How to Choose a Real Estate Agent for Selling Your Home: A 10-Step Checklist

Selling a dwelling is one of the most important fiscal transactions in your life. But if it ’ s your first time betray, or if it ’ mho been a while since you ’ ve dipped your toes into the deep end of the real estate grocery store pool, you may wonder… where do I begin ?
fortunately, you don ’ t have to dive in entirely. This is where enlisting help from a circus tent real estate agent comes in handy. According to HomeLight ’ sulfur data, the top 5 % of real estate of the realm agents across the U.S. betray homes for a much as 10 % more than the median substantial estate of the realm agent. Based on a median home prize of $ 243,225, that 10 % amounts to an extra $ 24,323 !
“ This is the biggest asset that most people have. It ’ south gon na be the biggest sale that they always have. It ’ randomness important that they get the best representation when they ’ re going to do that, ” shares Mark Boyland, a top real estate of the realm agentive role in Scott ’ randomness Corner, New York, who ’ randomness ranked in the top 1 % of real estate agents in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing System since 1995 .
But with over 1.5 million real estate of the realm agents in the U.S., picking the right agentive role can feel, well, overwhelming. To help simplify the process and guide you through a smooth, profitable, home-selling experience, we ’ ve vetted technical advice from top veridical estate of the realm professionals and created this 10-step guide to picking your perfective agent.

Find a Top Agent to Sell Your Home for More

Tell us a little about your home and selling needs and we’ll provide recommendations for up to three top real estate agents in your area.

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Step 1: Compare agents online

There ’ s no dearth of on-line resources for researching agents. But how can you ensure you ’ re choosing a top agent ?
An slowly way to find highly rated agents in your sphere is HomeLight ’ s free Agent Match Tool. Our matching platform analyzes over 27 million transactions and considers an agent ’ sulfur specialties and certifications, their years of experience, and their successful home sales in your neighborhood. Each agent is at the circus tent of their sphere, so you can be convinced that they ’ ll avail you maximize your net income .
Each suggested agent is proven to outperform early agents in their area for properties alike to yours by measurable factors including :

  • High volume of home sales in your price range
  • High sale-to-list price ratio
  • Lower than average days on market
  • Top-rated client reviews

once you ’ ve selected a few agents online, scope out their web site, sociable media, reviews, property listings, and more to see how they professionally commercialize themselves. Their on-line presence may besides provide a promote search into their personality, and show whether they ’ re using current engineering and trends .
For a profoundly dive, Google the agentive role ’ randomness name and read extra reviews wherever you can. Notice which positivist qualities are mentioned repeatedly and see how the agentive role responds to any negative reviews .

Step 2: Get referrals from a trusted source

In a 2021 survey, the National Association of Realtors concluded 68 % of sellers found their agentive role through referrals by kin and friends, and another 53 % stick with an agent they had previously used when selling or buying a home .
thus, do you know of any family, friends, or colleagues who have recently used an agent to successfully sell their family ? What about anyone through your social network ? possibly they worked with an agent on your list and you can score a first-hand recommendation .

Step 3: Rule out agents with red flags

The best way to avoid working with a bad actual estate of the realm agent is to spot any crimson flags from the beginning. Keep a lookout for these revealing signs :

Limited sales experience or vague results

Choose a real estate agent with a few years of experience and who ’ mho completed a honest count of transactions per year relative to your commercialize .
“ You in truth should be looking for an agent who is doing at least a transaction a week, ” says Boyland. “ They should be selling 50-plus houses a class because then you know that person has made a serious commitment to real estate. They ’ re going to have systems in seat and are going to have staff. They ’ re going to have market. They ’ re going to have a budget. ”

Mediocre marketing skills

To give your home the attention it deserves, you want an agent who nails selling. While researching agents, pay conclude attention to how they commercialize their on-line listings. According to the NAR, 44 % of late buyers ’ first step to the homebuying process was looking for properties online, and 52 % of buyers found the home they ended up purchasing on the internet .
“ I think the most important things for the home itself are photography and denounce, ” says Karen Kinder, a top-rated substantial estate agent with over 20 years of know helping sellers and buyers throughout the greater Toledo, Ohio, area. Kinder adds that a little stage and professional photography can make a meaning remainder in leveling up a seller ’ s home .

When real estate is their side job

A part-time agentive role may be juggling more responsibilities ( like a second job ). If you ’ ra hoping to sell cursorily, a part-time agent may not have the time handiness a full-time agent can provide .
In addition, a part-time agent may lack the experience and skills to land the best price for your home .

Too pushy and has an agenda

“ Connecting with your agent is very authoritative as far as, ‘ this is person I feel I can trust, ’ ” says Kinder .
You should never feel uncomfortable working with your agent, and you shouldn ’ thyroxine feel pressured into making a decision .

Unfamiliar with your market

Agents who haven ’ t sold in the area for retentive may lack insider cognition about the surrounding market that seasoned agents can provide. Agents who have sold in the area for a while besides normally have connections ( reputable inspectors, contractors, etc. )

Shaky negotiator

You need an agent with calibrate negotiation skills to be your advocate in monetary value, and in helping you sort through multiple offers on the board .
“ Going back and helping the seller blue-ribbon which offer and negociate with that particular volunteer is a truly crucial dance step because there ’ s therefore many features in the offers besides good price, ” advises Kinder .
These features could include negotiating close costs, timelines, home warranties, or other stipulations .

You’re sensing lies (or half-truths)

A good substantial estate agent should never mislead or lie to you, or wittingly hold back information. even if the agent looks great on paper, if something barely doesn ’ thyroxine spirit right, it probably won ’ metric ton receive better. Trust your gut !

Overly eager to please

A good agent will be transparent and naturalistic, offering their professional advice on the best course of legal action evening if it ’ s not what you were expecting or hoping to hear .
For exemplar, you may have a certain monetary value you ’ re hoping to list your house for, but that dollar visualize is much higher than what the comparable datum shows. Some eager-to-please agents will agree to list it that way even though the higher price will delay the sale, and you ’ ll finally need to allow the buyer to negotiate down .
An agent who knows the local market can help you decide on a price that ’ s fair and profitable… so far won ’ t leave your house sitting on the market for months.  

Step 4: Decide what’s important to you before you engage

What do you really want out of a real estate agentive role ? Before setting up interviews, consider what ’ s most crucial to you .
possibly communication is a key agent ? Do you prefer to chat on the earphone, or text/email ? Hoping to sell ASAP ? A immediate reaction time might be eminent on your list. Do you prefer an agent who ’ ll take the reins through the betray march, or do you want to be more hands-on ?

Step 5: Do advance in-person reconnaissance if you can

Try taking a gander through your region for real estate agents selling in your area. future, consider which of these agents have “ Sold ” signs, and which don ’ t .
If you come across an open house, use it as an opportunity to look inside and old world chat with the agentive role. How do they make you, a potential buyer, feel ? Are they personable ? Professional ? Do they know a lot about the dwelling they ’ re deal ? Would you want them to sell your home ?

Step 6: Interview at least three real estate agents to get the real deal

Online research is incredibly utilitarian, but the best manner to choose a real estate agentive role is to speak to them directly. Through conversation, you can get a spirit for important qualitative qualities like honesty and friendliness, american samoa well as a sense of chemistry between your personalities and communication styles .
When preparing for interviews, write out questions addressing your biggest concerns. then set up a quick 15-minute earphone call or in-person interview. In the interview, you can open the conversation by covering the basics about your home, including :

  • Specific location
  • Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Condition (briefly touch on recent remodels, necessary repairs)
  • Unique features such as large acreage, pool, guest house, finished basement, etc.

once you ’ ve hit the facts, contribution your calculate for your home sale. Let the agent know if you need to sell your home in a specific timeframe or for an absolute minimal amount. From there, lead into your interview questions. here are six to get you started :

How long have you been working as a real estate agent?

“ Experience is in truth authoritative, ” advises Kinder. “ There are bumps in the road occasionally that you have to get through, and as a real estate agent you have to know how to guide your people through that. ”
ideally, you want to partner with a very estate agent who has at least five years of experience sell homes. In this couple, an agent will have deepened their sympathize of the local market, encountered a range of singular situations, built a strong network, and developed effective sell strategies .

How well do you know the area?

real estate is hyper-local. You want an agentive role who knows what it takes to compete for buyers ’ attention in your market. The agent should tackle this motion confidently and should be able to point out homes they ’ ve sold in your neighborhood or surrounding area .

What sets you apart as an agent?

This is an excellent motion to see how the veridical estate agent is as a salesperson. This is their opportunity to give you an elevator sales talk on why you should choose them over other agents .

How many clients do you represent at one time?

You ’ re listen for a Goldilocks answer : besides many clients and they won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate give adequate meter to your home sale ; while besides few is a red flag .

What does your fee include, and is it flexible?

Some agents include the price of services like moving and staging in their fee. In HomeLight ’ s Top Agent Insights : Q1 2019 Report, 75 % of agents surveyed stated they ’ ve provided sellers with complimentary staging services. This added fringe benefit may just tip a tie-breaker site .

What do you think will be the biggest challenge to selling my home?

This question tests for an agent ’ s honesty and humility. If your home is decked with popcorn ceilings and gold oak and the agent doesn ’ metric ton address the recast contest, they may precisely be trying to flatter you .
Check out more agent interview questions and agent hiring tips here .

Step 7: Identify relevant certifications and specialties

Always ensure the agent you select has an active agent veridical estate license from your department of state of residence. You can perform a search on your candidate ’ south licenses through Arello, a real estate of the realm license verification database .
adjacent, cross-check the numbers with your state ’ south licensing division on-line to see when the license was issued and if there are any irregular suspensions or complaints on file. ( All the agents in the HomeLight network that we ’ five hundred connect you with must carry an active real estate license for their submit ) .
Some real estate agents may besides complete extra train to specialize in a particular transaction type. Keep an eye out for these certifications if they apply to your situation :

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): To become a CRS, real estate agents must meet minimum professional requirements, complete 16 to 30 hours of education, and take two-hour refresher courses each year after their certificate is granted.
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): SRES agents complete a two-day training course on senior financing options, retirement planning, and communication to better serve the needs of retirement-aged homeowners.
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS): To obtain an SRS certificate, real estate agents complete a two-day course on how to best protect sellers’ interest in transactions.
  • Military Relocation Professional (MRP): These agents complete a one-day training course and two-hour webinar addressing relocating military families’ needs, timetables, and stressors.

Step 8: Ask the agent to share their selling strategy

Do you and the agent see eye-to-eye on selling strategy ? To find out, consider asking the agentive role how they plan to market your property, what their estimated timelines are, and how they plan to conduct open houses .
You may besides want to inquire about conduct time on showings and discuss how to best determine the list monetary value for your home .

Step 9: Review our “Final Agent Selection” checklist

Think you ’ ve found your agent ? Do a final examination once-over to make sure your agent checks all the boxes .

Final Agent Selection Checklist For Home Sellers:

[ ] Is the agent licensed in my state of matter ?
[ ] Does the agentive role have extra trail and/or certifications that could be beneficial for my circumstances ?
[ ] Am I comfortable with the agentive role ’ mho communication style ?
[ ] Does the agent appear to have integrity, professionalism, and overall friendliness ?
[ ] Are they conversant with my neighborhood and local anesthetic community ?
[ ] Does the agent have experience with my specific deal circumstances and needs ?
[ ] Do they have a positive repute in the community and on-line ?
[ ] Has the agent built a professional local anesthetic network if we need contractors ?
[ ] Do they have proven and late results ? ( sale-to-list price proportion and modal days on commercialize )
[ ] Are they an have negotiator ?
[ ] Did the agent answer my questions clearly and to my gratification ?
[ ] Did the agentive role give me an up-front quote in writing ?
Download a printable copy of this checklist

Step 10: Select your agent and sell your home

You ’ ve researched clear agents on-line and through HomeLight ’ s barren Agent Match Tool. You ’ ve compiled a number of names, interviewed at least three agents, and last but not least — function through the final agentive role excerpt checklist. But possibly you ’ re placid on the fence about which agentive role to choose. Kinder ’ second advice ? Go with the person you trust .
“ This is person who ’ second going to come into your home, ” says Kinder. “ They ’ re going to help you with the biggest sale you ’ ve ever had, and you want to make surely that it ’ s person you ’ ra confident with. ”
And remember, if there comes a clock along the home-selling path when you ’ re not 100 % confident your agentive role is performing as expected or promised, don ’ metric ton hesitate to take natural process .
“ You have a contract with that finical real estate of the realm company, and that ’ s something you ’ ll have to review with the agent, the agent, and if all else fails — you may need to contact an lawyer, ” advises Kinder.

In the end, it ’ s your property you ’ re betray. You shouldn ’ thymine fall for anything less than the best .

Find a Top Agent to Sell Your Home for More

Tell us a fiddling about your family and sell needs and we ’ ll provide recommendations for up to three top veridical estate of the realm agents in your area .
Find Agent
Header Image source : ( Stanislav Kondratiev / Unsplash )

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Category : Finance

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