The decision to buy or sell a home is one of the biggest financial moves you’ll make, and you’ll want to hire a real estate agent with the experience and skill set to guide you through the process. But there are a lot of agents out there, and it can be hard to find the right fit for your needs. Here are seven key things to keep in mind when you’re interviewing potential agents.

Ask for Referrals

Word of mouth is the best way to find a real estate agent, and 40% of home sellers get their agent through a personal referral. So start by asking everyone you know who has sold or bought a home in the last few years if they’d recommend their agent. Then follow up with those who recommended their agent with a phone call or email to see how their experience went and what it was like working with them.

Ask About Their Work Experience

Look for an agent who has plenty of local experience, especially in the neighborhood where you plan to buy or sell. The more familiar an agent is with the market, the better they’ll be able to advise you on how much your property will sell for and what to expect during negotiations.

You’ll also want to consider whether an agent is affiliated with a big name brokerage or operates as an independent contractor. While some big brokerages may have more resources to promote their agents, an independent contractor is likely to have a more personalized approach and will be able to provide you with more attention.

Check the Agent’s Online Reviews

Checking online reviews is a great way to gauge an agent’s professionalism and expertise. But beware of any reviews that appear fake or have been paid for—that type of behavior is against the law and could result in an agent being banned from review sites like Yelp and Google My Business. Click here:

Pay Attention to Their Communication Skills

You’ll be relying on your real estate agent for a lot of information, so it’s important that they respond quickly and clearly. If an agent is slow to respond or doesn’t answer your calls or emails, it might be time to move on.

If an agent is trying to steer you in a particular direction or seems overly eager to please, that should be a red flag. They should be a true advocate for you and put your interests first, whether you’re buying or selling.

If you’re ready to start your search for the perfect real estate agent, try Expert Match. We’ll match you with agents who have the right experience and expertise for your unique situation, and you can contact them directly from your Owner

Dashboard. You can even use our mobile app to schedule appointments with several agents at once! And as always, our recommendations are completely free. You can learn more about how Expert Match works here. The agents on our platform cannot pay to be recommended to you, so you can rest assured that they’re all qualified and a good fit for your home.