Deciding to either buy or sell a home? You’ll no doubt be spending a lot of time with your realtor. Having the right realtor who understands you will really help smooth this process. Don’t be afraid to interview a few realtors if it means you can find someone who will get the job done right.

Here’s a few questions you should ask to make sure you’re going to get someone worth your time.

1) How can you keep me informed about the transaction process?

When selling or buying a house, it’s very important to speak clear and know what you’re getting. A few hours could be the big difference between a good or terrible offer, or no offer at all. Make sure there is a clear understanding between you both and try to keep it that way during the entire process. A realtor who pays attention to what you want and attempts to anticipate your needs will be the best in the long run.

2) How many sales have you handled in my neighborhood / what is the main neighborhood you work in?

Someone with a proven track record in your location and within your price range will be the one to seek out. A bonus if they’re familiar in your local market, their expertise here will really help out.

3) Can you recommend any service providers? i.e. Help me obtain a mortgage or complete my home repairs, etc.

Every realtor should be able to point you towards one or more service providers and should be able to provide some information on each. At no point should you feel pressured to use any of their selections here, but there’s no harm done on hearing their opinions on each. Someone with a lot of experience will be better in this category since they’re likely to have higher quality services to recommend.

4) What services do you offer beyond the negotiations and escrow? What is the extent of your involvement and who else will I have to work with?

Realtors often offer more services than just the standard negotiation and escrow. Infact, many can offer some professional photography, marketing and even staging. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting with each service and ask about every detail. It’s important to note that some realtors are supported by their team, who can offer good customer service and help smooth out the buying and selling process.

5) But what sets you apart from other agents?

Any good realtor worth their salt will never hesitate to answer this question and should be able to explain why they’re best suited for the task at hand. Someone honest, proactive and friendly is always the best candidate, even a sense of humor can go a long way. Ask what they can offer what others cannot.

With these five questions, you should be able to gauge a realtor’s sense of work ethic and the process they would carry out. Being in capable hands will ensure the buying and selling experience is a positive one!