Selling or buying a home might be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make during your lifetime. That is why it is very important to find the right agent who will work best for you.

Honest, competent, experienced, innovative, communicative and personable – these are the most desirable traits to look for when choosing your real estate agent. Your agent’s top priorities should be representing you exclusively and getting you the best real estate deal.

Some agents might not identify and deal with problems that might arise that could have been prevented or should have been resolved but were not. And the longer problems are left unresolved, the more difficult they become to fix.

Common problems may include: contractual errors, missing documents, deadline issues, incorrect forms, contingencies, inspection issues, insurance issues, appraisal issues, underwriting conditions, the buyer walk-through and closing statement mistakes.

Can some of these problems threaten or break a deal? Yes. Can all or most of them be prevented or resolved? Absolutely. 

With experienced and competent agents come fewer problems or none at all. That’s because they prepare and submit correct and complete documentation. They also follow up and communicate with all parties of the transaction. It is this attention to detail and oversight that prevent good transactions from going bad.

Real estate agents need to be directly involved in the transaction every step of the way until it is closed. That is when the deal is done, the seller gets the money, the buyer gets the house, and the agents get paid.

When shopping for your next real estate agent, choosing the best agent to work for you is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Decide what role you want to play, what work you want to do and what work you want the agent or broker to do.

2. Interview at least three agents from different companies and ask them how they can help you realize your real estate objectives and get you the best real estate deal.

3. Rate the agents by the questions you ask them and by the answers they give you. Also consider your comfort level  with each agent (it is also OK to ask for references).

For a free copy of a real estate guide of questions and answers to help you choose the real estate agent who will work best for you, visit

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,,