I get asked this question quite a lot, and the short answer is – go with your instincts. A great place to start is with your family & friends. Ask for suggestions or referrals, often they will have used a local realtor before or know someone who has. There is really no better place to start then referrals by those you trust. After you have a few referrals – its time to start the interview process! By doing so, you can sit down with each agent and discuss how they can help you. (ie. their marketing plans and services.) Interviewing will also help you compare the levels of service they provide, and help you to decide whether these particular agents are motivated and fit best with your needs and wants. The most important thing, is to select an agent you feel comfortable with.
When interviewing an agent, you need to look at more than just commission – you need to know what they are offering you in return for their services. Staging? Professional photos and a virtual tour of you home? Experience in negotiating? Are they familiar with your type of home and the best way to market it? For example, rural properties come with septic systems and drilled wells, is your agent familiar with these systems and the problems associated with them? Are they able to successfully negotiate the sale despite a failed inspection of the home or septic/water system?
All of these things need to be asked and accounted for, before the listing agreement is signed, to ensure a great experience for you, the homeowner! If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling, please refer me to them, I would be happy and honoured to interview for the position of their Realtor!