For most people, their home is the biggest investment of their life.

You need to do some research to find the one that’s right for you. Finding the right match will pay off in the long run.

Tips for Choosing the Right Realtor

Go with a Pro

The terms agent, broker and Realtor are often used interchangeably but not all agents or brokers are Realtors. The term “Realtor” identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict code of ethics, which in some cases goes beyond state law.

Experience Counts

One of the first questions you should ask a potential Realtor is how long they’ve been licensed and how long they’ve worked in the area.

Get Referrals

Friends, neighbors and co-workers are often good sources for referrals. Get as many details as possible about their selling experience with a particular agent. Were they happy with the service they received? Would they use the agent again? You can also check the Internet to scope out options and find leads. Look for sold signs in your neighborhood.

Think Locally

Look for a Realtor who is familiar with the area. Ask what they have sold or listed in the neighbor-hood recently. A Realtor should be able to provide you with information the community, schools, taxes and other facts. If you’re selling, you want your agent to be able to talk to prospective buyers about these details.

How Will You Market My Listing?

You don’t want someone who is going to put a For Sale in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively. Buyers today want information fast, so its important that your Realtor is responsive.

Interview the Candidates

Set up interviews with Realtors you’re considering. You might also want to visit open houses to observe the agent in action. Are they familiar with the property, the area, the real estate transaction? Did they show the home in a professional manner? Were they enthusiastic and easy to communicate with?

Don’t Let an Agent Buy Your Listing

If one agent says he or she can sell your house for substantially more money than the other agents quoted you, thy are probably telling you what they think you want to hear in order to get your listing. Or they may not be familiar with the market in your area. Statistics show that properties which are over priced when they are listed stay on the market longer and sell for less than if they had been properly priced from the start.

Agree on Expectations

Ask your agent to give you a written marketing plan detailing the steps they will take to sell your home. The agent should offer advice on how to prepare your home for the market and who has enthusiasm for your property.

Look for a Personality Match

Once you’ve found qualified professionals with the right expertise, make sure you choose someone you trust and like. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your Realtor and it should be someone you feel compatible and comfortable with.

How Will You Keep Me Informed?

This is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will you reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there is a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, email or a personal visit?

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