LOS ALTOS — If you’re looking to buy a home, one of the first things you should do is choose an agent to represent you. However, just any agent won’t do—to ensure a successful outcome, you’ll need to choose a quality one. To guide you in your choice, consider these attributes of a quality agent:

Reputability

A quality agent’s reputation will speak for itself. Perform an online search for agents who work in your area and look at their reviews. Focus on agents with four- or five-star reviews, and read the reviews in detail. Look for consistent patterns in what their clients say about them. Additionally, see if the agent has affiliations with consumer resources and agencies like the Diamond Certified Resource.

Knowledge

Choose an agent who has a strong knowledge of both their industry and the area in which they work. An agent’s understanding of the local housing market and its prices and trends will help you get the best possible deal.

Values

Make sure the agent’s values align with yours. You don’t want an agent who will try to sell you the first house you see. A quality agent will take the time to ensure you get a house that meets your needs and expectations. That’s because quality agents aren’t in it for the short-term profits; rather, they want to establish long-term relationships with their clients.

You might be surprised to learn there’s no cost difference between hiring a quality agent and hiring a bad one. Why? Because the seller’s agent pays the buyer’s agent’s commission. So, since it doesn’t cost you any more to have the best, do yourself a favor and don’t settle for anything less.