The Seller’s Guide to Choosing a Real Estate Agent

As a home seller, it’s pretty normal to start looking for a real estate agent after you’ve decided to move out of your current home. You might have received a job offer out of state or maybe just outgrown your space, but whatever your reason, you’re probably going to need to find the agent who can sell your home both quickly and for the best possible price.


A good seller’s agent will have the proper experience in handling the entire sale process as well as preventing any possible complications that may arise. Real estate transactions, as you probably know from purchasing your home initially, are ridiculously complex and involve a lot of legal jargon and terms you’ve never heard of. The agent’s job is to get you through this process and be your advocate throughout it.


What to Look For


A good seller’s agent is pretty easy to spot. From their communication skills to their market expertise, it’s easy to see why you should hire an agent during the home selling process.


Communication skills are critical in a good seller’s agent, as they will be the communication between you and the potential buyer or buyer’s agent. You will need this during negotiations and for any possible offers made on your home. Make sure they respond promptly and articulately in your initial contacts with them; this is an indicator of how they’ll present themselves to buyers and their agents.


Market expertise helps with not only pricing your home, but also when trying to make your home visible to potential buyers through the MLS, for-sale signs, internet advertising, etc. Make no mistake: creative internet advertising is absolutely crucial in this day and age. An agent who’s not on the ball here is lagging behind when it comes to keeping up with how consumers prefer to browse homes. Look for agents who use videos, virtual tours, Facebook ads, and group postings to get your home in front of as many people as possible.


A good track record is important. Don’t be afraid to request the asking and sales prices for an agent’s past home sales. You want to see how long their listings were on the market (long listings could indicate overpricing or poor marketing), and whether their sale prices were comparable to similar homes in the area around that time. It’s even better if you can find examples of listings that are similar to your home.


What to Avoid


The probability of selling your home quickly and for a good price rests heavily on the skills and knowledge of your seller’s agent, so you need to treat this relationship as an important one.


Look at their track record. A poor one means that either the agent hasn’t sold a lot of homes or the homes sold for far less than the initial asking price. These are bad signs either way. At best, the agent is inexperienced. At worst, they’re prone to overpricing at first or poorly marketing/staging the home to the extent that a lower price has to be accepted. Either way, you want to aim higher.


There are obviously economic conditions that might influence how real estate has performed in your area over the years, but you want to look and make sure a potential agent’s performance isn’t an outlier or beyond the scope of reasonable economic factors. Again, ask how long their past listings were on the market. That can tell you a lot.


Make sure your agent is experience in selling homes. There’s a difference between a buyer’s and seller’s agent, which is why we did two different articles on the subject. Just because someone is an agent doesn’t necessarily mean they have experience in selling homes. No experience selling homes similar to your specific house can also be a warning sign. An easy way around this is to ask about the qualities of the homes they’ve sold in the past, and for how much, to determine the sale of your home.