How To Hire A Realtor To Help Sell Your Home: The First-Timer's Guide

Are you selling a home for the first time? Don't be fooled or overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a real estate agent. Here's how to hire a realtor.

In the United States, there are 2 million licensed active real estate agents.

With so many agents out there, it can feel overwhelming to choose one out of so many. Especially if you are selling your first home.

Read on for a detailed guide on how to hire a realtor to sell your home.

Get Referrals From Friends and Family 

If you've never worked with a realtor before, you can turn to your local friends and family for referrals.

But don't just pick an agent that someone has raved about. Location is crucial. You need an agent who works in your area so that he or she will be able to properly price and market your home.

So, go ahead and get a list of agents from your friends and family. But, don't think you can only choose an agent out of that handful.

You can also take a walk around your neighborhood looking for sold signs. Look at the name on those properties. You may notice the same few names over and over.

It's worth contacting those agents. After all, if they've successfully sold homes in your neighborhood, they'll likely be able to sell yours.

Look for a Certified Realtor

People use the term realtor and real estate agent interchangeably. But the title realtor means that the person belongs to the world's largest trade association of agents.

These agents have a strict code of ethics, must pass certain tests and must take part in continuing education courses.

Also, only certified realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Search (MLS) database. MLS is the most popular way potential homebuyers find properties they are interested in. You can't afford to miss out on having your property listed on MLS. 

Interview Potential Realtors 

Don't be intimidated by the years of experience or awards a realtor has under his or her belt.

Treat your first conversation with a realtor as a job interview. Think of yourself as the hiring manager: you get to ask the hard questions!

Here are some questions you should ask potential agents:

  • How long have you been in the business?

  • Do you work full-time?

  • How many houses did you sell last year?

  • What percentage of your listings do you sell on average?

  • What is the average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings?

While there may not be a perfect answer to all these questions, you want to choose a real estate agent that has a very high chance of selling your property well.

Don't hire an agent with less than two years of experience. Be wary of agents who work as real estate agents part-time. They may not be as dedicated (or as easy to reach).

You want to hire an agent that sold over 10 homes during the previous year. And you want an agent that sells 60-80% of the homes they list for around 95% of the list price. 

Review the Agent's Marketing Plan

Once an agent has satisfied you on all the points above, you should ask to go over the agent's marketing plan.

Hiring a real estate agent means understanding exactly how that agent is going to sell your home.

You should expect a lockbox, professional signage with the agent's direct access phone number, digital marketing, and MLS exposure.

Your agent should provide staging advice from a professional stager as well as a professional photographer for the listing. Ideally, you'll want a virtual tour of your property and at least two open houses. Make sure you do your part to get your home ready for showings!

There is no one tactic that sells homes. Instead, these methods work together to get your home prepped to sell.

Look for the Right Characteristics 

A big part of how to choose a realtor to sell a home is making sure that you are comfortable and trust the agent.

You want to work with someone that you feel comfortable asking questions, especially when you are first-time sellers. Does the agent listen to your questions and take time to fully answer you?

You don't want an agent who rushes you, pressures you or makes you feel dumb. Trust your gut. If you feel an agent you interview is not being completely honest or isn't the right fit for you, keep searching.

You also want an agent who has excellent negotiation skills and is a good communicator. After all, this is the person potential buyers will deal with if they are interested in your home.

Finally, ask your agent for a guarantee of their performance. You should be free to be released from a listing if you aren't happy with the way the agent is working for you. If an agent isn't willing to guarantee his or her performance, look for someone else. 

Check References

Finally, when you have narrowed down your real estate agent search to one or two possibilities, it's time to check their references.

Ask the agents for a list of previous clients (both buyers and sellers). Call at least two or three of them and ask about their experience working with that agent.

Feel free to ask if the agent was easy to work with and if these people would refer the agent to friends and family. 

Final Thoughts on How to Hire a Realtor

There you have it! A complete first-timers guide on how to hire a realtor. We hope this article will help you find an agent that will help you sell your home quickly and for the best price possible.

At Palmer Realty, we have dedicated and experienced agents ready to work with you. Contact us today and let's get started.