Regardless of your experience or the current market conditions, selling a home can be a complicated and involved processed.

That’s why working alongside the right real estate agent is crucial.

Here are some points of advice you can take with you to help make this important decision.

Research extensively and in-person

Speak directly to real estate agents at their own open houses and conduct your own market research.

There’s a lot you can learn by looking closely at a neighborhood comparable to your own. Collect the names of agents whose names appear more frequently on for sale and sold signs.

Name recognition and track record are two measurable metrics you should consider when selecting a real estate agent.

It’s also important to get a feel for how your real estate agent performs in the actual arena – an open house. Visit a few open houses in your targeted neighborhood and speak to hosting real estate agents to learn how they engage with potential buyers.

You may even get a feel for your own professional chemistry with the agent, which will go far in the road ahead.

Rank your agents

Using data you gathered and the trove of ratings and reviews online, compare candidates and narrow your list of potential real estate agents.

Get a feel for the feedback each receives and how each agent responds.

You can also consider other data including the number of their active listings and general engagement on their social media.

Ask the tough questions

It’s time to sit down and speak to a few candidates and remember not to settle.

According to Zillow, 61 percent of sellers contact only one real estate agent before they list their home. This can be a mistake.

The job of selling your home involves a lot of work, multitasking, and strong communication. To ensure you’re making the right choice, ask these questions:

  • How much experience and years do you have working in this market/ real estate?
  • Do you have a specialty?
  • What’s the commission rate and is it negotiable?
  • Do you work solo or are you part of a larger team?
  • Do you work mostly with buyers or sellers?

You will likely have a frontrunner in mind before you ask these questions. Maybe a referral or your own research has sold you. But by asking these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of what each real estate agent brings to the table, and vice versa.

During these interviews, set out clear expectations about what you’d like to see, especially with communication. Talk about why you’re selling – which can be crucial to timing. Also discuss what strategies will be used to get the home sold, including the number of planned open houses.

There’s a lot to think about, and with a little preparation and groundwork, you’ll be off and running with an excellent real estate agent at your side.