Selling your home can be a time-consuming and emotionally challenging event. Making good, informed decisions is imperative to a successful home sale, and it starts with listing your property with a real estate agent. In particular, it’s crucial to find a
real estate agent
who can educate you as a homeowner, properly and effectively promote your home and gain your trust from the beginning. From running open houses to engaging with potential buyers, your real estate agent or
will be responsible for all aspects of selling your home.
The Best Apps for House Hunting
Before hiring an agent, ask these five questions to ensure you are choosing the best candidate for you and your home.
What is your experience and local expertise?
While experience can’t always guarantee skill, most real estate agents who have years of experience, great reviews, and proper education will have the skills to properly and successfully sell your home. Ask your potential real estate agents if they are full-time or part-time agents, how many homes they have sold in the past year, how many sellers they are currently representing and what designations or certifications they have to ensure your potential agent is well educated and properly trained.
Are you a member of an agent organization?
Make sure you pick a licensed agent with the right credentials. Ask your potential agents if they are members of a membership organization, like the National Association of Realtors. This will mean they have formally agreed to abide by the organization’s code of ethics.
You can also inquire into special certifications they have to better equip them to help you find your home – a Certified Residential Specialist, for example, has taken additional classes and training in residential real estate. Other certifications include Accredited Buyer’s Representative,
Military Relocation Professional
and Counselor of Real Estate, all of which are obtained through NAR.
What is your marketing approach and plan for selling my home?
Online and offline marketing will be critical to the success of selling your home. Ask potential real estate agents what their approaches and plans are to market your property. How many
will be taken and do they use professional photographers? Will video be included? What about home staging, marketing materials and listing your home on multiple websites?
The vast majority of homebuyers find their home online or at least begin their search there, so great photography and
to make a strong first impression is essential to having your home stand out from the crowd. Make sure there is a clear and aggressive marketing plan in place that you feel confident will help create interest in your home from potential buyers.
Do you have any service providers that you recommend and can manage on your behalf?
An experienced real estate agent will be well connected within the industry. When meeting with potential agents, ask them if they have lenders they work with and can assist in choosing a mortgage company, home inspectors,
handymen, contractors and any other service providers that may be needed. Many agents also offer to help set up appointments, or be present at the home for an estimate if you aren’t available – it’s a good idea to know ahead of time how much assistance your agent is
able to provide
to manage expectations. If they have relationships with specific service providers, this will relieve you of both stress and time during the selling process.
Can you provide three references from past clients?
One of the best ways to get to know a potential real estate agent is to ask former or recent clients about their experience working with the real estate agent or team. Ask to see their reviews and customer testimonials, and even contact the previous clients to ask specific questions about their work with the agent. Trusting your real estate agent will be key, so be sure to ask the most recent clients whether they were satisfied with the real estate agent’s work or what disappointed them.