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Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Selling your home is a major decision...and there is a lot of money at stake. Before you list your home with anyone we have some tips for you. Good real estate agents will assist you in pricing your home correctly, marketing your home and making sure that buyers are qualified. A good agent will also handle negotiations and finalize the sale. A successful broker will have a lot of experience with several types of sales and will give you the basic, honest facts on what to expect. Yes, this is how they make their money and a good reputation and work ethic are of the utmost importance. You have to be able to trust your agent.

You normally wouldn't buy the first car you looked at and it is a good idea (unless you already have a relationship with an agent) to interview more than one broker before you make a decision.

Ask friends, family members and neighbors for their recommendations, always a good place to start. Buying a second home on the Outer Banks is different than purchasing a year round home in a non-resort area. This is especially important if you are planning on renting your home out to help with those new mortgage payments.

A good agent is also one who will be aggresive in marketing your home without being too pushy with potential buyers. That is a turn off.

Of course you will want an agent who is very familiar with the neighborhoods or area you are interested in. Don't go by who has the most "For Sale" signs around. While that very well may be because he/she is an excellent agent you should expect some constructive input If a prospective agent has little constructive input about price and condition for you, be curious: Do they want to help you sell your house or do they just want to put a sign in your yard to bring in buyers for all the other homes? Sometimes more is not always better.

Determine who the agent works for...most states do require that an agent must disclose their agency relationship to you pretty early in the process. Hire an agent who will work for you only...not the buyers.

Here are some questions you may want to ask:

•Specifically, how will you sell my home?
•What is your direct mail campaign plan?
•Where and how often will your company advertise?
•Will you show me a sample of a flyer?
•How will you market online?

As the seller you should ask for the following:

•Agency Disclosure
•Listing Agreement
•Seller Disclosures

Remember that all fees are negotiable...and although it may be a little uncomfortable for some people it is OK and smart to ask for a lower commission rate depending on circumstances.

Don't hesitate to ask for references...and look at the company website to make sure that their sales listings are easy to find and contain all the information a buyer would want to know before picking up the phone or emailing the agent about a property for sale.

Most sellers are looking for an agent who is friendly trustworthy, experienced and works well under pressure. They should possess good communication skills and also be analytical and assertive. And, this is important, they should be readily available to you by phone or email.