Dear TZ - How do I choose a Realtor?

Real Estate Agent with Remax First Realty II 0790808

Dear TZ,

I'm thinking of selling my home. Should I go with a friend who’s a REALTOR®, or should I go with the guy whose name is on all the signs in the neighborhood, or what? How do I choose?

- Choosy Chelsea


Dear Chelsea,

Before you hire a friend to sell your home, think about the worst case scenario…  What if they’ve overpriced your home and there’s no activity?  Or they are doing a poor job marketing your home?  The next meeting you have with your friend will probably be VERY uncomfortable.  Let’s face it,  if things go poorly, there is a chance that you will lose your friendship and still not sell your home.

As for the “guy whose name is on all the signs in the neighborhood”, find out if he’s as good at getting those homes sold as he is at listing them. 

When choosing the REALTOR® that you hire to sell your home you’ll need to look at several factors.  You’ll want to sit down and have a discussion with him or her and you may want to interview several REALTOR®’s before making your final decision.

The first thing is you’ll need to determine whether you like the REALTOR® you’re meeting with.  That’s why a discussion is so important.  Many agents will want to meet with you and make a presentation to you.  You’ll see them posturing to be the best salesperson they can be; but what are they really telling you about themselves and how they conduct business?  So have a discussion and talk to each other about what you’re looking to do and find out about the agent and his or her company.

Once you’ve found someone you’re comfortable with, find out how they are planning to market your home.  Get details!  Will they hold a Broker’s Open House?  Public Open House?  How many will they hold?  Are they truly pricing your home competitively?

A good agent will have a well defined marketing plan.  Will compose a Comparative Market Analysis using recent closed sales of similar homes and will take the time to answer all your questions.  Make sure that they always answer their phone or are quick to return messages and emails.

Also be wary if they offer to sell your home for a low commission.  In many cases the commission is part of the marketing and you want the best agent that money can buy, not the cheapest.  If you were needed surgery would you hire a surgeon that had signs stating %40 off all surgeries?  I know I wouldn’t, I’d want the best surgeon money can buy.  Selling your home is usually selling the largest asset you have; make sure you are hiring the best person to do that. 

Good Luck!

- TZ

Posted by




~ Wayne & Jean 

Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!

If you're looking to buy or sell a property in Union County, call us at 908-917-4189 or email


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All opinions, information and data provided is deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Not intended to solicit other Brokers' clients. We cooperate with them fully. 

Faith LaRosse
Springer Realty Group - Limerick, PA
Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties

Wayne and Jean, you've covered many excellent points in this post!  Definitely a question that comes up at least once a week!

Mar 31, 2012 09:27 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Wayne and Jean,

Good answer!

You clarify without steering. Of course, they should choose you!


Mar 31, 2012 09:33 PM
JOSH EVANS *JoshEvansHomes 516-655-5000
Village Properties of Mineola, LLC - Mineola, NY
Great blog and great job. Keep up the good work and good luck yo you this year. Thanks.
Mar 31, 2012 09:35 PM
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

With the way medical insurance is now handled, you are often going to the guy who is 40% off!!!

So, do you pay to go out of network?

Mar 31, 2012 09:48 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Good advice for Choosy Chelsea, there are many things to consider when listing your house.

Apr 01, 2012 08:55 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

This is a great answer and you are so right - for most your home is your largest asset, so do your homework - it's worth it!

Apr 01, 2012 08:44 PM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

The listing in one thing, but if they never sell that too is a sign.

Apr 02, 2012 09:33 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Hi Team Zuhl! Great explanation of a common dilemma! Although I believe that hiring a friend can work out very well.. it's all about honesty and setting boundaries! If the Realtor friend is afraid to hurt feelings and giving in to an overpriced listing for example then that can quickly lead to disaster....

Apr 03, 2012 01:49 AM
Beth and Richard Witt
New York, NY
The best Retired Brokers !!!!

Okay... by now you know that I think these TZ posts... In fact I think they are awesoe... I will be playing copy cat and you can consider that a very big compliment... love the series...


Jul 03, 2013 12:40 AM