Selling your house becomes much, much easier when you have an effective, knowledgeable real estate agent working for you.
But how do you find a great real estate agent, or harder yet, a Realtor (a label for agents who are also active members of the National Association of Realtors and bound by the Realtor Code of Ethics)?
It may seem like the best way is to rely on recommendations from family or friends, and it’s true that that can help—but what if the Realtor your sister loved turns out to have multiple negative reviews online?
Rather than going with an agent you see on a billboard, someone you meet at an open house, or a random brokerage that popped up on the first page of your Google search results, you need a trusted Realtor with a proven track record of selling homes for great value in your area.
With that in mind, here are some tips for finding a trustworthy Realtor.
Start the process of elimination with data.
The most important place to start is data.
When you’re just beginning your search, you want to narrow down the agents you’re sifting through as much as possible. The best way to do that? Data.
Some data points to look at include:
One thing to remember, however, is that you always want to compare this data to local trends (many sites that list this kind of data will do that for you already).
If an agent is working in a slow market, they’re likely not selling homes within days of it being listed.
Likewise, if an agent is working in a particularly hot real estate market, their stats should reflect that.
For more on the 2021 real estate market, take a look at these insights from top agents.
Interview more than one agent
Once you’ve identified a few agents who might be a good fit, it’s time to start interviewing them.
It’s easy to choose the first one you speak to, especially if you get along well and you develop a rapport quickly. As important as that is, rapport won’t get your home sold!
What will get your home sold is the agent’s skill, knowledge, network, and qualifications. Here are a few things to ask about when you speak to each Realtor®.
Before committing, consider your options and priorities
Working with a Realtor is definitely preferable to selling your home yourself (For Sale by Owner, or FSBO), but it’s not your only option for a quick home sale.
From selling online to iBuyers, to auction, to selling for cash to investors or home flippers, there are ways you can sell your home fast without going through the whole listing-showing-inspection-etc. process.
Just remember that while cash offers are faster, they’re also almost certain to be lower than what you could get through a traditional sale. Therefore, if you’re not on a huge time crunch, it may make sense to wait the extra few weeks it could take to find a traditional buyer who’s going through a bank.
Finding a Realtor you trust doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time. By following these guidelines, you can find one who will get your home sold quickly and for a good value in no time.