Rich, what a GREAT (albeit loaded:) question. While I would love the opportunity to earn your business, I would recommend that -- to best protect you and your interests -- you interview 2-4 Realtors. And I mean REALLY interview them.
First, to find Realtors to interview, go online and search (here at trulia, you'll find wonderful Realtors from which to choose). Then check out their websites...yes, this IS important. If a Realtor has their own unique website (and not a cookie-cutter one from their real estate company) this tells you something important right off the bat -- that they are SERIOUS about their full-time BUSINESS of real estate and prove that by INVESTING money into their own website. When selling your home, your listing needs to be EVERYWHERE on the Internet...so that it can be easily "found" by prospective buyers. Having searching capabilities on your listing agent's website is ONE MORE url where your listing can be found. (Of course I have to plug my own website that I worked hard on putting together...I'd love your honest feedback on it.....you'll find it at http://www.JudysFineHomes.com
Second, meet with each and GRILL them....ask them anything and everything you'd like to know. How long have they been in the business? How does the homebuying process work? What makes them different from other Realtors? What's their expertise? etc. In particular, when looking for a listing agent for your home, ask each Realtor to tell you SPECIFICALLY how they will market your home -- ideally they should have a Marketing Plan to show you. For example, ask the Realtor to show you SPECIFICALLY all of the websites where your listing will be located (don't let them get away with telling you: "your listing wil be LOTS of websites"....you deserve to be told exactly WHERE each Realtor will place your listing).
Then, sit back and analyse each Realtor with whom you've met. Typically, there will be 1 that you'll "click" with...and that's important. You'll be spending quite a bit of time with your Realtor so you need to get along with each other....and you also have to TRUST that the Realtor has YOUR best interest in mind at every turn. Besides this, clearly you need to feel comfortable with the Realtor's expertise in negotiation -- this is CRITICAL to obtaining the best price for the home that you're selling as well as the home you would love to own. As a formerly practicing attorney who has dealt with hundreds of contract negotiations, I am uniquely poised to bring to you not only a Realtor's expertise, but also years of experience re: million-dollar negotiation strategies.
One more thing to note: On my website, I offer FREE Special Reports for Buyers & Sellers. You can view these Reports as well as request a copy at http://www.JudysFineHomes.com/meet/reports.htm.
I hope you find this helpful. I look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.
Please call me at (610) 324-5240 with ANY questions you may have -- whether that question relates to buying or selling real estate. It would be my pleasure to assist you in any way that I can.
Judy May, Esquire, REALTOR
"A Refreshingly Different Real Estate Experience"
C: 610.324.5240 (preferred)
Search the MLS!