When it comes to finding homebuying help, you have to choose someone who is the best fit for you. So how do you find the right agent? Here are four important questions you should ask when interviewing potential agents.

Are you licensed?
Before someone can act as a real estate agent in Texas, he or she must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) as a sales agent and sponsored by an established broker. A license holder is required to pass the real estate licensing exam and take continuing-education courses to maintain his or her license.

Are you a REALTOR®?
As a consumer, you want your licensed agent to be a member of the REALTOR® organization. Agents who’ve chosen to be REALTORS® follow a Code of Ethics that protects their clients’ interests. Members of the Texas Association of REALTORS® have access to more than 100 forms that nonmembers cannot use, which means they have more ways to help protect you during a real estate transaction.

Will you communicate with me the way I like?
Do you like to text, email, or will you only talk on the phone? Are you only available to view homes on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.? Talk to a potential agent about your communication habits, schedule, and how often you expect to hear from him or her to see if you’ll be on the same page.

Can you meet my specialized needs?
Maybe you’re a first-time homebuyer, or a newly retired senior. Perhaps you’re looking for a vacation home at the beach or a ranch in the Hill Country. If there is something special about your situation, you can ask a potential agent if he or she has experience handling those types of transactions, areas, or demographics. Some agents even have designations that mean they’ve taken extra courses and spent more time learning about certain specialties.

There are more questions that you might want answered based on your particular situation. Don’t be afraid to ask. Putting some effort into choosing the best REALTOR® for you will ensure a smoother home search.