Choosing a Realtor when you sell
Julie Garton-Good, GRI

You've decided to move and want to list your home for sale. While there are various strategies you can use to choose a Realtor that will suit your marketing needs and your personality style, here are some guidelines to assist in your selection.

To find a Realtor that you'll feel comfortable working with:

  • Go back to a Realtor you've worked with successfully before. Chances are if the fit was good before, you'll be pleased again. A high percentage of sellers return to the Realtor who sold them their home;
  • Ask people you know that have personalities and values similar to yours for recommendations and why they'd recommend that person as a Realtor (personal referrals are the number one marketing tool of a prosperous real estate professional);
  • Talk to Realtors who are members of the same clubs, church organizations, and social gatherings you frequent. The adage "like attracts like" applies here and may help you gravitate to a Realtor with interests similar to yours;
  • If personal referrals aren't available, drive through a neighborhood you're considering and note which real estate firms and which agents have listings in that area. Many Realtors will sell properties in what they call "farm areas" (areas they specialize in) which may be near their own homes. Similar lifestyles can be a good common denominator when choosing a Realtor;
  • Look in the newspaper or other advertising publications to view properties in price ranges similar to your home. Note which brokerages and agents have the majority of listings since a wealth of salable inventory can be a strong sign of a progressive company;
  • Choose a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. All real estate agents are not Realtors. As a Realtor® member or Realtor-associate, the agent is bound to a Code of Ethics, including ethical guidelines in working with buyers and sellers. In addition, the buyer has recourse against the agent through a hearing panel of the agent's peers if these ethics are breached and the buyer is damaged. The Realtor® trademark may be visible on the agent's business cards and marketing materials. Additionally, you may benefit from working with Realtors who have professional designations from affiliate institutes of the National Association of Realtors such as GRI (Graduate, Realtors Institute) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist). These designations indicate that the Realtor places significant importance in his or her education and consumers benefit from it.

In future articles, The Frugal HomeOwner™ will help you pinpoint questions to ask to make sure that you and your Realtor define the services available to you when you list your home. Happy selling!

Realtor® is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors