When it comes to selling your home, finding the right real estate agent can make a huge difference in your home-selling journey. Your agent will be with you as you show your home, choose an offer, negotiate the terms, and close the sale. In other words, they will be with you every step of the way.

So what goes into finding and choosing a real estate agent? What questions should you ask during that all-important first interview? And what qualities should you be looking for? If you are about to begin the process of choosing a real estate agent, we will answer these questions and give you some tools to find the best agent to sell your home.

Do Your Research

Tips from friends and family are great, but ultimately, you are going to want to do some research on your own. Going online is the place to start. Your agent should have a professional-looking website, and it should be easy to find. Your agent will be the one attracting buyers, so it won’t do you any good if they are hard to find.

Your online search should also be location-based. Real Estate agents tend to specialize in a specific location, and you want an agent that knows as much about your market as possible. The agent’s website should have some details about their work history, and what you are looking for is whether or not they have recently sold homes in your area.

Interview Your Agents

From your online search, you should be able to find 5 agents to call. From those 5, set up appointments with the first 3 that call you back. Remember, think of how this would take place from the prospective future buyer of your home. You want an agent that is prompt. Once you are sitting down with a potential agent, be sure to ask these questions:

  1. How long have you been an agent? You are looking for an agent with at least two years of experience. This means they have had enough time to experience most of the surprises in the selling process. A good agent will also use this question as a lead-in to tell you about themselves, and how they got into the business.
  2. How many houses did you sell last year? This answer should be in the double digits, between 15 and 20
  3. What is the list to sell price ratio of your listings? Even in difficult markets, this number should be high, 90% and up.
  4. How many clients do you work with at one time? If the agent works with dozens of clients at a time, there’s no way you’re going receive the personal attention you need. A good agent will use this question as an opportunity to talk about time management.
  5. Do you work with a team? Many agents work with a team of specialists that can be delegated out to different parts of the process. There are some advantages to this, but your agent should be upfront about it. It is a troubling sign to hire one person only to have a stranger show up at your open house.
  6. How often do you work with buyers? You are looking for an agent who has expertise in the selling side of things, but that doesn’t mean the buyer’s side shouldn’t be unknown to them.
  7. What is your marketing plan? You want an agent that utilizes tried and true methods such as yard signs, but also one who knows how to navigate social media. Be sure to ask them how much they plan to spend on advertising.
  8. What is your communication style? This is a meta-question because part of the question-asking process is to determine the agent’s communication style. Ask this question after you have already been talking for a while, and see if their answer matches up with the style they have already shown you. It is critically important that you have an agent that you are able to communicate well with. There are many communication styles, and the most important thing is that they are able to communicate with you, specifically.

Any questions for me?

More than just the timeline and selling price, the agent should be trying to get to know you. Because the selling of a home can be a deeply emotional process, you want an agent that understands where you are coming from.

Your Agent Is a Business Partner

Ultimately, the person who sells your home is you, not your agent. The agent you hire should be looking at all times how to best represent you in every part of the home-selling process. Your agent will be intimately involved in the final price you sell your home for and has to be someone you trust. The difference between a fantastic home-selling experience, and a real estate nightmare is often a good agent

Read: Search for a local Real Estate Agent on Homes.com

Back to: How to Build Your Real Estate Team