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How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you need a trusted guide by your side: a Realtor, of course! Here we’ll teach you how to find an essential partner in pulling off this most important of all transactions. Because not all agents are created equal. (They’re not even all Realtors—that designation is reserved for members of the National Association of Realtors.) Here’s how to find a real estate agent who’s right for you.

Gather referrals, but take them with a grain of salt

There are a lot of agents out there. So how do you choose? Go ahead and ask your pals for referrals, but don’t fall into the trap of picking an agent purely because of rave reviews. The old mantra of location, location, location applies to real estate agents as much as homes.

You want an agent who is very familiar with your area, says Wendy Flynn, a Realtor and agent in College Station, TX. The reason is simple: If they’ve spent time in the area, they’ll know how to market your house there.

Finally, don’t assume the most inexpensive agent is the one for you. While agents work at different price points and some may take a lower commission, they should be confident enough in their abilities to stand by their prices, according to Crouch. So when you’re talking terms, he recommends asking agents if they’ll work on a discount. If they jump at the chance early on in the conversation, that might be a red flag.

“Think about this: If the agent can’t even negotiate to protect their ownmoney, how likely do you think it will be for them to go to bat to protect your money?” Crouch says. “It’ll be a test of confidence in their own services at least.”

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