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When it comes to buying a house, there is a myriad of decisions you need to make. You have to consider your budget, the neighborhood, and how much money you may need to use for remodeling. One of the most important decisions you make, though, will be choosing the right real estate agent. The right real estate agent will make your home buying experience smooth and easy. On the other hand, picking the wrong real estate agent can make the experience much more frustrating. Below are some of the ways you can be sure to select the right real estate agent for you.

Recent Clients

Talking to a real estate agent’s past clients is one of the best ways to find out whether you should work with a particular agent. Most real estate agents are willing to provide potential customers with a list of customers from the past year. You can speak to past clients and compare their asking prices with their sale prices. It’s also helpful to know how long their homes were on the market.

Licensing

It’s a good idea to make sure your potential agent is properly licensed. Most states have boards that license and discipline agents. You’ll likely be able to find this information online if you do some research.

Consider Their Awards

Awards are signs of success—especially if they are given by fellow real estate agents. One particular award to look out for is “Realtor of the Year” which is given by the National Association of Realtors.

Pay Attention To Credentials

Many agents have letters like CRS or ABR after their names. These letters represent additional training that the agent has acquired. (CRS means Certified Residential Specialist and ABR means Accredited Buyer’s Representative.) The additional education that your agent gained may benefit your home search, so take the time to look into agents’ specialties.

Look For Experience

In general, the more experience an agent has the better he or she will be at finding or selling your home. Don’t be afraid to ask an agent how long she has been helping customers. While experience is important, keep in mind that other factors like familiarity with the neighborhood where you plan to buy are important to consider as well.

Listings

The easiest way to find an agent’s listings is by doing an online search. Before agreeing to work with an agent, make sure that she is comfortable using the internet. Today most buyers begin their house search online, so an online presence is very important. An agent’s listings will also give you an idea of the overall health of their business.