A real estate agent is a key ingredient to selling or buying a home. But as an article in Yahoo News states, few people, whether you are buying or selling, give much thought to choosing an agent.

Rather than look at the actual agent, people can easily be distracted by great listing presentations. For a main tip, the article emphasized the importance of interviewing three of four agents to find the one who is the best fit.

Get recommendations from friends and relatives, and see which agents are buying and selling the most homes in your neighborhood.

Don't be afraid to ask questions about how many listings the agent has, how many homes she has sold in your area, how often she will communicate with you — and in what format — and who she will represent in the transaction.

Click here for the nine red flags to watch for when choosing a real estate agent.

Here is just one example of what to watch for: The agent doesn’t know the real estate landscape in your neighborhood.

Finding a neighborhood expert is especially important in areas where moving a block can raise or lower the value of a home by $100,000. An agent who specializes in a neighborhood may also be in touch with buyers who are looking for a home just like yours or sellers who haven't put their home on the market yet. 

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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