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Finding a Great Listing Agent for Your Home: 8 Tips

If you've decided to list your home, you'll be paying a real estate agent a significant amount of money to the hard work of selling your home. Therefore, you have the right to expect prompt attention, good service, and protection. Here are eight tips for finding a good real estate agent:

1) For your protection, you want a knowledgeable real estate agent to act as a buffer between you and strangers, and to protect you from law suits that might result from your lack of knowledge concerning contract and real estate law.

2) You don't want your agent to be too busy, but you do want them to be relatively successful, because it shows that they list homes at the right price and succeed in getting those homes sold.

3) You want your agent to offer assurances that they'll show your home regularly, that they provide proper signage, MLS coverage, and will create a great sales flyer to hand out to prospective buyers and to other agents.

4) Don't lock yourself into long-term listings. Depending on the market, sixty days may be long enough to show what an agent can do for you. It also allows you to back out of your agreement if you're unhappy with your agent for any reason.

5) Make sure there are no hidden costs in your listing or sales contracts. For instance, some companies charge a "quick sale fee," sometimes as much as $1,000, if your home sells quickly. Make sure all of the real estate fees are explained, in detail, at the very beginning.

6) You can negotiate a lower commission, if that's important to you, which might be the case in a fast-moving market, where an agent might not need to do anything to sell your home other than placing a sign in your yard and listing it with the MLS.

7) Be wary if an agent tries to pressure you into agreeing to pay more than your fair share of closing costs, in order to entice buyers. The listing agent works for you, and their first concern should be to net you as much profit as possible.

8) Of course, you also want your agent to be personable. You may like them in person, but it's also worthwhile to call them at the office, to see how they sound on the phone. If they sound professional and friendly to you, they'll probably impress potential buyers that way, too. Make sure they have a cell phone, as well, to allow both you and potential buyers to get in touch with them quickly and easily.

Choosing a listing agent is important if you want to list your home for the right price and sell it in as short a time as possible. Do your homework, interview several agents, and choose wisely.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see

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