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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home


In today's real estate market, it's more important than ever that the agent you hire can find you a buyer and get you the best price possible for your home. Easier said than done. Here are some tips you ensure the best agent for the job.

  1. Ask friends/family in your area if they have any referrals. Would they select the same real estate agent again? What quality of service did they receive?

  2. Drive around and look for "sold" signs. A company selling homes suggests they have the tools needed to get the job done. That's good for you whether you're a seller or a buyer.

  3. Search online and read the real estate section in your local newspaper, looking for listings that are in your current homes' price range. This helps you find companies that market homes online, as well as the volume of print advertising they dedicate to each client. This can also help you find an agent in your neighborhood -- and target those who are aggressively marketing homes for sale.

  4. Once you narrow down your search, attend an open house by an agent you're interested in. Were you shown the home in a professional manner? How familiar was the agent with the home? Did they share any personal information about the seller with you and did you feel that the information shared was appropriate? Keep in mind that this is the agent you are considering for yourself -- how they represented the home you visited is indicative of how they will be representing you and your home. Did they know the key selling points?

Now choose the top three who appear to be the best fit and interview them. If you are moving to a new area, set up phone interviews. Ask the following:

  • How long have you worked in the area?

  • Have long have you been licensed?

  • How many sales have you closed in the last six months? How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood in the past six months?

  • Do you work full-time as a real estate professional?

  • Can you give me names of three references whose homes you've recently sold? (For those buying a home, references of recent buyers they've represented.)

  • For sellers, what will you do to actively find buyers for my home? For buyers, what kind of research will you do to find suitable homes for me?

  • Will you put my home on the Multiple Listing Service? How many do you belong to and which will you be using?

  • Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors? Are you a member of the local Association of Realtors?

  • Have you earned any professional real estate designations?

  • What professional courses or training sessions have you attended?

  • Be sure to ask for suggestions on what you can do to ensure your home sells faster, such as de-cluttering a room, painting, incentive rewards for agents, etc. If they don't have any suggestions -- or any good ones -- keep on looking.  

Suzanne Grace is a real estate agent in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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