If you are thinking about selling your current home so that you can downsize, then you have taken a big step forward to make this life-change. Though it may seem daunting, if you work with a capable real estate agent, the journey can be comfortable for you.

Hiring The Best Real Estate Agent

You are hiring someone for whom you will pay a lot of money to do the job right for you in this partnership. They will become your ally in getting the best price in the least amount of time, so you see how important this is. Your agent should have a personality you like, experience in selling, and familiarity with your neighborhood and city. The best place to start is to ask you friends and neighbors for recommendations. Then research the qualifications these agents have through their Websites and you can also check them out on a site like Yelp.com or with the Better Business Bureau. Plan to interview three of them to find a good fit. Note: It is bad form to interview agents within the same office.

This allows you to see how polished they are and how they would propose selling your property. They will also have an idea for a selling price. Most likely they will apply “comparable” selling prices for a home of your size and in your general area. Sometimes that is accurate, but not always. The improvements you have made to the property will affect the price. The right price is always the price someone is willing to pay for your home. Home prices fluctuate. If the market is softening where you live, it is probably softer where you are moving to as well and you will see a price drop at both places. The prices typically move up or down together. Because your next-door neighbors sold their home one year ago for $2M doesn’t mean that it will be the current market price.

As the seller, you want to know how the agent will market your home. Some questions you might ask:

  • Do they use direct marketing? local advertisements,? flyers? open houses? online marketing?
  • How will they communicate with you: text, phone, email and what is their availability during your contract with them?
  • You could also ask if they have any references for nearby sales.
  • Will they provide information regarding showings and subsequent feedback?
  • Do they see any difficulties with selling your home? Do they have staging suggestions?

Their input could be very valuable.

Once selected, you should let the other candidates know your decision besides the agent you are going with. You will then sign a contract with that agent. It is up to you to understand it and/or have your lawyer review it. Note: All fees are negotiable, but top agents usually charge the most.