Finding and working with your agent

As you prepare to put your home on the market, take your time to find the best agent for your situation.

One of the first steps you'll take as a seller is to find a reputable real estate agent. Often called a “listing agent,” this person will play a significant role in the sale of your home.

What to look for in an agent

To find a listing agent you can trust, ask your colleagues, friends and family for referrals. You'll want to choose someone you're comfortable asking questions to and who can provide the knowledge and services you need. It's equally important that the listing agent is familiar with your neighborhood and can knowledgeably talk with potential buyers about your neighborhood, HOA and property taxes. Knowledge of your area will also help them price your home with confidence.

Your agent is expected to:

  1. Provide a detailed market analysis based on similar homes in your local area and recommend your sale price. They will also factor in the condition of your home and other selling features that may affect the price, such as lot size and upgrades.

  2. Discuss their strategy for selling your home that aligns with your goals (price and time). This should include an advertising plan for connecting with potential homebuyers.

  3. Advise on how you can best prepare your home for market. A good agent should provide sound advice on staging, repairs and potential improvements to make it more marketable and/or lift your home's value.

  4. List your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), an online database where homes for sale are listed. Your agent is responsible for writing a detailed descriptor of your home and uploading photos that represent it best.

  5. Manage the negotiations and all related paperwork with the buyer, always working in your best interest.

Costs of selling