How Do I Find a Good Realtor To Sell My House?


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You’ve made the big decision; it’s time to sell your house. Now the search is on. Who should you hire to help you put your home on the market? Selling a house can be a daunting prospect, and you want to find the right real estate agent to help you. A good realtor will guide you through the process, advocate for you during negotiations and, of course, sell your house.

How do you choose a good agent? From getting referrals, interviewing and hiring, we have the guide to help you find the right Realtor to sell your house.

We Found Great Agents and Negotiated Lower Fees For You!

ISoldMyHouse.com has negotiated significantly lower commissions with some of the best real estate brokers so you don’t have to. We will match you with a top local agent in your area that will sell your house (without sacrificing service) for a much lower fee!

 

Find A Top Rated Agent Near You!

 

Ask For a Referral

 

There are good odds that someone in your life has sold their house—probably a few people. Mining your personal contacts can help expedite the Realtor hunt and find some trustworthy options. If your social circle doesn’t yield results, there are also ways to get referrals from local groups.

Family

Between parents, siblings, and extended relatives, you may be able to get a few referrals from family members. Family can be a great resource. They may be more honest with you than other resources, and you may be more comfortable asking more detailed questions than you would be with someone you don’t know as well.

If you do get a recommendation from a family member, get a sense of when they previously used this Realtor. If Aunt Betty last sold her house a few decades ago after her divorce to your Uncle Ted, the market has likely changed significantly, and her experience won’t be as relevant.

Also, keep in mind that you want a Realtor who is familiar with your area. If your family lives far away, or even across town, their referral might not be helpful in your neighborhood.

Friends

While your family might be far away, you probably have friends that live close. They may also have had a home sale that more closely mirrors your situation. A Realtor that has sold houses similar in size, location, and quality to yours should have an edge. They’ll know what to expect and what works well when selling your home.

How the Realtor sells isn’t the only important aspect, though. Be sure to ask your friend about the agent’s communication and sales style. You don’t want a Realtor you will clash with often.

Neighbors

Neighbors are a great resource for referrals. They have a higher likelihood than other referral resources to know a real estate agent that’s familiar with your neighborhood. Be especially vigilant of new “sold” signs in your area. These neighbors can give you insight into what selling is like in your community and hopefully provide a recommendation that has already had success.

Local Facebook Groups

If you‘re not successful in getting a referral from someone you know in person, you can look to online forums. There are many local groups on Facebook where community members interact and ask for suggestions. Look for groups in your city. The closer to your neighborhood, the more likely you’ll get a useful recommendation.

Be cautious not to share too much personal information when asking for a referral. It is much safer to get the Realtor’s contact information than to give your information out.

NextDoor

NextDoor is a social network built to connect neighbors. It is hyper-localized, meaning your forum will only include people close to you geographically. You can post on your neighborhood page to ask for recommendations or look through the history to see if someone else has already asked recently.

As mentioned before, getting a recommendation from someone nearby makes you more likely to find an agent familiar with your area.

We Negotiated Discounts With Great Agents. Find One In Your Area.

Do Your Research Online

 

Regardless of whether you have a referral, you should spend some time researching Realtors online. The internet has a wealth of information that can help you make an informed decision. Does the Realtor have an up-to-date license? Does she have additional accreditation that might be useful to you? Are there any negative complaints against him?

Review Online Profiles & Reviews

There are a plethora of sites to learn more about real estate agents. Below are a few ways to learn more information about real estate agents:

  • Zillow – Zillow is an online real estate database and a well known home value estimator. You can sift through numerous profiles on their agent finder page. Many of the profiles provide personal statements, client reviews, current listings, and contact information for the agent.
  • Yelp – You can look for real estate agents on Yelp just like you’d look for restaurants. Simply type real estate agent and your location into the search bar. The results provide their star ratings and designations like whether the agent has a verified license or offers free consultations.
  • Better Business Bureau – The BBB allows you to search for agents they have accredited. According to the Better Business Bureau, a BBB accreditation means the business is held to a higher standard of customer service, transparency, and ethical business practices.
  • The Realtor’s website – Going straight to the source can tell you a lot about the real estate agent. Is he upfront about his sales process? Does she provide a sales history? Are there reviews? This information can be helpful when narrowing down prospects.
  • Google Search – Doing a general online search can help you find information and useful sites that might not show up on the previously mentioned pages. Some quality agents won’t appear at the top of the search page for Zillow or Yelp. Google can also reveal information about agents that wouldn’t be on their personal website, like if there is a complaint filed.

Review Sales History

Be sure to look into the agent’s sales history, as it can provide a lot of insight. How many houses did they sell last year? How long were their recent sales on the market? How many homes have they sold in your area? The answers to these questions can give you confidence or reveal red flags.

Follow up with the agent if you do find something concerning in their sales history. Understanding how someone handles challenges is extremely valuable. For example, if there is a house that sat on the market for a while, are they willing to tell you why? What did the agent do to resolve the situation? How did the client feel?

These questions should give you a sense of whether the Realtor will be transparent with you and how they might handle difficulties that might arise.

We Negotiated Discounts With Great Agents. Find One In Your Area.

Interview Agents

 

Once you’ve developed a shortlist of agents you are interested in, it’s time for an interview. You are hiring this person to do a job for you, and like any job, there are important questions to ask to find the right candidate.

This person will be negotiating a huge transaction for you, especially if you will be both selling and buying a new house! You want someone who understands your needs, knows the market, and will act in your best interest. But you also want someone who’s personable and meshes with your communication style.

Questions To Ask

There are a variety of questions that might be useful to ask a real estate agent, depending on your specific situation. Before interviewing an agent, put some thought into what’s important to you when it comes to selling your home.

Don’t forget to write them down to make the interview process easier. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. Are you typically a listing agent or a selling agent?
  2. How many clients do you have at a time?
  3. How will you market my house?
  4. Can you provide references?
  5. How well do you know the market around my house?

For a more detailed list, check out our full article “27 Tough Questions To Ask Realtors Before Selling A House

Will You Work Well Together?

Knowing how to sell a house isn’t the only important factor when looking for an agent. You want to make sure it’s someone that will work well with you. A great agent might be a bad fit for you if your working styles clash.

Ask yourself if the agent is taking the time to learn about your specific situation and preferred relationship during the sales process. Each home sale is different. You want someone that understands what is important to you.

Clear Expectations on Both Sides

Before signing a contract both sides should set clear expectations. Establishing expectations up-front will help prevent issues from arising down the line. It will also help ensure the agent is a good fit for you.

  • Price – What price will you set your home at? How flexible are you with that price, and under what circumstances would you go lower? Should getting top dollar be prioritized over selling quickly? You want to make sure you and your agent are on the same page before you sign the contract.
  • Timeline – Is there a certain deadline you need the house sold by? Keep in mind, if you buy a new house while your current house is still on the market you will be paying two mortgages. Taxes that come with a home sale might also factor into your timeline.
  • Showings – House showings can be a big challenge if you’re living in your house while you sell it. You and your agent should discuss how to handle them. How many showings do you want? How much notice do you need before a showing? Will there be an open house?
  • Communication – Talk to the agent about the type of communication you prefer. Would you rather text or talk on the phone? How often does the agent provide updates? Is the agent able to respond relatively quickly to questions? Whether you’re aligned on communication can impact your satisfaction. If you want daily communication and your agent prefers to check in once a week, they might not be the right agent for you.
  • Updates – Your real estate agent might have recommendations for fixes and upgrades to make your home more marketable. Establish upfront what your agent thinks is needed, why it’s needed, and how it can add value to your home.
We Negotiated Discounts With Great Agents. Find One In Your Area.

Understand How Much Commission You Pay Them

 

Most real estate agents work off of commission instead of a rate. This means that the real estate agent earns a portion of the sale of your house. This might seem like a negative. Most people don’t want to make less money. However, it means your Realtor must sell your house to get paid. They don’t make money until you make money.

The commission is based on a percentage of the sale. For example, a 5% commission on a $300,000 sale would be $15,000. Keep in mind, your agent then has to give a portion of their commission to the buyer’s agent. The commission is also used to help pay business fees like a business license and insurance.

Find Out What Is Normal In Your Area

The commission percent each Realtor takes varies. To figure out what might seem fair for you, look into what the common rate is in your area. An agent in a popular market will likely have a different rate than one in a slower market.

Google “average real estate commission + [your city]” to find information on commission rates in your area. Look for recent information. Older articles might not reflect the current market. If you can’t find a recent average, look through a handful of agent profiles to see what percent comes up most frequently.

Should You Negotiate?

Negotiating the commission is certainly an option. Whether the agent will be receptive to negotiations is not a given though. There are a few factors that might increase your odds of negotiating a lower commission:

  • You’re in a seller’s market. When it’s a seller’s market, your agent should be able to sell your house more quickly and then pick up another client. They may be willing to take a lower commission in a market where they can sell more houses.
  • The agent represents the buyer and seller. Since the agent doesn’t have to give any commission away when they represent both parties, they might be more willing to lower their commission rate.
  • No staging is needed. Staging is a useful, but expensive part of the sales process. If your house already looks like a show home, the agent can skip this step and save both of you money.

Should You Go With the Cheapest Agent?

When the commission is worth thousands of dollars, it’s understandable you might want to go for one with the lowest rate. This can work in your favor, but make sure you’re looking at the big picture. What value are you getting from the agent?

An agent that charges a higher commission might be able to spend more on marketing, attracting a wider audience, and ultimately selling your house for more. If you’re in a hot market, the extra marketing might not be needed and a lower commission agent might be a better option. The interview process will help you understand what value your agent provides, and what might work best for your circumstances.

We Negotiated Discounts With Great Agents. Find One In Your Area.

Should You Compare Agents?

 

It’s worth spending some time comparing agents, before making the final decision. You don’t want to waste a real estate agent’s time, but asking a few questions, at least via phone, can offer insight. A pro and cons list might help you narrow down prospects and also identify what is most important to you.

However, don’t waste time overthinking. If the person is a good fit, you’ll likely be able to tell after a short conversation. Then, hire them and let your agent spend that valuable time marketing your home instead!

Should You Choose an Underdog Agent?

 

Underdog agents are often overlooked, but they have significant benefits. A big shot agent has a large client base and is less dependent on the commission from your sale. A less established agent might want to work harder to make sure you both profit as much as possible from the sale of your house.

They are also working to build up their reputation. An underdog agent is highly motivated to make sure you are satisfied so they can earn your recommendation and grow their business.

Bottom line, don’t over look a listing agent who isn’t the biggest agent in your neighborhood!

Review and Sign a Listing Agreement

 

Once you’ve decided on a listing agent it’s time for the listing agreement. This is the contract between you and your agent that establishes the agent’s right to list your house. Contracts can be dense and intimidating but your agent should be comfortable going through it with you.

Here are a few things the contract will likely cover:

  1. The agreed-upon commission percentage for the agent.
  2. How long the contract lasts.
  3. Actions your agent is authorized to take on your behalf.
  4. Your agent’s exclusive rights to sell your house during the length of the contract.

Specific legal requirements surrounding listing agreements and selling your house will vary by state. If you’re concerned about the legal side of selling your house, the American Bar Association has a frequently asked questions page that can provide guidance.

We Found Great Agents and Negotiated Lower Fees For You!

ISoldMyHouse.com has negotiated significantly lower commissions with some of the best real estate brokers so you don’t have to. We will match you with a top local agent in your area that will sell your house (without sacrificing service) for a much lower fee!

 

Find A Top Rated Agent Near You!

 

Sell Your House!

 

You’ve done your due diligence and found a real estate agent you feel good about. Now you can relax a bit and let the professional take over. In no time you’ll be listed on the MLS, reviewing offers and putting up a “sold” sign in your front yard.

 

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