Selling Your Home: Find The Right Real Estate Agent

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These five steps will help you find the best realtor to sell your home.

Your house is likely your biggest and most important asset. So when it comes time to sell, you want the best real estate agent to help you through the process. But how do you choose? Follow these five steps to find the right agent for your needs.

  1. Select a real estate agency with a good reputation. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should select a national company. Find a firm with a good local reputation by asking friends, family and colleagues for recommendations.
  2. Ask the agency for at least three agent recommendations from their team. Provide quick details of your home—its location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, approximate square footage, etc. This will help the agency direct you to agents familiar with your neighborhood and comparable homes.
  3. Interview the prospective agents.Spend 30 minutes with each agent and ask the same questions so you can easily compare. Be sure to ask:
    • How much real estate sales experience do you have?
    • Is this your full time job? If not, what hours will you be available to show my home?
    • How many homes have you sold in the past year? On average, how long were those homes on the market. How close were the final prices to the original asking prices?
    • How will you advertise and market my home?
    • What other types of services can you help me with? (Such as arranging home inspections, finding repair professionals and coordinating services.)
    • In what ways and how often will you communicate with me?
  4. Understand the payment structure. Most agents work under a fee commission, which is then split with the buyer’s real estate agent after the home sale is finalized. However, some agents, considered non-traditional agents, offer services á la carte, so you can pick and choose what they will help you with and what you’ll do on your own.
  5. Ask for references. And call them. Ask about their experience with the agent, how long it took to sell their home, and how often the agent communicated with them.
Source: Bankrate.com, FTC.gov, Reuters
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