How to Choose a Realtor

Conversation, questions to ask and why they are important


You do not need a Realtor to sell your home.  If you wait by the phone, someone will call you and ask you if you have a home for sale.

If it is so easy, why would you even want a Realtor.   You can sell your home today to Open Door, Zillow, Office Pad, Sell Fast and many more buyers.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a Realtor.  

Keep from being sued. (Or at least provide one more resource that might help you to not get sued.) 

Be your advocate.   A team member with expertise to help you navigate.

 All the normal real estate sale issues like, pricing the home,  negotiating the sales price, overseeing and explaining all of the issues in the sales process, dealing with inspection issues, reviewing documents,  giving options.  They say that a real estate transaction is a hoop jumping contest.   Some of the issues that come up may be completely new and require research to determine the best options.   Your Realtor will help you jump through those hoops.

How do you pick a Realtor.  Your family friend.  The guy on the bench.  The duo on the radio.  Referral. Yelp.  Civic clubs.  Google.   Every 119thth person in Florida has a real estate license, so they are easy to find.

You still have to pick.  You can use the internet to find out about a Realtor.  This might lead you to people that are very good internet marketers….they may not be good real estate people. 

You can call them on the phone and ask some questions.  Which I will provide you…but you will run across a super salesperson.  Very likable, friendly, a great communicator, but they may not be good real estate people.

You can inquire about experience, longevity, number of transactions, sales volume, company philosophy,  and many more gauges of success.

Here are some things you can look for with out having to talk to anyone.

Research the Realtors current listings, pending listings and sold listings.   In this market September 2021 it is not unusual for a Realtor to have no listings, because they sold so fast.  So, look at their pending’s and  solds.  Look at the days on market…that is how long did it take to sell.  Not a great gauge of value in this market because homes sell so fast.  Now if they all sell in 1 or 2 days, it may be that the Realtor has priced them too low. 

Look at the listing itself.  Look at the pictures.  Are there 5 pictures of the front of the home, then 5 kitchen pictures  then 5 shots of rooms, then 5 shots of the pool or waterfront.   Most people tend to look at lots of homes and if the first 5 pics are not one of each area, showing lots of different best views some buyers may get bored and not get full appreciation of the home.  

Look at pricing.  Are the homes priced at $199,900 and $249,900?   This pricing does not take in the reality of internet shopping.  People search $180k to $200k.   And $200k to $220k.  Pricing a home right below a round number shows the Realtor does not get it.   How mad would you be to realize that your $199k price make you the highest on the $180-$200k list.  And you do not make the $200-$220 list, where you are the best value if your home had the $200k price. 

Look at pet restrictions, lease restrictions and room sizes.  If these criteria are blank or say
'buyer to verify".  This is not a professional Realtor.  If a buyer is searching for a home and they have a pet, they are not going to see your listing.   Realtors that have buyer to verify or rooms sizes are estimates, or if these criteria are blank, perhaps keep looking.

If you get a Realtor on the phone, what should you say?

“Hello Realtor, I am shopping for a Realtor and plan to speak to several before choosing, would you mind if I interview you?

First, what areas do you specialize in?   (if they are out of your area, move on….they don’t know where the new sewage treatment plant is being built, they don’t know about road widenings or where new traffic lights and traffic pattern changes are coming.  Real Estate is local.  Go with a local expert.)

Tell me about your real estate business.   Instructional statement, open ended.  You don’t want them to tailor their presentation to your needs.  So hear them out.  If it looks like you are not a good match say.  Thank you for your time and presentation, I don’t think we are a good match.  I have several more Realtors to interview, so I must be going.

If you like them and they are saying the right things you can tell them you want to test them.  Really.

Ask them some challenging questions:

Ask them what they would do if a property does not appraise.

What would you do if we have a bad inspection.

Do you know the phone number to the county to speak to zoning, permitting, code enforcement etc.  Great question to see if they are dealing with these issues regularly.

Tell me how to tell if there is a sinkhole property near the subject property.

Do they answer the phone?  Or do the let it go to voicemail and then return the call.  How long does it take them to return the call.  This is very big.  Some buyers are driving around and looking at homes, they call the sign and want immediate attention.  Too often the buyer drives away and the opportunity can be lost.  Some Realtors just do not answer the phone.  Call them and test them. 

I am constantly brainstorming this subject...if you have a pet peeve for Realtors or an observation in the area of picking a Realtor, let me know at or 727-409-4663.