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By Jennifer Blome

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - It's the second day of our week-long series on the "secrets" of real estate.

On Monday, we got advice on selling a home, and now we're going to tell you the best way to find an agent.

To get the inside scoop we sat down with Realtor Kelly Hager, one of the top sellers in this market. Her most important advice; it takes a "team" to buy a home.

Whether you're a first-time buyer, down-sizing, or moving up, line up your players.

Finding the right agent is the first step. The right agent will help you secure financing and connect you with a mortgage loan officer. They'll analyze your needs and wants, negotiate with the seller, and coordinate other professionals.

But here's where the agent really helps: all that paperwork becomes their responsibility. The agent will keep track of deadlines, and solve last-minute problems that pop up.

"Choosing a realtor is really, really important in terms of you want somebody that you can communicate with very effectively. So, high communication. You also want a real estate agent that is full-time. Full-time agents that make this their career really, really important. Part-time agents are doing a lot of other things in their lives. It doesn't make them bad agents, but there are so many changes that have come down in the last six months to a year that's it's really important to understand the contract and be able to negotiate in today's market," said Hager.

An agent will help you avoid most of the pit-falls of finding a home, but they can't clear up every mistake.

On Wednesday we'll break down the top reasons people miss out on their dream house.

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