- Ask for recommendations from people who have just sold a home in your area, or call a local real estate office and speak to the manager; ask the manager to recommend an agent who specializes in your type of property.
- Choose an agent who specializes in your area. Particularly in larger towns and cities, it’s wise to find a realtor that specializes in your neighborhood. A realtor’s neighborhood-specific knowledge can assist you with making savvy investments that account for factors other than just the property itself (schools, local amenities, neighborhood culture, etc.).
When it comes to selling your property, a realtor who specializes in your area will have a particularly distinct knowledge of what the neighborhood market is like, comparable recent sales, and winning strategies. While realtors who cover a more wide-ranging area can certainly also obtain this information through industry databases, personal experience within a smaller area will give you that extra edge.
- Invite the agent to your home for an introductory meeting. Since you will be spending a lot of time with this person, it's a good idea to establish trust and a solid working relationship early on.
- Put together an information sheet that lists your home's features and best qualities, especially those that people might otherwise overlook. Give this to the agent, who can use the information to write an attractive listing to help sell your home.
- Ask the agent how he or she would establish a price and promote your home.
- If you are unsatisfied with the agent's plan or personality, graciously thank the agent for taking the time to meet with you, and repeat the process with another agent.
- If you are happy with the agent, make a commitment to yourself to stick with him or her; it can be time-consuming to jump from agent to agent.
The real estate office can tell a lot about the agent you'll be
working with. Is the office attractive and organized-looking? Is it
easily accessible? Is the office open 7 days a week? If not, does it have a schedule showing at what time you'll be able to get the agent in? Is the agency a member of a multiple-listing service - that is, are its listings available to all other agents and their buyers?
Remember that the agent doesn't have the final word - you do.
Don't let your agent pressure or hurry you into making careless
decisions. You own the property and in as much as you depend on the agent for advice and real estate agency, you have the power to say "it's a Yes," or "it's a No."