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Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

The latest reports say that the real estate market is turning around and sellers are reaping the profits. When listing a home, sellers should carefully select a real estate agent that will represent them effectively and accurately, helping to reduce the overall days on market. How do sellers interview real estate agents to ensure they are hiring one that offers superior representation? This helpful guide highlights several tips for sellers to consider when hiring a real estate agent.

  1. Experience – When interviewing real estate agents, ask how much experience they have and details about their sold and active listings within the last year. What is their average listing to sales price ratios? Does the agent typically under price or overvalue homes? Also make sure that the agent specializes in your home’s area.
  2. Licensing – State authorities license real estate agents. Real estate departments maintain detailed information about complaints and disciplinary actions. Additionally, the World Wide Web is an excellent place to search for reviews and comments about an agent.
  3. Winners – If the agent works for a large corporation, such as Coldwell Banker or Remax, the coveted prize of top sales agent is an impressive achievement. Agents that have been endorsed by their peers are outstanding accomplishments. Also, if the agent is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors®, are they well rated?
  4. Credentials – Many real estate agents have a plethora of initials following their names, but what do these mean?
    1. Realtor® – This means that the agent is a licensed real estate professional and also has membership with the National Association of Realtors®. This association holds members to high ethical practices.
    2. ABR – Known as the Accredited Buyer’s Representative achievement, this means an agent specializes in working with buyers.
    3. CRS – A Certified Residential Specialist has successfully completed the required training to handle a wide variety of residential real estate transactions.
    4. SRES – Also known as Seniors Real Estate Specialists, these agents are accredited to work with both buyers and sellers that are 50 years and older.
  5. Length of Time – Don’t hesitate to ask how long an agent has been in business. If the agent has been in business five years or less, chances are that he/she is still in the learning phase.
  6. Current Listings – Inquire about the agent’s current listings. Does the agent sell homes that are similar to yours, in a competitive price range and located to the area of your home? Agent’s listings can be browsed via their personal website or on Realtor.com.
  7. Questions – Sometimes the best tests are those that are unexpected. If a house sold nearby, don’t hesitate to ask the agent questions about the home’s details, selling price and days on market. If the agent is familiar with the area, he/she should know this information.

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