Selling your home can be one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Considering how much is on the line, you might want to partner with a great realtor. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know how to choose the best real estate agent for you, so we made a guide to make it a little bit easier.
Do I need a realtor to sell my home?
While realtors are not a requirement for selling a home, it’s hard to deny their value.
A study from Stanford University showed that sellers who partnered with a realtor were able to get 32% more value out of their homes compared to people listing their homes on their own. This by far outweighs the cost of the real estate agent’s commission – typically around only 6%. That’s why 89% of all sellers choose to list with a real estate agent.
Buying and selling real estate is about more than just money though. The best realtors are experts, they are trustworthy, easy to work with, and they’ll provide you the best experience while helping you sell your property.
Here’s how you can successfully choose the best real estate agent for you.
The first step in finding your perfect real estate agent or broker is finding out what options are available and learning which are your best possible options. When you’re choosing a realtor, follow these steps:
1 – Scan the local real estate market
When you’re ready to find a top realtor, getting information about realtors closest to your property can help narrow down your choices.
You can use Google search or tools like FastExpert.com to see which real estate agents have been active in your area. When you find a real estate agent’s profile or website, poke around and ask yourself these questions during your search:
- How prominent is this realtor compared to others in the area?
- How many properties do they have listed now?
- How long have those properties been listed?
- How many have been sold recently?
Once you’ve found a few realtors that stand out, it’s time to dive deeper and see if they will be the best candidate for you.
2 – Check realtors’ track records
To do your due-diligence, you should check in on a realtor’s transaction history. This is the best way to see what locations they have the most experience selling homes in. You can also learn about the types of properties they typically sell and what price range this seller typically works in. A good candidate should have a lot of history selling homes like yours in your area.
Also, search for reviews from a realtor’s prior clients. These reviews can give you a unique sense of what to expect when you’re working with a specific realtor.
Many of the top FastExpert agent profiles include transaction history and their performance in the last 12 months so you can have that important information when making your decision. You can also message an agent and request the contact details of their past clients if you wish to learn more details. This is a great way to see what others thought of the agent and how well they worked together and how effective they were in selling their home.
3 – Search realtor’s online listings
Do a quick search online to see what properties the real estate agent has listed already. See where they sell the most properties, how much their properties sell for, and how long they stay on the market. You can do this by finding a realtor’s website, filtering for a realtor name on a real estate search engine, or you can use an internet tool like Fastexpert.com.
Websites like FastExpert.com have a curation of well-known realty agents and brokers. These sites can have individual profiles to allow users to see transaction history, zipcodes the agent has sold in, customer reviews, and other information. You can compare multiple real estate agents and find the one that best suits you.
4 – Check for license
Top real estate brokers have state licenses and disciplinary certificates. You can check with your state’s real estate bodies to find out whether the realtor has been licensed to perform the profession. It is also good to check for red-flags like a history of disciplinary action being taken against a real estate agent. If you like an agent but you see that they have been subject to disciplinary measures, you can ask the realtor about it or look for someone with a cleaner track record.
5 – Check for credentials
There are various certifications that real estate agents and brokers acquire to enhance their learning in the market. Certified individuals will be the best equipped to take care of your housing needs. Different realtors may have different credentials, so when comparing realtors, see how many certifications each candidate has, what they are for, and how reputable the certifying body is.
Some certifications you may see include certs for the valuation of a property, residential homes specialist, accredited buyers’ representative, senior real estate specialist, and more. These credentials show a real estate agent’s professionalism a drive to differentiate their skills from others in the market.
Interview Your Favorite Realtors
Don’t commit yourself to an agent too early! Your background research likely taught you a lot about the realtors you’re considering, but take the time to meet the agents you’ve researched.
6 – Choose three or four real estate agents to interview
Every realtor handles their business and their partners differently, so get to know the person you’ll be working with to sell your home. We recommend you interview as many realtors as you can. Interview no less than three agents so you can get a sense of what working with your new partner will be like.
Even though you may have information about the realtor from the internet already, verify your assumptions about the realtor in the interview. Ask them to explain their strengths, expertise, and to fill you in about the information you couldn’t find about them.
7 – Questions to ask the realtor during your interview
Here’s our list of the best interview questions to ask realtors in your interview:
- How long have you been working in real estate?
- How familiar are you with the area this home is in?
- Are you an independent realtor or are you a part of an agency?
- Have you sold a property like mine before?
- How many other clients are you working with right now?
- Do you have a specialty?
- What is your plan to market my property?
- Do you have any references or prior clients I can call?
For more tips and advice on what to ask your realtor, check out some of these questions too.
8 – Choose your realtor, then go forward confidently
After you’ve interviewed all your favorite real estate agents and brokers, review your options and consider who will be the best fit for you. While you reflect on your interviews with each realtor, ask yourself:
- Was this realtor friendly? Approachable?
- Did they seem to really listen to my needs?
- Are they easy to work with?
- Are they a creative and effective negotiator?
- Do I trust this realtor?
If a realtor has checked all of your boxes on your background check, they seem easy to work with, and you feel they’ll get you a good deal, then you’ve found a great partner! Let your new agent know you’re ready to commit to partnering with so they can get your property listed! If you followed our guide, you can go forward knowing your investment is in good hands.
If you’re ready to start researching and interviewing your next realtor, find everything you need here on FastExpert.com.