Choosing a Realtor

Finding the right Real Estate Agent to list your home can be a lot like buying a new pair of shoes - pick the right pair and the experience will be positive. Choose the wrong agent and the experience can lead to months of frustration and an unsold property. In both cases it is imperative to find the right fit.

For some people it's not difficult to choose - they will pick one based on personal recommendations from friends and family. Or typically someone that you may know. Referrals make up for a large percentage of business for most agents, and unlike some other sales arenas, networking is key. What will set them apart from others in the marketplace is their experience, professionalism, knowledge and negotiation skills. Personality can also play a big part in the decision making process, as you need someone you are comfortable to work with and make life changing decisions with. If you begin to hear alarm bells when interviewing an agent, then they are most likely not the one for you.

Keep in mind these helpful points:

BE PREPARED

Information is power. know your homes worth and what you owe vs. what you can expect to sell it for. Pre home sale inspections will help to identify any potential problems, which can be corrected and not cause later issues as a condition of sale.

INTERVIEW PROSPECTIVE REALTORS

It's a good idea to interview a number of agents to determine if the "chemistry" works. Inquire about productivity, knowledge and experience. The sale of a home can be a complicated process. determine if the agent's capability will work for you.

ASK ABOUT EXPECTATIONS

Ask them 'What are you going to do for me?' Some agents will provide a detailed written plan about how they will advertise and market the property. Now is the time to discuss costs for commissions and closing fees. Most agents can be flexible with their fee structures, and some may offer a flat fee percentage on the sale. Ask them to explain how the commission will be split with other Realtors, as this can give a good indication of how well they work with their peers.

ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

Any agent who has been selling for awhile, should have a list a satisfied clients, and some who would be happy to give you a report on their experience. Or you can trust in the recommendations from family and friends. One can also access reviews and qualifications from an agent's website.

FIND OUT HOW MANY LISTINGS THEY HAVE

The agent with the most listings may not always be the best choice. If an agent has 50 listings, they may be spread pretty thin and may not have the time to focus on your listing they way they could if they were servicing say only 10 or so.

USE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE REGIONAL MARKET

Choosing an agent who works and lives in the target area of your listing, is a good start. Agents who focus on certain markets, will have a wealth of information about past sales, new listings and the tendencies of the market you deal with. Knowing the area and market will give you an ace in the hole, come sale time.

In the end. it comes down to going into the process knowing it may take some timer, but being informed and comfortable will lead to a successful and stress free relationship.