How to Find the Right Realtor to Sell Your Home
Choosing the right Realtor to list your home and represent you as the home seller is important to a successful home sale. Begin by figuring out what your goals are, and then think about what you’ll need in a Realtor to accomplish those goals. For example, do you need to sell your home fast, or do you have time to be picky about offers? Do you need top dollar, or is it more important for you to feel comfortable with the next owners? How available will you need your agent to be, and what kind of marketing plan do you want them to execute to get your home sold? These are just a few of the questions to think through as you’re looking at different candidates to serve as your Realtor and sell your home.
Get Referrals – In Person, or Online
- One of the most common ways people find their Realtor is by getting a referral from a friend or family member. If you know someone who had a great real estate experience, ask them who they worked with and why the experience was so great.
- Check online sites such as ZipRealty.com or Yelp to see a list of Realtors in your area who have been reviewed and rated by current or former clients. Browse ratings and reviews to get insight into an agent’s skills and strengths and areas of expertise, so you can get a sense of who would be a good match for you.
- Real estate agents typically work with dozens of bankers, inspectors, appraisers, lawyers and others in the real estate trade. You can always ask your bank or someone you know in the home inspection business if they can offer you several referrals.
Interview Your Top Picks
Once you have a handful of referrals, narrow down your search by meeting with your top picks. While getting their opinion about what sort of price your home will fetch is important, it shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision. Here are a few key things to consider when you meet with a Realtor about listing your home for sale:
- Experience – if a Realtor is seasoned in the real estate field, this could be a great asset for you. Ask them how long they have worked in real estate, what neighborhoods they work in primarily, and what kinds of sales they specialize in.
- Expectations – What do they think your house will sell for? You should have a good idea of what other homes in your neighborhood (that are similar to yours) are selling for. Are they quoting you a number that seems too high? Do they have research to back up their claims? How long do they think it will take for your home to sell? Don’t just jump at the best sounding figure – the most money in the least amount of time – but use this as an opportunity to gauge the Realtor's knowledge, preparedness, and communication.
- Local Expertise – How many homes has this Realtor sold in your particular neighborhood? Do they have a good idea about what kind of buyer usually searches in your area, and how to target those potential home buyers?
- A Winning Plan – While education and certifications are nice, what will help your home get sold is who it’s marketed to and how. A tech-savvy Realtor will be more capable of handling online consumers and execute a cutting-edge plan to sell your home at the best possible price to the best possible buyer.
Make a Choice Based on Your Needs
While all of the above qualities are important, some might be more so for you. Think about what you need the most, and between your research and interview questions, you will be able to find the Realtor whose strengths match your needs. And above all, trust your gut. If you’re finding it very difficult to connect with and understand an agent, think twice before signing them on to sell your home. This is someone who will be present in your home and in your life while your home is on the market, so you want to be sure that you will be able to communicate well throughout the home sale.