What to Look for in a Realtor®

Realtor consulting with clients at desk.

If you are thinking about selling your house, you are probably thinking about hiring a real estate agent to represent you. This is a good idea if you plan to go through the traditional home selling process. This will involve preparing the home, marketing it aggressively, having public showings and fielding purchase offers from interested buyers. If you want the highest possible resale value, then a traditional sale will be your best option.

Just know it is not your only option and it may not even give you the highest profit in the end, but we’ll talk more about that at the end of this article.

For now, let’s assume you plan to hire a real estate agent. What are the things you should be looking for? What are the questions you should ask? What research should you do?

Licensing

The first step is to make sure they have a current real estate license from your state’s department of real estate. They can either be an individual agent, part of a team or have their broker’s license, as well. A licensed real estate professional does not have to be a Realtor® (a member of the National Association of Realtors®) to operate, but that is typically another important credential you would like to look for because they have access to more marketing tools and resources.

Compatibility

One of the most important things to look for in a real estate agent is compatibility. You want to find someone you trust to help you make major financial decisions. They don’t necessarily have to be someone you like, though that helps make the process more comfortable. You just have to feel the trust and confidence that they will be working with your best interests in mind. Ask them questions, understand their communication style and make them earn your business!

Market Knowledge

Many real estate agents are specialists focusing on specific market segments. It may be types of property (condos, HOAs, luxury homes, etc.) or it may be geographically down to specific neighborhoods and zip codes. You should hire a professional who knows your particular market well and has experience in dealing with properties like yours.

Experience vs. Availability

A wealth of professional experience is a huge plus, though it’s not always an advantage. Some agents are very successful and represent many listings at once. They may not have as much time to spend with you as you like, or they may have you working with an assistant or sub-agent most of the time. Meanwhile, a newer agent may make up for a lack of experience by working harder and giving you extra attention. Again, it comes down to asking questions and getting a good feel for who you think will provide you with the best guidance and representation.

Marketing

Ultimately, it’s effective marketing that sells a home more than the agent itself. A good real estate professional will be skilled at marketing properties and showcasing your home in its best light. This may include home staging, photography, virtual tours, online advertising, brochures and property flyers, direct mail and social media. If they can’t present you with a detailed marketing plan during the listing presentation, you may want to look for someone else.

Reputation

Successful agents aren’t always the most reputable. They get a lot of deals done, but don’t generate much repeat business because of questionable way they might do things. Research their reputation. Online reviews are easy to find. Ask them for referrals and talk to some of their past customers. Find out what percentage of their business comes from repeat customers and referrals. A high repeat/referral number is often a telling sign of a reputable real estate agent.

These are just some of the things you should look for when searching for a real estate agent to represent your home sale. PropertyLark will be glad to help you find a real estate agent in your area. We will also be happy to help you explore other home selling options that may end up being more beneficial based on your homeownership situation. If you don’t have the time or money to hire a real estate agent—or if you simply don’t want to go through that traditional home selling process—you may want to consider a cash sale or creative financing plan with a real estate investor or investment company like PropertyLark.

The point is you may have more options than you realize, and there may be a better solution. Hiring a Realtor® and going through a normal sale may be your best course of action. It may not. It always pays to research your options and see what else is out there before you get too far down the wrong path.

Contact PropertyLark today to see what home selling option(s) may be best for you and your family.