How to make sure you hire the realtor who’s right for you. (Part 1)

I know what you’re thinking: “Here it comes, the shameless plug for realtors.” Shameless: yes. But plugging realtors just because I am one? Not a chance.

I’m not going to tell you why you should or shouldn’t hire a realtor to help you during the sale of your home. I know without a doubt that you should hire a realtor (there’s my shameless plug). Just like any other industry, hiring someone without doing the proper research and not knowing how to identify the characteristics and qualities that make up a strong realtor can get you into trouble. I want to show you how to hire a realtor you’ll be proud of. Here are some important characteristics, qualities and credentials you should look for:

1) A willingness to meet you where you are. This is about working with someone who cares more about your comfort than they do their commission. An agent who possesses this quality will not try to get you to alter your plans, time-frames, your list price or selfishly guide you so they can make a sale.

This certainly doesn’t mean that your realtor shouldn’t give you their advice or caution you to avoid mistakes. They should talk to you about what needs to be done to your home in order to prepare it for the market; the dangers of overpricing your home; where you should invest your money in order to bring the biggest return on your improvements; give you their suggested list price, etc. That’s part of representing you properly. But, short of breaking the law or lying, they should yield to your decisions, your time-frames and protect your comfort most of all.

Here’s one way to tell if they have this quality or not: tell them you need to think about it. After you say that, study their reaction… Do they try to convince you that signing up with them at that moment is best? Do they push a listing agreement in your face? Do they seem annoyed? I don’t want to make it sound like a realtor should be timid or afraid to speak up when they need to. They should be confident but not arrogant. What you’re looking for are signs that indicate they care more about their goals than yours.

2. Contract and negotiating expertise. You don’t realize how at-risk you are when you choose a realtor that doesn’t know how to protect you on the contract and negotiate in a way that keeps you safe; bringing you the best deal possible. Too often these areas are overlooked or approached in a flippant manner. Contracts and negotiating directly affect your equity and they are often handled carelessly. It can cost you thousands out of your pocket when done wrong. Make sure your realtor knows what they’re doing here. In fact, send me an email at and I’ll give you a copy of the contract so you can familiarize yourself with it.