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Anytime you’re in need of a professional’s services, choosing the right person for the job can be frustrating. When looking for a real estate agent, many people assume one realtor is just as good as the next without giving the matter much thought. That can be a mistake and, down the road, it may cost you time, money, and peace of mind.

Do They Network with Other Business Leaders in the Community?

This is something people don’t often consider, but it can be an important point to consider. Regular communication with other business leaders can give a real estate agent a leg up on getting inside information on changes that may affect the housing market. Also, by speaking with those other business owners, you can get a better grasp on your agent’s reputation. As Morshad Saami Hossain instructs, “What you’re mainly looking out for is if they know other business owners in your area. Those businesses may not have been their clients, but having a relationship of some sort with other business owners will allow your agent to acquire valuable information on what they can do to best serve you as a client.

Are They Local?

This is an extension of the previous point in that it again stresses the importance of networking locally in your area. As Mindy Jensen explains, “If they’ve lived in the area their entire life, they likely know more about it than an agent who has been in the business for years but only recently moved to the region.” If they live and work locally, they can better grasp the issues that concern you, as well as potential buyers and sellers. They also have more knowledge about community details, such as the neighborhoods with the best schools, lowest crime rates, and shortest commutes in order to help you make the best decision.

Ask About the Agent’s Schedule

This should be a primary concern, but not for the reasons you might think. Some agents only work part-time and may work in other professions the rest of the time. This means they may be unavailable to show you homes as soon as they hit the market, risking the possibility that another family will put in an offer before you can even see it. Also, inquire about the agent’s plans for a vacation. Sometimes, an agent may have plans to take a vacation, leaving a colleague to look after his or her clients. While that is a thoughtful gesture, you selected this particular agent for a reason, so do you really want to be passed off to someone with whom you may be completely unfamiliar?

While you may take the time to select your realtor and get to know him or her, you may find your judgment was off, down the road. Or you may come to the conclusion that this real estate agent isn’t quite right to suit your needs, after all. When that happens, don’t be timid about seeking out another individual or voicing your issues. Sure, your agent may be disappointed, but that’s better than sticking with someone who can’t give you the quality of service or the expertise you need. Alternatively, if you speak to your agent, they may better adapt to your needs.