You’re on the hunt for a realtor.

You’ve gotten referrals from coworkers, friends and friends of friends. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options. And there are many, many good options out there.

Here are a few things to think about on the way to your decision.

What’s your situation?

Are you under pressure to buy or sell? Be as upfront about your situation as you can, legally and emotionally, so your agent can provide the best possible guidance. If you’re going through a divorce or illness or financial trouble, your agent’s advice on how to price or fix-up your home may be different than for those under no pressure to sell. The same is true for buyers.

Empowering your agent with important information can save you precious time and avoid further hardship and heartache. Is it possible that an agent may decline the opportunity to work with you? Yes, but it’s better to know early on, especially if you’re in desperate need of quick results.

What are your expectations?

Agents are all bound by the same laws and ethics, but the business style each brings to the table is uniquely their own. Having a sense of what excellent service means to you can help your relationship start strong and stay that way.

Buyers, do you want an agent to check-in frequently or to wait until you reach out for info? Sellers, will you get anxious if the flyers on your sign run out? How quickly do you expect (or hope) that your home will go under contract and close?

If you have expectations, let them be known upfront. Agents tend to follow certain steps that have been successful in the past. However, most will be happy to accommodate your specific requests if they are able.

Do you need “specialty knowledge?”

As someone who’s bought and/or sold two single-family homes, a mountain cabin and a condo, I understand why having an agent with certain expertise can be helpful. Some agents may choose to specialize in luxury homes or high rises. Some help families relocate closer to a private school.

The areas I’ve seen specialties matter most is in short sales, foreclosures and lease-purchase agreements, all of which may benefit sellers or buyers in difficult financial situations.

If you’re looking for a realtor, you’ve realized that there’s no lighted pathway to the perfect match. Your search may start with referrals and research but it will likely end with instinct. Trust your gut. Check references. Millions in sales and targeted expertise won’t matter if, deep down, you’re not convinced they’re one-hundred percent, completely and totally invested in helping you reach your goals.