It's been years since I've sold a house, but I'm ready to downsize and move closer to family. How do you pick a good realtor ?

Asked by JKS, Oklahoma City, OK Tue Mar 1, 2011

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Jennifer Bla…, Agent, Owasso, OK
Tue Mar 15, 2011
Hi Janice:

Some great suggestions below. In addition to being competent, Always make sure that the Realtor understands your needs and will work for your BEST interest. Choose a Realtor you "mesh" with it and one that you know will represent you in the light you wish to be seen.

Good Luck!

Jennifer Henning
GREEN Designee
(405) 625-1576
1 vote
Steve Tellier, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Hi Janice,

It is great you are asking this question! Following is a list I found on Dave Ramsey's website a few years ago and I thought it was a good list. Hope this helps.

10 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire a Realtor

Not all real estate agents are the same. If you decide to seek the help of an agent when selling or buying your home, you need some good information before you make any moves. It's critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.

1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?

It's a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don't to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?

2. What is your company's track record and reputation in the market place?

It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being #1 for this or that, or quoting you the number of homes they've sold. If you're like many homeowners, you've probably become immune to much of this information. After all, you ask, "Why should I care about how many homes one agent sold over another. The only thing I care about is whether they can sell my home quickly for the most amount of money." Well, because you want your home sold fast and for top dollar, you should be asking the agents you interview how many homes they have sold. I'm sure you will agree that success in real estate is selling homes. If one agent is selling a lot of homes where another is selling only a handful, ask yourself why this might be? What things are these two agents doing differently? You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year. This volume makes it difficult for them to do full impact marketing on your home, because they can't raise the money it takes to afford the advertising and special programs to give your home a high profile. Also, at this low level, they probably can't afford to hire an assistant, which means that they're running around trying to do all the components of the job themselves, which means service may suffer.

3. What are your marketing plans for my home?

How much money does this agent spend on advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing? In what media (newspaper, magazine, TV etc.) does this agent advertise? What does s/he know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?

4. What has your company sold in my area?

Agents should bring you a complete listing of both their own, and other comparable sales in your area.

5. Does your Broker control your advertising or do you?

If your agent is not in control of their own advertising, then your home will be competing for advertising space not only with this agent's other listings, but also with the listings of every other agent in the brokerage.

6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?

This information is available from the Real Estate Board. Is this agent's performance higher or lower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high a price you will get for the sale of your home.

7. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?

This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Does this agent tend to sell faster or slower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells.

8. How many Buyers are you currently working with?

Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers.

9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

Ask to see this list, and then spot check some of the names.

10. What happens if I'm not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold?

Can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract which they can get out of (by ceasing to effectively market your home) but you can't. There are usually penalties and broker protection periods which safeguard the agent's interests, but not yours. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you're not satisfied with the service provided?

Evaluate each agent's responses to these 10 questions carefully and objectively. Who will do the best job for you?
1 vote
Carolyn Sims, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011

Interview realtors and see who you think you can work with. Be sure that your communication styles match. Some realtors only want to text or email, and if you prefer telephone conversations, that will not be a good match. Be sure that the realtor explains their marketing plan. Many realtors do not hold open houses, but if homes in your neighborhood are usually held open, you will want a realtor who is willing to spend the time holding your home open. Ask friends, co-workers and family about their experience with realtors and get a personal reference.

I would like to be one of the agents that you interview.

Carolyn Sims
Keller Williams Northwest
1 vote
Rose Wilkins…, , Edmond, OK
Wed Mar 30, 2011
I was a Realtor for several years, but I believe a good Realtor not only gives you a good, traditional marketing plan for your home (fancy websites, email campaignes, open houses, virtual tour, and advertising your home in brochures) they will also be familiar with:

1. Lease Options (Rent to own)

2. Owner Financing

3. Wrap Around Mortgages

4. Cash As-Is Offers Versus Selling to a retail buyer

5. Partial owner financing

6. FHA and VA regulations (Because 90% of your retail buyers will only be able to get a government loan - which means the home you are selling has to be in PRISTINE condition!)

In this market climate, it is my humble opinion that traditional knowledge about retail sales and service is no longer "good enough." A seller needs to be armed with ALL of their creative options - not just some of them.

Rose Wilkinson, Equity Estates LLC
0 votes
Adana Bryant, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Wed Mar 2, 2011
Hi Janice,

I've read through the responses that other great realtors have sent in and their comments range through a ton of items. They are all important to be sure.

I would like to simplify though and express my views. I learn what my clients want and then create exactly what they ask for. If this resonates with you, then call me to see if I'm the realtor for you!


Adana Bryant
Reuter Realty
0 votes
Jon Haley, Agent, Edmond, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011

All of these are excellent answers and great questions to ask when calling around to select the Realtor that is right for you. But one thing I would like to add... find a Realtor you are most "comfortable" with. You can usually find this comfort feeling with a short 10 - 15 min phone conversation before you set up a home interview. Look for someone who is just as good at "listening" to your needs; as well as, giving you answers you completely understand. Also, I did not see anything about Virtual or Visual Internet tours recommended for your listing (selling) home. Just as you are asking these questions on Trulia; 85% - 90% of home buyers are searching the internet for their next home purchase. And, visual tours will give your potential home buyers the best internet viewing of your home and its best selling features. If you have more questions about what visual tours are contact me and I will send you an example of one.

Best to Your Home Selling Success,

Jon Haley
Metro First Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes
Masil Masila…, , Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Hello Janice,
Finding the right agent for your home buying and selling is very important. An interview most of the time doesn't give a true picture of a person. I have interviewed lot of people in my 23 years of teaching carrer while teaching engineering in college. We select someone thinking that person is going to be a super person and it turned out to be not so good. Best way is to get three references and talk to them directly.
Here are some of the many services you can expect from me as your agent:
• Accessing every home on the market (and some that aren't yet!)
• Viewing properties that are inaccessible without an agent
• Referring you to qualified professionals (insurance, mortgage, legal, etc.)
• Successfully negotiating the best price and terms
• Representing you through the contract, escrow and closing process
Have you selected an agent to assist you yet?
Remember, using an agent in the buying and selling process is very much to your benefit, and it doesn't even cost you anything while buying. .
I look forward to helping you find your dream home!
Masil M. masilamani,GRI,e-Pro,PE
CENTURY 21 Goodyear Green
0 votes
John Marquie…, Agent, Edmond, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011

The first thing I would suggest is that you talk with family and friends and see if they have a realtor they can recommend. Then once you have one or several realtors in mind ask them to discuss their marketing plan with you. It takes more than just putting a sign in your yard to sell your home. Feel free to email me at for a no obligation resource for helping you with your real estate delima. I hope you have a blessed week!
John Marquiess Re/Max Twin Rivers
Web Reference:
0 votes
John Phillips, , Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Hi Janice;

You need to interview a few Realtors and listen to what they can offer you, it is very important on todays marke to have everything that is available to help sell your home. Ask for a market analys in your area they should give you this at no problems, Look for a Realtor with well known web sites. Look for a Realtor that knows the area. Also look for a realtor will listen to your needs, and is also familiar with the area where you want to buy your new home.
I hope this helps:
John Phillips
405 413 0791
0 votes
Charlotte Gr…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Hi Janice,

I agree with the first comments. Our website is

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your goals and provide you with our services to meet your goals.
Web Reference:
0 votes
David Franke, Agent, Edmond, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
The most important point in selecting a realtor is that they have your interest at heart.
0 votes
Ryan Hukill, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Janice, I'd suggest interviewing several agents who specialize in listing and marketing, as opposed to agents who work mostly with buyers. Those are two very different skill sets. With that in mind, I'd love to be one of the agents you interview, so I can show you why my listings sell in an average of 61 days, and I haven't had a single listing expire unsold in over 4 years. Please check out my website and google my name to find out more about my experience. Thanks.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Charles Auer, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Questions to ask: General Background Information

1. Works full time as a real estate agent Full timers typically provide clients more attention.
2. Number of years experience Its better to work with an experienced agent.
3. License is in good standing You can also check with your states licensing agency.
4. Located nearby /How close to the home you are selling /Does the agent live in or near your neighborhood
5. Number of other clients they serve Include both buyers and sellers. It is said that the busiest agents are often the most effective.
6. Backup office support Do they have another agent or assistant available to help when the agent is out of the office?
7. Can provide references Get at least 2-3 names and call them.
8. Accessibility Can broker be reached by: Email/ Cell phone
9. Can accommodate your schedule Lunch hours, nights, weekends
10. Knows the local real estate market
# of years he/she has sold in the area
# of houses he/she has sold in the area
Price range of houses theyve sold in the area
11. Commission fee Most agents charge sellers a 6% commission. Ask if their commission fee is open to negotiation.
12. Can provide CMA
Report should include listing price, sales price and property details of comparable homes (square footage, # of bedroom, # of bathrooms, etc.) over a 12-month period.
13. Provides a customized marketing plan Ask if the selling strategy includes the following:
Newspaper ads (which publications)
MLS listing
Agency website
Open house(s) for agents/brokers
Open house(s) for prospective buyers
Personal contacts with in-house agents
Personal contacts with other agencies
14. Willing to work on a 60 or 90 day listing Indicates the agents commitment level to you.
Hope This Helps!!!
0 votes
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