Whether you are trying to sell a house or buy one, the overwhelming excitement you feel will expectedly last until closing – perhaps even after that. All is not enthusiasm, however, a seller needs to see through the home inspections to make it move-in ready while a buyer needs to have the necessary funds ready in time. It commonly takes an average of 45 days from contract to closing; and although that may seem like enough time to settle everything, it is also usually the most stressful time for all parties involved.

This being said, sellers and buyers opt to hire real estate agents to assist them with the step-by-step process of selling and buying a house. Choosing a suitable agent to work with you can be an arduous task in itself but should never be taken lightly.

Ask for referrals from family and friends

Asking family and friends for a referral is probably the first thing you’d consider when selling or buying a house. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing strategies real estate agents can capitalize on. They are likely to step up their game for a referred client, who can also provide free advertising for them afterwards. More than this, it can give you great peace of mind when your family and friends have already vouched for someone you might be working with.

Do your research and make comparisons

When getting a referral is out of the question, do extensive research on real estate agents available in the area where you’d like to sell or buy a house. It’s then ideal to create a pro and con list so that you can squarely compare the agents’ background and experience, and choose the one that’s most suited to your preferences. Another way you can assess a potential real estate agent is by getting feedback from previous clients. Once again, proving word of mouth as a strong marketing approach.

Gauge knowledge and experience

Ask the real estate agent specific questions that will reveal his/her expertise in the local housing market. You’d want to hire someone who’s selling or buying houses actively and full-time. This is so you can be certain that he/she has the know-how needed to go along with that knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – as many as you’d like or until you can clarify all that is confusing to you. A skillful real estate agent will have no problems with explaining the details or procedures.

Test your compatibility

One crucial factor to take into account is to test your compatibility with the real estate agent. It doesn’t matter if the agent has been strongly referred by a family member or a friend, nor would it be significant that he/she comes with more than 5 years of practice if your personalities, attitudes, and work ethics will clash during the entire time you would be working together. It’s best practice to hire someone who can relate to you in most aspects of the home selling or buying process.

Look for compassion and integrity

Many real estate agents have made it just about the money. What’s worse is pulling a fast one over the clients to make even more money. Presumably two of the best attributes you could ask for in a real estate agent are actual compassion for the job itself, and absolute integrity towards the clients. Someone who’s compassionate will consistently do excellent work while someone who’s honest will always have your best interest at heart.

Enlisting the guidance of a real estate agent was never mandatory but most sellers and buyers still prefer to hire one. Why? It’s because an agent makes the procedures so much easier for both the seller and the buyer! There really is no other reason – at least no other substantial reason.

It’s important to put as much effort into selecting the right real estate agent as you would in selling or buying a house. This will prevent needless, painful stress, and make the overall experience efficient and effortless.