Choosing the right real estate agent for you can make all the difference in how quickly and successfully your home sale or purchase goes down. But not every agent is created equal, and it can be difficult to find the right fit.

It’s crucial to have a clear picture of what you want in your next home before you start shopping around for agents, says Kauffman. Then, you can focus on the important things and eliminate the agents who don’t match your needs.

A real estate agent’s expertise is one of the most important factors in picking an agent, according to Davis. Ask each agent you’re interested in about their work history and experience, as well as the strategies they employ to sell homes.

Check to see if they have the necessary licenses and certifications. If they do, they have met the legal requirements to sell real estate in your area. Learn more

If your agent doesn’t have the proper certifications, it could be a red flag that they don’t know what they’re doing or aren’t committed to their profession. It also can be a sign that they’re not trustworthy and will try to take advantage of you.

You’ll want to check to see if they have any complaints filed against them with the state or local authorities. These may include licensing issues, complaints about a particular agent’s tactics or ethics, or allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty.

Another important thing to do is ask each agent how many sales they’ve closed in the past year. This can give you a good idea of their work ethic and success rates.

It’s also important to check if your agent has any conflict of interest. For instance, if your agent is a listing agent on a home you’re considering buying, they may be able to get you to pay a higher commission than you would have otherwise. This is known as dual agency, and it can be a major conflict of interest.

A big red flag is if your agent pushes you into signing an exclusive right to represent agreement. These agreements are extremely uncommon in NYC, where buyers’ agents typically compete with each other to help their clients buy or sell a home.

Your agent’s ability to negotiate on your behalf is a huge factor in determining whether or not you’re happy with the results of your transaction. Having the best negotiation skills can save you thousands of dollars and help you secure your dream home. Click here

If you’re buying a home, your agent is the person who will help you locate properties to view, contact the listing agent, arrange for a showing, negotiate your offer, and guide you through closing. They also may be able to connect you with lenders and other professionals to help you close the deal.

The most important step in selecting a real estate agent is to choose someone you can trust and who will look out for your best interests. If you’re not confident in the choice, consider finding a referral from an old friend or relative who has had a positive experience with them.