This is Morgan. He's married. He just had a new baby and he's ready to buy his first home. This is "A Home of Your Own." Once my wife and I decided what we want in a home, we began our search for a real estate agent who could steer us in the right direction. After all, buying a home is an important decision. We started by asking friends and relatives if they had recommendations for agents to talk with to help narrow down our search. If someone we know had a good experience with a real estate agent in the past, it would increase the likelihood that we would be satisfied as well. Now, because I was looking to buy in a particular area, it was important to have a real estate agent with experience in that area. It was also important to check out licensing information. State real estate licensing boards often provide licensing information, including complaints, on their website and with a few targeted Internet searches, I was also able to find out who has the most experience and a good reputation. I called the agents we were interested in and talked with them over the phone, making sure to discuss their experience working with other clients. I asked questions like, "How long have you been a real estate agent?," "How will you help me search for my home?" and "What is your fee?" I also asked for a list of references other than our friends so I could validate the agent's experience. I knew I would feel more comfortable working with an agent with solid references. After the phone calls, I arranged to meet with my top choice in his office. I wanted to make sure I had a good rapport with the agent. You don't have to become best friends, but you will be seeing and speaking with each other a lot, so it's good if you feel comfortable and trust your agent. Clearly, choosing the right real estate agent is a key step for buying a home. It's important not to rush, ask plenty of questions and to do your homework up front.
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