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Choosing an Agent

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Some people like the extra attention that a hands-on real estate agent can provide. Others just want to be left alone as much as possible so they can look at the houses. You're in the process of educating yourself about the entire process so that you won't need as much hand-holding as some people. Be realistic about your time frame for buying a house and about the amount of time you'll be able to devote to the process. Let any prospective real estate agent know what you expect from her.

Ask for referrals

If you're staying in an area you know, ask friends and family if they can recommend someone to you. If you're moving to a new area, ask the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce for the names of brokers in your new town that are members of their organizations. Call at least five of them and actually meet at least three.

Interview your agent

Remember that this person is going to have a huge effect on your life for at least several months. Make sure that you trust the agent, above all else.