How to Choose a Real Estate Agent for Selling Your Home

Choose a Real Estate Agent

Selling a house is one of the most important financial decisions of your life and if you are selling it for the first time you may be wondering how to find the right real estate agent to sell your house. Since there are over a 100,000 real estate agents working in Virginia, it can be difficult to Choose a Real Estate Agent.

A good real estate agent can make a ton of difference in your home selling experience. They can expedite the selling process, ensure a fair selling price, and make the entire experience seamless.

The best realtors are experts in your area, are trustworthy, easy to work with, and provide you with the best experience while helping you sell your property in virginia.

In this blog we will share top tips to choose a real estate agent.

1. Compare real estate agents online

There is no shortage of online resources for searching an agent but the question is “how can we find the top agent.”

The first step you can take to find the agent in your area is to use a reliable platform like Hr Property Doctor. They have specialized and certified agents with many years of experience. Once you’ve selected a few agents online, here are some things you should consider to check.

Reviews: Analyzing reviews on multiple platforms is a great way to learn about what others in your area think of an agent. Look for common language in the reviews left by sellers (communication, service, negotiating, responsiveness, etc.) This takes a little time but is a great indicator of the type of service an agent provides (which is why our algorithm does this for sellers).

  • Listings sold: Find the agent’s listings in your area, and focus on the ones that were sold over the last several years. Years of experience is important, but recent selling experience carries more weight. And be sure you’re looking at the sales where they represented the seller (and not the buyer).
  • Price range: An agent who primarily sells homes in a much lower price range won’t have the experience needed to attract the right type of buyer. And agents who sell in a much higher price range probably won’t give your listing the attention it deserves. So browse the agent’s listings to ensure they have some experience selling near your home’s estimated value range.

2. Ask for Referrals

In a 2023 survey, the National Association of Realtors concluded that 65% of sellers in Virginia found their agent through referrals by family and friends or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.
Things you should ask in referrals include.

  • Do you know someone who is buying a house ?
  • Have you ever work with real estate agent who sell house ?
  • How much fee you have to pay to the real estate agent ?
  • Is he trust worthy ?

3. Check out the local housing market in person

If you have more time on your hands, drive or walk around your neighborhood and look for repeat agent names on real estate signs (bonus if there’s a “sold’ sign next to them!). According to our research, 5% of sellers find agents from a for-sale sign, while 16% hire an agent based on knowing them from their community.

After you have done that, do a mini-analysis to determine which agent sold their properties at the fastest rate. If you are looking to sell your home, your best bet is to go with the agent who sells their listings the fastest, as opposed to the one with the most “For Sale” signs still up.

4. Beware of red flags

When considering how to choose a real estate agent for selling, it’s a good idea to know how to spot any red flags from the get-go.

Limited sales experience or vague results

Choose a real estate agent with a few years of experience who has completed a fair number of transactions per year relative to your market.

Marketing Skills

To give your home the attention it deserves, you want an agent who nails marketing. While researching agents, pay close attention to how they market their online listings.

Is real estate their side job ?

A part-time agent may be juggling more responsibilities (like a second job). If you’re hoping to sell quickly, a part-time agent may not have the necessary time available like a full-time agent will. In addition, a part-time agent may lack the experience and skills to land the best price for your home.

Shaky negotiator

You need an agent with fine-tuned negotiation skills to be your advocate and help you sort through multiple offers on the table.

5. Choose agent according to your type of property

Selling a studio apartment versus a three-storey heritage-listed terrace are vastly different processes.

Given the multitude of factors that impact the particular property type from heritage and strata issues to the demographic of the potential buyers, you want an agent experienced at selling your type of property.

Not only would an unsuitable agent have an inadequate buyers database to sell your type of property, but they would be at a disadvantage trying to give an accurate appraisal to you, and could have trouble giving ideas on renovations or styling changes that add value, leading to over-capitalisation.

Here are different types of agent in virginia for different types of property.

Buyers agent: They will help you to find the property that you want to buy. There job include research for property, get you the good price and help in negotiate.

Sellers Agent: The agent will help you to market your property in order to find the best market price.

Fit for Dual agent: In some cases the agent will represent both the seller and the buyer.

Realtor: This real estate agent is the member of NAR.

The real estate broker: The agent who has gone for further real estate study and completed it.

6. Identify the certification

Always ensure the agent you select has an active real estate license from your state of residence. You can perform a search on your candidate’s licenses through Arello, a real estate license verification database.

Here is what you can check more.

  • Check Credentials
  • Verify license status
  • Research certification organization
  • Review training and education
  • Check for disciplinary action

7. Carefully Review the listing agreement

The listing is a legal contract between you and your agent. So its important to understand it before signing it. Here are some tips.

  • Check the length – Listing agreements typically last 6 months but can range from 30 days to a year.
  • Review the commission rate – Standard commissions are 5-6%, but rates are negotiable. 
  • Look for an exit clause – Seek a cancellation policy or exit clause allowing you to terminate the contract if needed.
  • Confirm listing details – Ensure the listing price, included appliances/fixtures, and other details match your expectations.
  • Ask about unclear terms – Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on any vague or concerning provisions.
  • Consider legal review – You may want a real estate lawyer to review the agreement to ensure it protects your interests.
  • Take time making a decision – Don’t  pressure yourself into signing quickly. Take your time.
  • Get copies – Obtain copies of the signed agreement for your records before listing the property.

8. Interview agents

You have done your search and find the agents that seems to be great fit. Now come the  most important part the interview. Now is the time to ask question to ensure the right person for the job. Question that you can  ask your real estate agent.

How long have you been working as a real estate agent?

It’s important that you work with agent who has 3 or 4 years of experience.

What’s your plan ?

Not all listing agents have the same selling strategy. And not all real estate agents provide the same service. So you want to know why a prospective listing agent thinks their plan makes them the best choice for you.

  • What do they think you need to do to your home before listing? And how can they help you? 
  • Who do they think your ideal buyer is? 
  • Which marketing channels will they use to reach interested buyers?
  • What’s included in their marketing plan? Professional photos? Video? Brochures? Staging?

How well do you know the area ?

Real estate is hyper-local. You want an agent who knows what it takes to compete for buyers’ attention in your market. The agent should tackle this question confidently and should be able to point out homes they’ve sold in your neighborhood or surrounding area.

What sets you apart as an agent?

This is an excellent question to see how the real estate agent is as a salesperson. This is their opportunity to give you an elevator pitch on why you should choose them over other agents.

What does your fee include, and is it flexible?

Some agents include the cost of services like moving and staging in their fee. A full-service real estate agent will provide a high level of offerings that go toward giving you a great selling experience and boosting exposure to your home.

How much do you think I should list my house for?

Most real estate agents will give you an opinion about what your home should be listed at during your first meeting. But don’t get tunnel vision about the exact number just yet.

Instead, focus on how they got to that number. Make sure that a comparative market analysis (CMA) was used to provide facts supporting the listing price they selected. 

What do you think will be the biggest challenge to selling my home?

This question tests an agent’s honesty and humility. If your home is decked with popcorn ceilings and golden oak, and the agent doesn’t address the remodeled competition, they may just be trying to flatter you.

The Bottom Line

After interviewing all your selected agents and broker review your option to find the best fit for you. While you reflect on your interviews with each realtor, ask yourself: 

  • Was this realtor friendly? Approachable? 
  • Did they seem to really listen to my needs? 
  • Are they easy to work with? 
  • Are they creative and effective negotiators?
  • Do I trust this Realtor

If a realtor has checked all of your boxes on your background check, they seem easy to work with, and you feel they’ll get you a good deal, then you’ve found a great partner!

Let your new agent know you’re ready to commit to partnering with them so they can get your property listed! If you followed this guide, you can go forward knowing your investment is in good hands.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a reputable local house-buying professional, also a real estate agent (Virginia). Count on his nearly fifteen (15) years of expertise in being part of resolving any issues that may threaten transactions, being accessible, and answering questions, as well as remaining transparent throughout closing transactions. One of Paul's Favorite Quotes: "To Give Anything Less Than Your Best Is To Sacrifice the Gift."

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