When it comes to purchasing a new home, getting the right deal can vary widely based on the agent a buyer works with. There are a number of traits that can separate a good agent from one who is less than effective.

Experience and knowledge of the area are two that might instantly come to mind. Here are a few others to consider.

Exclusive buyer’s agent

Nerdwallet is one of several companies that recommend working with an exclusive buyer’s agent instead of a regular agent. The main difference between this type of agent and others is that they only represent buyers and only work for firms that represent buyers. That leaves no room for conflict of interest as often happens when the firm also represents sellers. At those firms, the listing agent for that property might sit just two desks away.

Happy clients

A good starting point is former clients. Some people take this to mean finding an agent and then asking for a reference list. There is an easier way to go about this. Ask the family members and friends in the area who already bought homes and had a great experience with their agents. From there, it becomes much easier to shortlist agent options.

Responsiveness

Forbes reminds buyers that how quickly an agent takes to respond to emails, phone calls and text messages also plays a role. Granted, some buyers do become anxious and keep calling and texting throughout the day. This can become incredibly frustrating for an agent. Even so, people who reach out for a reasonable number of times per day or week should expect a quick response. This is especially important in hot markets where homes for sale today disappear by tomorrow.