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    How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

    August 6, 2016

August 6, 2016

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Handing Over the House Keys in Front of a Beautiful New Home.

Most people don’t buy and sell houses for a living, and the prospect of putting a house on the market can seem like an overwhelming task. The right listing agent can make an enormous difference in the speed and price at which a house will sell—but how do you know which agent is right for your home?

Here are some tips to demystify the process of choosing a listing agent (or Realtor) to sell your home:

  • Pay Attention to Open House and Listing Signs in Your Area. Real estate prices and market tactics vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. Agents with active listings in your area are likely to know the market, which gives them an advantage when it comes to pricing and selling your home.
  • Interview Multiple Agents. Don’t sign the first listing contract an agent offers. Meet with several agents, learn about their recent sales and listings, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the agent’s experience as well as the strategies the agent would use to sell your home.
  • Talk With the Agent’s Former Clients. Most real estate agents will happily provide a list of referrals—contact information for other people whose houses the agent has sold, or who the agent assisted with the purchase of a home. Talking with former clients can help you decide if the agent will be a good fit for you.
  • Ask Your Friends & Family. Many people know (or are related to) a real estate agent—but remember: although these recommendations may be trustworthy, you still need to interview multiple agents and check the agent’s references, license, and sales experience to make sure that he or she is the right one for the job.
  • Make Sure the Agent is Properly Licensed.By law, a real estate agent needs a license (either a salesperson’s license or a broker’s license) in order to sell property. License requirements vary from state to state, and a real estate agent must be licensed in your state in order to sell your home.
  • Find an Agent Who Sells Real Estate Full-Time. Selling homes effectively requires an active, ongoing understanding of the real estate market. Market conditions change from season to season and even week-to-week. Full-time real estate agents have a significant advantage over part-time salespeople, especially when it comes to tracking trends and prices.

Choosing the perfect real estate agent requires some time and research, but finding an experienced agent who understands your neighborhood, market conditions, and effective sales strategies will help your home sell faster and, often, at a better price.