There is no bigger financial transaction you will ever undertake than a home purchase or sale. You know you need to find a good real estate agent, but then things start to get fuzzy. What kinds of things should you look for in a good agent? How will you know if you have indeed found a good agent? Read on to learn more about how to hire the best agent possible.

Go local

You already know that a real estate agent can do a great job of getting your home sold faster and for a better price than you can sell it yourself. They have marketing tools at their disposal that get your home in front of a lot of potential buyers. Or, if you are looking for a home, your agent can narrow down all the homes on the market to just the ones that fit what you want. The best thing to look for in any agent, buyer or seller, is that he or she is locally based. Only someone local truly knows the area.

Finding a local agent means you will have someone who knows the best local shops, which schools are good and which ones you should avoid, and what the morning commute is really like. To find out if you agent is local, ask for a list of the homes he or she has sold recently. You might even want to ask if your agent lives in the area and if so, for how long.

Is your agent used to dealing in houses like yours or like the ones you are interested in? Someone who usually handles large commercial accounts won’t understand residential transactions as well as someone who does nothing but homes in your area.

Get references

You also want to make sure that your agent is a good one. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Any agent who really wants your business will be more than happy to share references and happy clients with you. They should also be newer references, not just ones that the agent knows will be favorable ones.

Find the busy ones

You will want to find an agent who is busy with clients, but not so busy that he or she can’t take care of you appropriately. Most agents have between 5 and 10 clients at a time. You should also look for a full time agent, so you know that when you call you won’t be getting your agent on an off day.

In it to win it?

Some markets have not recovered as well from the housing crash as others. best local financial advisor will want to ask your prospective agent is how long will he or she be willing to represent you should your house not be snapped up quickly. Perhaps a companion question would be to ask what kind of experience your agent has in selling homes in a tough time.