Repairs, inspections, listings — there’s a lot to manage when selling your home.

But Realtor Susan Desselle offers a few key points to keep in mind while hiring a real estate agent that will help keep you cool and composed.

Selling your home while living in it is a challenging experience under the best of circumstances. It is critical that you sell quickly to maintain leverage during the negotiations due to the limited amount of time on the market. Selling a home requires getting the property ready to show and sell both inside and outside, as well as pricing correctly for the current market conditions, considering the condition of the home and age of updates and systems. Employing a succinct marketing and advertising plan that attracts buyers and agents and drives them to your property is absolutely key.

When considering who to hire to represent the sale of your home, leave no stone unturned. Statistically, each person knows 10–12 licensed realtors. This, however, is not a job you give to someone because they are a friend, a neighbor or a coworker. An experienced, vetted, skilled realtor with a proven track record selling homes comparable to yours is going to be your wisest choice. 

Ask friends, neighbors and colleagues who they have had a successful, positive experience with in selling their home. This is very different than asking if they know a realtor.

It’s so important to award the representation of your home to a realtor who can articulate their experience level and their skill set for the process, as well as their detailed marketing and advertising plan for your home. They should be able to give you a list of clients for whom they have successfully sold homes in the past 12 months. 

If you have successfully sold a home in the past and had a positive experience with your listing agent, add them to your list of realtors to interview. Focus on those with extensive experience assisting sellers. An agent who assisted you wonderfully when you were a buyer may not necessarily be an experienced and skilled listing agent. 

Ask your lender, title company and inspector who they recommend and why. Research each name, then select three to five realtors you would like to interview.

Questions to ask at each interview 

• What is my home likely to sell for in today’s market? Why?

• How long is it likely to take my home to sell?

• What is your appointment setting and feedback process?

• How long have you been selling real estate?

• How many homes do you sell a year as the listing agent?

• What is the price range of the homes you have sold as the listing agent in the last 24 months and the average percentage of list price they sold for?

• What services do you provide to assist me in getting sell-ready and show-ready?

• What skill sets do you think are needed during the marketing and advertising process, the offer and acceptance process, the inspection and repair process?

• What types of things can go wrong for me as the seller at any point, and what will you do to avoid or correct these things?

• What will you do for marketing and advertising my home specifically? How much money will you invest, and when will each action be taken? (Ask for a sample.)

• Will you use a third party professional real estate photographer to put my property in its very best light on the internet? Who?

• Will you use a virtual tour and/or walk-through video? (Ask for a sample.)

• How would you employ social media specifically for my listing?

• Will my home be on the open market right away to ensure full market exposure?

• How often will I hear from you about the status of my listing?

• What additional real estate education or designations have you acquired to be better equipped to represent the sale of my property?

• What type of specific support or assistance do you provide to assist me with the representation of my home? 

• How are phone and internet inquiries about my home handled, and who handles them?

• What are the commission fees for me? How are they structured?

• Please provide contact information for five sellers you have successfully represented in the last 12 months that I may contact for references.

Hire the realtor that is the best fit, follow their advice and get your home SOLD!

Susan Desselle is the Owner/Principal Broker of Desselle Real Estate