If you have no referrals, contact real estate agencies in your community. Gather together a list of three-to-four agents and ask them to come in for an interview.
QUESTION: We are putting our home on the market soon. What are some key things we should look for in a real estate agent?
ANSWER: Finding a real estate agent to list your property should start with referrals. Have friends or acquaintances, work colleagues recently listed or sold their homes? What was their experience with the agent they used? Would they recommend the agent?
If you have no referrals, contact real estate agencies in your community. Gather together a list of three-to-four agents and ask them to come in for an interview. Walk them through your property. What is their reaction? What is their proposal for staging the property, some upgrades to improve its appeal, and their marketing strategy for the home?
What price would they recommend for the home? Any suggested price should be based on recent comps – similar properties to yours that have sold in your neighborhood within the last six months.
What are the comps each agent is using? Are they truly comparable to your property?
Do not necessarily select the agent who recommends the highest list price for your home. Other factors such as staging and marketing your home, and the comps the agent is using to justify a price are more important.
Ask each agent for a list of recent properties in your community that he/she has closed on. What was the asking price and eventual sales price of each? How long were the properties on the market?
Ask the agent to provide you a list of recent clients and their contact information so you can talk to the clients and get their feedback about the agent and how satisfied they were with the agent’s performance.
How long has the agent been working in the business? How well does he/she know your community and neighborhood?
Finally, how well do you get along with the agent? Selling your home can be quite emotional. Do you have a good rapport with the agent? Like him or her? How responsive and sensitive to your needs will the agent be?
With two similarly qualified agents, your decision should come down to how much you like and trust one over the other.
Linda Goodspeed is a longtime real estate writer and author of “In and out of Darkness.” Email her at: email@example.com.