Realtors – How to Work with the Best


If you are considering selling your home, one of the most important decisions you will make is which realtor to list your home. A good realtor is worth his or her weight in gold because of their experience, sales ability, and contacts with prospects and other agents.  The following checklist will give you the best opportunity to find the right realtor for selling your home at the highest price.
Buying or selling your home is one of the most important decisions anyone ever has to make during the course of their life. That is why it makes sense to speak to the experts and seek their advice. I recommend Lorin McLachlan (


·        Work with a top agency.  In most markets a handful of agencies dominate the market.  These top agencies typically are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the real estate activity and since activity is one of the important ingredients in selling your home, listing with a top agency increases your chances of getting more showings.  To identify the top agencies, scan the real estate advertising section of your local paper for a couple of weeks.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out who the top agencies are.

·        Work with a top agent.  After you have identified the two to three top agencies, call the offices and ask the manager for the names of the top selling agents for homes in your area and price range.  Be clear that you are looking for someone who is full-time in the business and a top seller. Top sellers will come in two varieties.  The veteran agent and the up and coming agent who is aggressively trying to make a name for himself or herself.

·        Interview several top agents.  Call two to four of the top agents you have identified and let them know you are meeting with several agents to discuss listing your home and see if they are interested. Ask how many homes he or she sold in your area in the past twenty-four months.  If it is less than a half-dozen, you may need to keep looking.  One indication of sales ability is membership in the Million Dollar Club.  Top agents who are relatively new to the business may not be members yet, but the veteran agents should be.  Typically the agent will visit with you and give you an estimate of what he or she believes your home will sell for and at what price it should be listed.  This is very helpful since you’ll now have a good sense of the market value of your home. Ask the agent what he or she would recommend you do to make your home ‘show’ better.  Not only will you get a lot of great ideas, you’ll also get a good sense of which agent you want to work with.

·        Ask for a marketing plan.  Every agent has his or her own style for selling homes.  You want to know what to expect once your home is listed.  The marketing plan should address such items as how often the agent will hold an open house for prospects, an agents caravan or open house, and how often and in what medium will your home be advertised.   Ideally this marketing plan will be in writing and will serve as a guide for future actions.  Be sure this marketing plan includes an agreement about communications between the agent and you.  You will want regular feedback about how things are going; what prospects thought about your home as well as what other showing agents thought. 

·        Listing term.  There is a fair amount of debate about how long your listing agreement should be.  The best solution is to discuss this with each agent you interview.  While no one can predict how long it will take to sell a property, the agent will have an idea of how long he or she thinks it will take and what the appropriate listing period should be.  This listing period should match up with the marketing plan presented by the agent.  If at the end of the listing period, your home has not sold, review with your agent the marketing plan and what worked and what didn’t.  Have the agent outline what changes he or she would make to the marketing plan going forward.  If you are satisfied with the work your agent has done and the revised marketing plan, extend the term of the listing agreement as you mutually agree is appropriate.  If not, you will have an opportunity to list with another agent using this same checklist.


Following these tactics does require some work on your part but given the sizeable money at stake, you should make the extra effort.


Posted On: February 26, 2005
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