The right real estate agent can help you buy or sell a home faster and more smoothly. But how do you know who is the right person for the job? It all starts with a good personality match. When meeting with potential agents, look for someone who is punctual, pays attention to details and truly cares about the needs of their clients.

When it comes to real estate, one small detail can be the difference between closing a deal and going back to the drawing board. Agents need to be able to anticipate and address issues that arise during the transaction process, and often, these problems can come from nowhere. So it’s important that you work with an agent who is detail-oriented, organized and can think on their feet.

A real estate agent isn’t just a salesperson — they are a trusted adviser who can guide you through the entire homebuying or selling process, from beginning to end. This means they have a deep understanding of the market and can help you determine an asking price or determine a fair offer for a property based on recent sales in your area. Have a look at

They also have a solid grasp on financing options and can connect you with a mortgage broker or loan originator if needed. This is especially useful if you’re buying a home and need to get preapproved before starting your search. A preapproval letter shows that you’re serious about homebuying and have gone through the mortgage underwriting process. It’s much easier to shop with confidence when you have this document in hand.

Finally, they can recommend other professionals that you might need to hire throughout the process, such as contractors for renovations or an attorney to review contracts and draw up the final documents. They may even have contacts at hotels if you need to find a short-term place to stay while your house is on the market.

In an age where everyone is scrolling through real estate apps, a knowledgeable agent can provide you with listings that you might not have found on your own. Additionally, they can access information that isn’t available to the public, such as photos of homes that have not yet been marketed or disclosures about potential issues with properties.

Purchasing or selling a home is an emotional process. Your agent can be a calming presence and offer perspective in the heat of the moment. For example, if you receive feedback from buyers that you don’t like or understand, your agent can help you keep your emotions in check by reminding you that it’s just their opinion and doesn’t change anything about the transaction. They can also help you navigate any tricky situations that might come up during the negotiation process — such as when a buyer has a last-minute request that throws off the whole deal.