Your brother-in-law’s friend, your coworker’s nephew, and your mom’s acquaintance from church may all be real estate agents, but that doesn’t mean any of them are the right agent for you. You need one who knows your neighborhood, understands the market, and has extensive experience negotiating home sales.

Homeowners who choose the right real estate agent can expect more money to their bottom line and professional guidance evaluating the benefits and risks of every decision they have to make. Every deal is different and has moving pieces, so unless you sell homes full time, it’s very difficult to anticipate what issues may be coming and how to head them off before they become a big deal.

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How do you find the right real estate professional?

Asking your mortgage lender, insurance agent, or financial advisor for a referral may be a good place to start. You can also search online for real estate listing agents in your area. Set up interviews with your top choices and ask plenty of questions about how many homes they’ve sold in your area, their marketing strategy, and the average number of days the homes they’ve listed have spent on the market.

Can I sell my house without a Realtor?

Whatever you do, don’t try to sell your home on your own. It will likely take a lot longer and you’ll make a lot less on the transaction, even if you save a bit on commission. In fact, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average FSBO home sold for only $200,000 in 2018 compared to $280,000 for the average agent-assisted home. That’s a difference of $80,000! With the rapidly changing market, homeowners typically do not have the tools necessary to see what may drastically impact their home value. Also, they are usually not aware of how many nuances are involved in not only the negotiations, but also the extensive liabilities created through contractual agreements.

Simply put: if you want to get the most money possible for your home (and who doesn’t), a listing agent is the only way to go.