5 Steps for Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent to help you sell your home is not a task that you should take lightly. After all, you are entrusting this person to serve as your representative and to work toward achieving your goals and best interests. Therefore, when searching for the right real estate agent to hire for the job, you should be sure to take these five simple steps.

Step #1: Look for the Right Credentials

You may be surprised to learn that real estate agents have different areas of specialty, with additional training needed for some particular areas. The letters that follow after an agent’s name will tell you more about the type of credentials the agent has. Some of these special designations include:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Specializes in representing buyers in transactions.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Specializes in handling residential real estate.
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): Specializes in representing buyers and sellers who are 50-years-old and older.

Furthermore, if the real estate agent refers to him or herself as a Realtor with a capital “R,” this indicates the person is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Step #2: Explore the Agent’s Listings

Once you have narrowed your choices down to those real estate agents who specialize in what you need, you should next look at the agent’s current listings. Not only will this give you an idea of the agent’s marketing style, but you can also see if the agent represents other clients with homes similar to yours and is familiar with your specific market. The more knowledgeable the agent is about your area, the better he or she will be able to represent you.

Step #3: Do a Background Check

You can further weed out real estate agents by conducting a background check into the agent’s license and disciplinary actions. Simply check with the state regulatory board to find out whether or not the agent is properly licensed and to see if any disciplinary actions or complaints have been filed against the agent.

Step #4: Meet with the Agents

Next, you should sit down and chat with a few agents in order to determine which seems to be a good fit for you. Not only does this give you a chance to ask about things such as any awards the agent has earned and the agent’s years of experience, but it also allows you to gauge how well the agent seems to listen to you and understand your needs.

Step #5: Talk to Recent Clients

As a final step before hiring a real estate agent, you should ask your final candidates for the contact information of some of their most recent clients. Contact these clients to find out how satisfied they were with the real estate agent. Be sure to ask questions about the asking price versus the selling price in order to determine if the agent gives realistic guidance. You should also ask questions about the properties of these clients in order to determine whether or not their properties are comparable to the property you are trying to sell or buy.

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