We sold our condo while I was in Uganda. We had to review offers and make a selection while I was there. Fernando was very accommodating. It was no problem at all, even with the time difference.Matt S., Shaw buyer, U Street seller

If you’ve decided to sell your home, you’ve already taken the biggest step in the process. If that step filled you with a measure of anxiety, let us congratulate you on being alive. Real-estate decisions usually represent major junctures in one’s life. They’re not to be taken lightly. There is, however, a difference between butterflies and stress. The former is healthy, the latter is not. And that’s where your choice of Realtor will make the most difference. A good Realtor will turn those butterflies into excitement and satisfaction as the process unfolds.

Think of your choice of agent as the second biggest step. But how to choose? There are plenty to choose from, and their real-estate acumen runs the gamut. Here are a few things to look for to ensure that your agent knows his or her stuff:

  • Ask a potential agent how she’s marketed properties in the past. Does she offer mailings for the first open house? Which publications/internet sites has she used to advertise sales? Can she show you plans she drafted for past properties, as well as offer a tentative plan for yours?
  • Be certain that any candidate is a local and full-time agent. He should know your neighborhood better than you do. If he’s local and full-time, chances are, he will. If he can’t answer some straightforward questions about what other properties in your neighborhood are selling for, how long they’ve been on the market, etc., be wary.
  • A sense of style is more than skin-deep when it comes to selling your house. Your agent needn’t look like she just stepped off the catwalk, but she should appear to have a grasp of aesthetics. After all, she’s going to be assessing your home’s appeal to potential buyers. You need to feel confident that when she tells you put the cuckoo clock in storage before the first open house, she knows what she’s talking about.
RLAH fair housing realtor