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Talk to your friends who purchased in another state. Find out which reality company they used. That will help you narrow it down a little. I would say that most of they agents get their attitudes from the company they are working for. If the company puts an emphasis on customer service, they ususally filter out agents that don't. If the company justs wants profits to roll in, and they try to push a sale without regards to the buyers interest, that is what their agents will do. Shop around for agents. Call one up, tell him or her that you want to look at houses in your price range that have 3 bedrooms (or whatever you want) in certain neighborhoods. Ask her to find about 8 or 9 houses to look at. Then go out one evening or saturday and just look at the houses. Find out how close to what you are looking for she gets. See if she is content to let you look or if she tries to push you into a sale right away. Critize the houses. Remember you have to live there. Does the agent take notes to better understand what you don't like and why you don't like it. Or do they minumize your critisms. With my agent, after the first house he showed me, he skipped the next 3 because he knew that I would have the same complaint about each of them.

Never sign a contract with an agent while you are looking. I did that once, then decided I wasn't ready to buy after all. This guy took great pains to remind me that since I signed a contract, if I started looking again within 6 months, I would have to use him. (I later found out he was lying) but I still say, you shouldn't have to sign a contract until you are ready to make an offer.

In the end go with your gut. If you don't like your agent don't use him. If you don't like the house don't buy it. This is your money after all.
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