One of the biggest investments you’ll ever make is a home, and one of the most

important decisions you’ll make when buying or selling is who to work with as your

real estate agent. That’s why it’s essential to take time to find the right person. The

best way to do that is to treat it like a job interview: Find agents and attend open

houses to see how they operate, ask questions, and interview them as though you

were interviewing them for a position (though don’t ask friends and family to

recommend their agents; that can get awkward).

Many of the most effective real estate agents have experience in both buying and

selling homes, but if you want to narrow your search to specific neighborhoods, you

can also focus on the skills that the agent uses to sell homes there. You can learn a

lot about an agent from their online presence, including listings they’ve sold, photos,

reviews and other personal details. Use a site that compiles agent info, such as

NerdWallet’s free Agent Finder tool, to help you compare candidates.

A good listing agent should explain to you how they plan to market your home and

who their target audience is. This should include a discussion of your goals, such as

how many showings you want and the maximum amount of time you’re willing to

have your house on the market.For more info

You’ll also want to consider whether the agent will be working with a team. Teams

can be effective, but make sure you’ll have enough direct access to the agent if

something comes up during the process. Ask each agent how they communicates—

via text, email or phone calls?—and how much they’ll charge for their services.

While it’s important to choose an experienced agent, you should also consider their

personality and communication style, as well as their overall level of customer

service. The most successful agents are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, but

they should also be patient and empathetic with any concerns or frustrations you

may have.

If you’re buying a home, be wary of working with an agent who tells you they have

the best marketing strategy for your particular area, or who tries to push a certain

type of property that you don’t want. A good agent will be able to back up their

claims with facts and statistics, but they’ll also understand your preferences and be

willing to work within them.

A big mistake people often make when choosing a real estate agent is picking the

first person they talk to. As with any job interview, it’s essential to prepare ahead of

time and have a list of questions that you can use to evaluate each candidate. It’s

also a good idea to interview at least three or four potential agents, so you can

compare their experiences and skill sets. Once you’ve found the perfect match, they

can guide you through the home-buying or selling process with ease and success.