Selling a house can be a complex journey with many moving pieces — from determining the right price and prepping the home for sale, to marketing the home and meeting buyers, to negotiating a final offer and getting to the closing table. But by choosing the right REALTOR® for the job, you’ll find that it can also be an organized and exciting process.
But, how do you pick the right real estate agent to sell your home? Here are insights you can use as you interview a Realtor represent you throughout your entire home transaction.
1. Find a Realtor (or several) to interview before hiring them to sell your home
Realtors are home selling experts. They’ll use their training and expertise to represent your best interests during the home sale. However, every Realtor is different — with unique personalities and niches — which is why you’ll need to choose the right Realtor for you.
If you already know the name of the Realtor you’d like to speak with, but aren’t sure how to contact them, use our Edina Realty agent search to get in touch. You can also search by language, or by office location if you’d prefer to choose a Realtor who works right down the road from your house.
Don’t already know an agent? Consider asking a family member or trusted friend for their referral. Prior to interviewing them in person, you can research them online to see their past history of sales and read customer reviews to better understand how they work.
You may also want to do some research on which agents specialize in your neighborhood. If a Realtor sells most of the homes in your subdivision, that could be a major advantage when it comes to prepping and pricing your home for sale.
2. What to ask when picking the right Realtor to sell your home
Worried about interviewing agents? Don’t be! When you are hired for a job, you get interviewed and agents are no different. They understand that you’ll be trusting them with one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, and they will be open to answering your questions and getting to know you better before you hire them.
Let’s dive into the questions you should ask to help you choose the right real estate agent.
Community knowledge.If your agent has experience or a deep understanding of your local market and how your home fits into it, this could be a good indicator that they’ll understand how to accurately price your home to sell quickly and for top dollar. Agents who live and breathe the local real estate market have a clear edge over those who only pay attention to the homes they sell or the clients they represent.
Their professional network. Do they meet with other agents from their office or competing brokerages? Do they attend and host broker opens, which are open houses exclusive to real estate professionals?
When choosing the right real estate agent, their connections may prove to be advantageous. For example, they could promote your listing to their catalog of contacts, which would give your home more exposure to interested buyers.
Home improvement recommendations. A good real estate agent will help you assess the value of your home and determine whether your house has imperfections that are worth fixing before you list it on the market.
In order to get the best deal at closing, you may have to invest in your property to bring it up to tip-top shape. Whether that be home staging, slight interior or landscaping upgrades or even larger projects that will have a <href="#/" >high return at resale, your Realtor should guide you through this process — and help you steer clear of updates that won’t be appealing to buyers.
Trusted resources. Although you might not be thrilled about putting more money into a house you’re hoping to make a profit on, you can also ask if your agent has resources that can be used to your advantage.
When picking the right Realtor, ask about their connections with stagers or landscapers who might be able to:
- Provide a discounted rate
- Get the job done on a shorter timeline
By having a home advocate who is willing to share trusted resources, you may be able to get your home on the market faster.
Marketing expertise. Your Realtor will be in charge of marketing your home to potential buyers, so be sure to ask about their standard marketing package, which may include:
- Yard signs and paper flyers
- Professional listing photography
- Digital and social media ads
- A 3D tour or virtual tour to include in the online listing
- Postcards or other “snail mail” sent to potential buyers
- Creative open house ideas
Not every house needs everything listed above, but you do want to be sure that your agent has a plan for how to help attract buyer interest and offers.
Recent sales statistics. During your Realtor interviews, request any statistics that they have on the prices and results they’ve received on recent sales. You could inquire about:
- Days on market — how many days was the home on the market before an offer was accepted?
- Percent of list price or price adjustment — do they have a history of dropping the listing price in order to win bids?
Let’s consider the second scenario. If a Realtor routinely has to lower their clients’ listing prices, it could indicate that the agent may not be great at pricing homes to sell at a fair price. Conversely, if they often sell homes for higher than list price, they may be excellent at pricing homes or negotiating higher sales prices for their seller clients.
3. What to ask rookie real estate agents who don’t have a long history of sales
Keep in mind that some of the best agents are just starting out and don’t have a track record, so you don’t want to count out new agents just because they don’t have a dozen years of supporting stats. When interviewing a newer agent, you can still ask about:
- Their familiarity with your neighborhood and recent local sales
- Their Realtor network and who their mentors and advisors are
- Their home improvement recommendations, and vendors who can help you
- How they’ll market your home for sale
Plus, you may want to ask about any creative methods they have for selling your home, and how much time and attention they plan to spend doing so. You may find that when hiring a newer agent, you get above-and-beyond service because they are eager to get the job done right.
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4. Make sure your Realtor has these six traits before you hire them to sell your home
While interviewing, be sure to keep in mind that the best agents don’t only have tangible skills; they also have specific personality attributes that help them to do right by their clients.
So, what makes a good Realtor? Well, they should be:
- Tenacious. A good real estate agent won’t give up when an offer falls through or a home doesn’t sell easily after a few showings.
- Honest. Whether they are giving you advice on how to price, or an update on a potential buyer, you want your Realtor to be truthful in their communications with you. When the stakes are this high, no one benefits from a half-truth.
- A good listener. While they may be the local market expert, you’re the resident expert of your house. Be sure to hire someone who wants to hear what you know about the property’s interior and exterior, as well as the surrounding area. Your knowledge can be a major advantage to helping them sell the home, and they should want to work closely with you to get the job done.
- Dynamic. This is the person who will be the face of your home sale, so you want them to be engaging and open to answering questions from buyers and their agents.
- Resourceful. While some home sales are simple — with a qualified buyer making a strong offer on a desirable home — others require the agent and home seller to think outside the box when it comes to fixing up, pricing and marketing the property.
- Organized. Even the most linear home sale has dozens of moving parts — including MLS listing, scheduling showings, offer acceptance, inspections and appraisals, ordering title work and more. Be sure that the agent you select can keep everything humming as you move toward the closing table.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of your “gut feeling.”
Finally — and while this is subjective, it’s super important — do you trust your agent and look forward to working with them? Remember, real estate purchases and sales are likely the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your life!
In addition to finding a market expert who is honest and organized, you want to be sure you have a good “gut feeling” about the Realtor you choose to represent you.
Key points and next steps
To find the right real estate agent:
- Gather a list of agents to interview.
- Ask them about their experience and their sales plan for your house.
- Don’t count out “rookie” agents, who may have more time to spend on your sale.
- Make sure your agent has the six most important Realtor traits.
- Don’t forget to listen to your “gut!” Your intuition is super important.
If you’re ready to connect with a local agent to sell your home, contact Edina Realty’s customer care team where you’ll be connected with an expert that matches your needs.
Additional resources to consider:
The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home
Do I need a Realtor when selling my home?
Why you should hire a Realtor instead of listing FSBO
Signs of a bad real estate agent
Seven tips for picking the right real estate agent