Real estate is a huge market with many
agents signing up regularly. Picking the right agent or
deciding if you should use a realtor at all are decisions
that can affect your bottom line.
Things to consider before signing up with a realtor:
Time frame for selling your home can be a determining factor
in deciding if you need a realtor or not. If you are in a
hurry to sell because of a change of job, etc., you may want
to list with a good agent, after doing your homework. If you
have time to sell your home, you may consider selling it
yourself if you need the equity money for a down payment. If
you do decide to sell it yourself, you will want to put even
the smallest details into the contract. This will help avoid
Doing a little homework to find the right agent can help you
sell more quickly and help you have a positive experience.
Remember, always interview several agents before deciding on
one specific agent. Here is a list of potential questions to
Where do they do their marketing? How
will they get your home the exposure you need to sell?
Do they advertise in the real estate magazines, TV,
radio, newspaper or other publications? Ask them to give
you specific details and describe successes they have
had with their advertising.
What is their background? How
long have they been an agent? How many houses have they
How long does it typically take them
to sell a home? What price range of homes do they list?
Are they generally within the same price range or do
they go after the really high-priced homes in order to
make a higher commission? How many homes do they
represent at one time?
Have they sold homes similar to yours
before and what success have they had? Get names and
address of satisfied customers from the agent.
Is the prospective agent with a
reputable agency and a member of the state and national
What is the commission percentage
they are willing to accept?
Will they refund part of their
commission if you also purchase a home with them? Some
realtors will give you up to one percent of their
commission back if you use them for both selling and
The key is to find the agent that will
work with you, give you good service and has a good track
record. Again beware that some agents list lots of
properties but have a very low success rate.
Tell the prospective agent that you will only sign a
contract that gives you the ability to cancel the contract
if you are not satisfied with their progress after a
predetermined amount of time. If the agent tells you that
that's not possible, ask whether you can list the property
for three or four months instead of a year. Listing the
property for an entire year with one agent is not
recommended. If you list for a year with an agent that does
not work your property or get you results, you are locked in
for a long period of time. Avoid agents that require you to
lock in for a year. Remember you, the seller, are in control
because you are hiring them. There are lots of real estate
agents and you can find one that has good credentials and
will be flexible on the length of time required to list with
them. Also be sure that when you finish listing with an
agent that they will release your property so that you can
pursue other options if your property has not sold.
These tips should help you if and when you need a real
estate agent. Remember you as a seller call the shots. If
you find the right agent, you will increase your chances of
selling your home and should have a good experience.