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Selecting a REALTOR®
through the Yellow Pages of any community in the United States, and you'll see
the names of dozens – if not hundreds or thousands – of real estate agents
available to list your home.
In fact, given the number of choices, you
may wonder if you can find someone with the right blend of skills and experience
Selecting a REALTOR® isn't just a matter of blind luck,
however. Follow these easy tips to help you narrow your choices:
some likely candidates.
• Scan advertisements in the newspaper, cable TV,
billboards and the Internet. Look at the messages each agent is sending. Do you
like the philosophy she promotes? Does he specialize in selling the type of home
you own? Is her sales record impressive?
• Drive around your community
and check the names on "for sale" signs. Agents with multiple listings probably
have a good sales record. But don't necessarily discount the names that appear
less frequently. A new agent, for instance, may possess fewer listings but more
time to spend marketing your house.
• Talk to friends or neighbors
who've recently sold. Find out how long their house took to sell, what they
liked about their agent and why.
Interview your "A"
Schedule appointments with the top two or three agents. After you
show each one the house, ask him or her:
• How many homes have you
sold in the last year?
• How many are you currently listing?
What experience do you have selling in my community?
• How will you
market my home? Typically, agents will use a variety of means, including
advertising, the Multiple Listing Service and open houses.
• What type of
representation do you provide? Depending on the state you live in, the agent may
represent the buyer, the seller, or work as a neutral third party.
What is your typical fee and what does it include? Most agents will cover any
advertising costs, but be sure to ask up front. Most also will not collect any
fees unless and until your house is sold.
• What is the minimum length of
time you will list my home? Many agents will want at least a six-month
• How much do you want to list my house for? Some agents may
not give you an estimate until several days later. Make sure each one has
completed a comparative market analysis in your community so that the price
reflects prevailing rates.
Make your decision.
Compare your notes on
each candidate, looking for someone that you're comfortable with, has the
relevant experience and seems confident he or she can sell your home. Invite
your top choice back, sign the paperwork and start looking forward to the day
you can move.