If you're in the market to buy or sell a home, then consider the following tips for picking out the right realtor for your next transaction:

Your realtor relationship is like any other

You'd want to feel great about anyone that you allow into your personal space, and you want to feel great about your realtor. After all, this is the professional who is tasked with helping you to execute one of the most important transactions of your life.

Keep in mind that the realtor's experience won't necessary dictate whether or not they'll be a good fit for your needs. Sure, they might have transacted scores of deals, but that means nothing if you don't like them, or you don't feel comfortable doing business them.

Human referrals are still the best type

There's an assortment of ways that you could get a realtor referral. But when it comes down to it, human referrals are still the best type.

Think about it: If a friend, a colleague, or a family member makes the referral, then they're obviously pleased with their previous transactions. Then again, if someone from your inner-circle has experienced a poor interaction with a realtor, they'll be all to happy to let you know about this, too. So make a list of your most trusted people who live in the area where you want to purchase a home.

Identify their true motives

There's two basic reasons that drives a realtor towards helping a buyer to purchase a home. They'll either fixate on their commission, or they'll honestly care about making your home buying or selling experience the best possible.

To be clear: All realtors earn a commission for their efforts. It's how they support themselves and stay in business. But, with this said, earning a healthy commission and doing right by the client isn't mutually exclusive.

Your ideal real estate agent should come across as if they care about creating a buying or selling environment that makes you experience a lot less stress during your transaction. In short, they should earn your business by making you feel that they are your advocate, always on your side, first and foremost.

Observe their professional branding

Have you observed your prospective realtor's media marketing? These include their website, their social media channels, their signage, and their print media. What type of message is being conveyed beyond the marketing copy?

Compare your data and notes with your thoughts and emotions. What type of realtor are you really looking for? Based just on the media marketing, have you met the right professional for your needs?

Are they supported or over-extended?

The last thing you need is for your real estate agent to drop the ball, due to the lack of back-office support. You don't want your calls to be ignored or constantly end up stockpiled in voice mail.

Ask the potential realtor about the structure of their office support. If they're going it on their own, then they might not be able to offer you the type of support you require.

Connect with a realtor with empathy and life experience

There's a host of reasons why you could be buying or selling a home. Maybe you're just getting married, or perhaps you're in the process of divorce. You might need a larger home for the grandparents to live in, or perhaps your parents have died, and now it's time to liquidate their assets by selling their house.  

No matter what your reasons are, it's crucial during the sensitive times of your life that you're working with a professional who will get you the best home possible. The home value is especially important when you're ready to sell. But if you're a buyer, then needless to say, you'll want to realize as much purchasing power as possible.