To sell your home, you want your real estate professional to have many qualities, including experience, market knowledge, and great communications skills.
Find the Professional Who is Right for You
Ask for Referrals: Your family and friends may know a good agent. Be sure to ask what they liked and disliked about how the agent conducts business, not what they are like on a personal level. Also, consult with neighbors who have recently bought or sold their homes, how their agents performed for them.
Seek an Agent With the Right Experience: Neighborhood specialists have house-by-house market knowledge that is invaluable when you are comparing your home to others. While residential agents are licensed to sell any property in the state, you want your agent to have experience with the type of home you own whether it’s a single-family, condo, high-end, rural property, vacation or investment property.
Interview at Least Three Professionals: The National Association of Realtors® recommends that you interview several agents before making your decision. Compare their experience, marketing plans, networking abilities, and commission rates, with the understanding that service levels should and will correspond with costs. For example some agents might charge less, but when you compare their experience and level of service, they probably should charge less.
Ask Your Potential Agent the Following Questions
How will you represent me in the transaction? This helps you understand service levels and responsibilities owed to you as the seller.
How do you plan to market my home? The marketing plan almost always includes a listing in the local multiple listing service, but there may be other means for your home to be presented. Ask the agents to show you examples of their marketing materials that they’ve done for other homes. Ask how the agent plans to market via the Internet, mobile devices, and what methods they use to follow up and communicate with potential buyers.
What is your level of experience? There's no substitute for experience, except enthusiasm. A new agent will have close supervision by the managing broker, so you’re likely to get the same level of service as a more experienced agent. But an agent who has been through buyer's and seller's markets knows what can go right or wrong in any market and is more likely to be prepared for challenges. A more experienced agent will also have a network of former clients to inform about your home.
Do you hold any designations, and what are your specialties? Agents who hold designations have undertaken additional learning opportunities than those required by the state. This shows motivation and a strong sense of professional pride. This often equates to better service, a better price, and a smoother process through the real estate transaction.
Why should I choose you over other agents? The answer to this question should be specific including the number of years on the job, the agent's ranking (if available), the list-to-closing price ratio, the average number of days the agent takes to sell a home compared to the general market.
Look for excellent communication skills. Hire an agent with skills that will complement your preferred methods of contact; for example, if you like to text message, hire an agent who uses text messaging. Ask your agent how frequently he will be in touch and when to expect reports about your listing.