How to Choose a Realtor

You want to sell your home and you want to do it right. So how do you go about finding the best real estate agent who will understand what you’re looking for?

While there is no secret to finding the perfect realtor every time, these tips will help you better assess a realtor’s potential success with your home. It’s a great idea to do as much research as possible, since selling your home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you can make for you and your family.

Check Their License

It’s always a good idea to do a little due diligence when it comes to choosing the person you’re going to trust with the sale of your home. Each state has a board that licenses realtors, and they will have records of any disciplinary action taken against the realtor in question. You can search the Real Estate Commission of Missouri here.

Talk to Previous Clients

When you choose a realtor, it’s good to know their history. You can ask any potential realtor you’re thinking about hiring to provide a list of their listings and sold homes for the past year. Most of the time, you can get this list with contact information for the buyers and/or sellers. The idea behind contacting previous clients is to determine their overall experience.

Once you have the list of properties, you can compare them to your own home to see if they are similar in terms of price, location, or other important factors. You want to look for someone who specializes in the same kinds of properties that you are trying to sell.

Here are a few more good questions to ask previous clients:

  • How long was the home on the market?
  • What were the asking and listing prices?
  • Were you satisfied with the realtor’s performance?
  • What could they have done better?
  • What was something they did to provide a great experience?

Pick the Cream of the Crop

There are many professional associations for realtors that are very highly regarded in the industry. Many of the awards are given by peers, which also tells you a lot about the level of mutual respect in real estate.Choose a realtor that has some recognition for excellence within the industry.

One particular award that carries a lot of weight is the National Association of Realtor’s “Realtor of the Year,” which is awarded to a realtor from each state. There is also a compilation of Missouri’s previous “Realtor of the Year” award recipients here.

Know Your Acronym

Realtors also have specialties, and they get additional certifications for them. Even generalists will usually have additional training in some areas. The different acronyms in your realtor’s title will indicate different specialties:

  • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
  • ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
  • SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.

Finally, if the agent calls himself a Realtor with a capital “R,” that means he’s a member of NAR. Members of NAR are formally committed to adhering to the code of ethics laid out by the organization. The standards in the code of ethics outline the obligations and expected decorum of all Realtors.

Hopefully these tips will help you choose a realtor that will be perfect for your needs!