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Selecting a REALTOR®

Scroll through the Yellow Pages of any community in the United States, and you'll see the names of dozens – if not hundreds or thousands – of real estate agents available to list your home.

In fact, given the number of choices, you may wonder if you can find someone with the right blend of skills and experience for you.

Selecting a REALTOR® isn't just a matter of blind luck, however. Follow these easy tips to help you narrow your choices:

Find some likely candidates
Scan advertisements in the newspaper, cable TV, billboards and the Internet. Look at the messages each agent is sending. Do you like the philosophy she promotes? Does he specialize in selling the type of home you own? Is her sales record impressive?

Drive around your community and check the names on "for sale" signs.
Agents with multiple listings probably have a good sales record. But don't necessarily discount the names that appear less frequently. A new agent, for instance, may possess fewer listings but more time to spend marketing your house.

Talk to friends or neighbors who've recently sold.
Find out how long their house took to sell, what they liked about their agent and why.

Interview your "A" list.
Schedule appointments with the top two or three agents. After you show each one the house, ask him or her:
  • How many homes have you sold in the last year?
  • How many are you currently listing?
  • What experience do you have selling in my community?
  • How will you market my home?
  • What type of representation do you provide?
  • What is your typical fee and what does it include?
  • What is the minimum length of time you will list my home?
  • How much do you want to list my house for?
Make your decision.
Compare your notes on each candidate, looking for someone that you're comfortable with, has the relevant experience and seems confident he or she can sell your home. Invite your top choice back, sign the paperwork and start looking forward to the day you can move.


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