How do I pick a real estate agent to help me sell my house?

Asked by Cathy, Horseheads, NY Thu Mar 26, 2009

I'm considering selling my home and moving to Florida. I've never sold a house before and don't know where to find a realtor or what to ask. What's the best way to start? Does the company they work for make a difference?

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Marc Caldaro…, Agent, Westport, CT
Thu Mar 26, 2009
Hello Cathy,
I run two offices for one of the most successful real estate companies in the country. While it may be difficult to answer your question, wholly, without in depth knowledge of your marketplace, let me see if I can point you in the right direction.
Additionally, I completely understand that this can be overwhelming for you since you have never sold a home before.
Allow me to address your questions in order. First, you ask, where do you find a REALTOR? Let’s assume that you have no family or friends in the area that can give you an honest recommendation. Well, I would go to the first place you probably already went to explore your future destination of Florida. The web. The National Association of REALTORS tells us that over 86% of people beginning their search for property begin that search on the web. Put that to work for you by going online and putting in “Horseheads, NY Real Estate” into a few search engines and see what comes back. After all, any potential buyer looking for real estate in your area will do the same thing. I actually just tried that for your area and came up with 3 companies that I would look into a little further. Also, we’re seeing potential sellers visit agents at open houses posing as buyers to get a first hand view of how that agent will showcase their home. Of course, that is only one piece of the puzzle. You’ll want an agent who is extremely skilled at pricing trends and can provide you with an accurate market evaluation of your home. You agent must be someone who is authentic and can articulate their value in a presentation. After all, if they can’t define their value proposition, how will they convey the value of your home to a potential buyer? You can google “questions to ask a realtor” but I’ll share with you the 10 questions that my agents are asked most.
1. What websites will my house be placed on?
2. How long of a listing contract do you require?
3. How often will my home be in the paper?
4. What is your commission?
5. Why can’t we list it higher?
6. What happens if you bring your own buyer?
7. How many houses did you sell last year?
8. What happens if I’m unhappy a month into our agreement?
9. Can you help me find a REALTOR in ___________?
10. So and so will do it for less. How come you won’t?

Company size is important in my market as many of the smaller firms lack the resources that we have when it comes to negotiating contracts with the major advertising publications and real estate websites. Additionally, the larger companies tend to be nationally branded and have tie ins to relocation companies co broke networks and other services.

Cathy, I hope this helps you and wish you all the best in your pursuit of property in the Sunshine State.
2 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Thu Mar 26, 2009
Cathy, I would suggest checking this Blog out as it has very useful information addressing your question.…

Remember that the agent works for you so you must feel comfortable and secure in the knowledge they will be giving you the best assistance possible. Know what your goal is so you can interview to find who will best help you attain it. I have heard rumors that there are more than a few agents wanting to represent someone.

The company someone works for matters way less than their character. Go for the agent with good character, Dunes
1 vote
Betsy Feyling, , 14845
Tue Mar 19, 2013
Hi, Cathy,

I work in Horseheads., NY. You can contact a couple of companies to have an agent come do a presentation about their marketing and to talk to you about your house. You can choose the agent and agency you like the best after talking with a couple to see who you are most comfortable with and that person will help you get your house on the market.
0 votes
Terry Osburn, Agent, Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Mar 26, 2009
First off, check your local listings to see who is selling in and around your area. Ask neighbors or co workers if they have recently worked with an agent they felt had their interests protected.
Interview at least 3 agents. They should be full time and have a strong internet presence. Inquire into their history as to how long they have been selling real estate. Get references and check on them

Look at their marketing plan. If someone comes across with a list price that is much higher than your neighborhood has seen, move cautiously. Some agents who are inexperienced and/or desperate will promise you the world to get your listing.

You can also call the local Realtor Board who can give you referrals for your particular area.
A good agent will be able to set you up with a Realtor in Florida to expedite your process.
0 votes
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