When it's time to buy a home, it's also time to select a buyer's agent to represent your interests in this all-important transaction.  But how do you choose one?  Here are some of the most significant issues to consider and questions to ask when interviewing your Accredited Buyer's Representative.

EXPERIENCE AND CREDENTIALS  -  How long have you been a buyer's agent?  How long have you been an Accredited Buyer's Repesentative?  What other real estate designations or credentials do you hold?

REFERENCES  -  Can you share the names and contact details for three past buyer-clients who can provide references?

KNOWLEDGE - What are your areas of specialized knowledge?  Which types of housing or neighborhoods do you know best?

REPRESENTATION Please explain what representation choices I have as a buyer.  What is meant by fiduciary duties?  Do you practice dual representation?

SERVICES PROVIDED  Please explain how you will assist me at each stage of the transaction. Do you have a written buyer representaiton agreement that details our obligations to each other?

COMPENSATION How will you be compensated?  If I hire you as my buyer's agent will I be subjected to any addidional costs in my transaction?

FINDING PROPERTIES  -  Do you have full access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS?)  Will you try to find suitable properties beyond the MLS?

PERSONAL SUPPORT  -  Wil you handle all aspects of my transaction, or will I be working with assistants?  Who will be explaining the various forms, agreements and steps required to reach closing?

NEGOTIATING  Will you counsel me on a negotiating strategy and appropriate contingencies?  How will you package my offer to the seller?  Will you personally present my offer?

FINANCING  -  Will you provide guidance on affordability, mortgage options and how to choose a lender?  Why should I consider becoming pre-qualified or pre-approved on a mortgage?

RELATED SERVICE-PROVIDERS  -  Can you provide referrals to providers of other services related to my transaction, including home inspectors, surveyors, movers, etc?

A good buyer's agent should have detailed satisfying answers to your questions and don't hesitate to ask.  A true professional is always happy to talk about their successful business practices.  Happy house hunting!