Buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s important to find an agent who has the experience and expertise to help guide you through the process. There are a number of ways to connect with an agent, but it’s helpful to interview multiple professionals to find the right match.

Word-of-mouth referrals are a popular way to find an agent, and for good reason. People you trust will share their positive and negative experiences working with an agent, which can give you a sense of how well you might work together. In fact, 40% of buyers and sellers find their agents through a personal connection, according to the National Association of Realtors. Read more

When seeking a referral, it’s important to ask for specifics. How many transactions have they worked on? Did they have any challenges along the way? Did the agent listen to their needs and respond quickly to their questions? The answers to these questions can give you a sense of whether or not an agent might be a fit for your needs.

Another key factor is the agent’s local knowledge of your area. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, you want an agent who knows the neighborhood inside and out. This local knowledge can help them determine an appropriate list price for a seller or help a buyer understand the true value of a home they’re considering.

You can also find out a lot about an agent by reading their online reviews. Check for customer service-oriented comments, as well as any red flags like an agent who isn’t responsive to requests or has a reputation for pushy sales tactics.

Look for an agent with a large number of reviews and, ideally, recent ones. As new technology continues to reshape the real estate industry, an agent’s ratings may not reflect their current performance as accurately as older reviews would.

In addition to evaluating customer reviews, you can also consider an agent’s education and credentials. Many agents complete additional training and have specializations in certain types of property, such as luxury homes or retirement communities. This training can be a valuable asset for clients with unique needs.

Lastly, you can use StreetEasy’s matching tool to connect with vetted real estate agents in your area based on their past client success. Unlike other services that rank agents based on questionable surveys, submitted testimonials or paid rankings systems, our agent match tool uses actual data on home closings to show you which agents are most likely to help you with your goals.

Ready to start the search for your perfect partner? Enter your zip code below to discover a list of local agents with customer ratings and home sales data from previous clients. You can then schedule a meeting with the agent of your choice, or simply ask them a question. StreetEasy Experts are here to help!