Why your Realtor matters

Men shaking hands

You've started looking for a home. It’s an exciting time. But as much as you want to find that perfect house, first you need to find that perfect real estate agent.

It's essential you select a Realtor who matches your personality. You may believe that anyone can do the job, but remember you’ll be with this person throughout the entire home-buying process – an at-times stressful affair.

Finding a real estate agent can be done in a variety of ways, but know there is no one-Realtor-fits-all solution.

You can take recommendations from family and friends or look at a customer satisfaction survey like the one recently released by J.D. Power, but ideally you’ll want to sit down and interview prospective agents yourself.

Your gut feeling about a potential working relationship is often the best way to make your choice.

You should interview several candidates. When you do, be sure to ask lots of questions about experience and about the price range of homes the agent has recently closed. You don't want someone who is new to the industry or someone who has little knowledge about the types of homes you can afford.

After you've found someone with the right mix of experience, you'll need to make sure that person is patient. This might be their 100th transaction, but it's your first.

You also should find someone you genuinely like. You do not want to face daily communication with someone you despise. It makes for an unproductive situation that only causes more stress.

Make sure you are not working under a conflict of interest. While dual agents -- those who work for both sellers and buyers -- do have standards to adhere to, you want to ensure you have a Realtor solely focused on your best interests.

Avoid dual agents who may try and sway your decisions for the betterment of their other clients. Since buying a home is likely the largest financial investment you’ll make in a lifetime, you should never feel pressured into making a decision.

Just because you get fantastic recommendations from your friends, family and co-workers, do your own due diligence before making a commitment. What works for one person may not necessarily be the best choice for you.

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