Great question. I just picked up a flier on a property listed by a "TOP" producing agent in my area. I tried to look up the property on the MLS and could not find it only to realize the agent put the wrong MLS number on the flyer. I called the agent and lest a message over a week a go. No response yet. Unfortunately it's hard to tell how an agent is going to be until they are. They can tell you everything you could possibly want to hear, but will they do it? You won't know that until the end.
The best way to find a Realtor is from a referral. If the Realtor is referred to you from someone, they usually work a bit harder to protect their network. Sad it is...but true it is.
They don't have to be from your immediate area, just start asking around and find someone who has WORKED with a realtor not just knows them.
Many people promise the moon but don't have papers to deliver the moon.
Research and you will find. Good luck!
- Do they work full time or part time as an agent? (for your benefit, only hire a full time Realtor for the best results)
- How many homes do you sell in a year? How many homes have you sold in my area?
- Do you handle all aspects of the transaction or do others help you? A good agent will have a good team behind them, so no worries if they have a team helping with the paperwork and such. The agent should be available for negotiation matters, any problems that may arise, and to touch base with you regularly.
- Pricing - of course you will discuss pricing. Ask the agent what your home is worth and at what price they suggest putting it on the market at. Ask to see comps (a well-prepared agent will bring comps to the listing appt!). Talk about pricing strategies.
- Marketing - this is a big one! - a huge percentage of buyers start their home search on the internet now. Find out about the agent's internet presence. What sites do they advertise on. Etc. What other forms of marketing do they do? How many Open Houses?
- Feel free to ask for references
These are just some starting points. Make sure you get a good feeling from the agent and can have a good rapport.
Keller Williams Realty
Last but not least, make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you pick.