

the agent and whether they would recommend them. Also, check out online reviews.

Both local and national review websites are good places to start your search.

You should also find out how long an agent has been in business and see if they

have a track record of closed deals, both sales and listings. Check their website or

social media for this information, as well as how many transactions they’ve

completed in your price range.

If they have a lot of recent listing activity, it’s a good sign that they’re active in the

market. Also, if they’re selling a property in your neighborhood, that’s another

positive sign.

Once you’ve gotten some referrals and done your research, meet with a few

potential agents to discuss your needs and what they can offer. Ask questions about

their background and training, and be sure to discuss commission rates. Also, find

out if they have any specialties or niches that they focus on and what their expertise

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Interviewing agents in person can be helpful because you’ll get a feel for their

personality and communication style. Some agents are more hands-on, while others

prefer to communicate via phone or text. Some even have part-time jobs or rely on

assistants to handle their clients. Make sure you and your agent are on the same

page about how you’ll communicate, and that they understand your expectations.

You should also look for an agent with a strong network and who knows the

neighborhoods you’re interested in buying or selling. This is particularly important in

highly competitive markets like New York City or San Francisco.

It’s always a good idea to avoid family members or friends as your real estate agent.

Not only does this put you at an emotional disadvantage, but it can also be a major

conflict of interest. For example, if your aunt’s daughter is an agent and you’re in

the market to buy a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side, that could be a