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Finding a good realtor is just as important as finding a family physician or dentist. It’s a relationship of trust, commitment and longevity. Even if you only “plan” on using a realtor once, building that relationship can benefit you down the line, not only for you, but for your loved ones, family and friends.

Where to start. The sea of realtors is vast. Don’t be fooled by advertising or a picture on a bus or park bench. Bigger is not necessarily better in the real estate industry. Sometimes, the bigger firms aren’t as personal and therefore don’t do your home justice on the market.

Check with your neighbors, friends and relatives. Word of mouth and referrals are the best way to know what you are getting. Every house is different. Every neighborhood is different and you want to make sure you choose someone who will do the best job for you. After all, it is you that are paying their commission. Yes, You, the seller, are putting up the money for them to get your home out there in front of perspective buyers, so choose wisely about who you hire and how much they charge. Fees can vary, but be careful, you get what you pay for.

Another good tool is the internet. Read their reviews. Go to their personal websites and see the types of homes they sell. You aren’t going to want to list your million dollar home on the river with a realtor who specializes in bungalows and condos downtown. Do your research before just picking up the phone and dialing anyone’s number. Trusting realtors takes time.

Remember, in any relationship there are good ones and bad ones. Make sure you are comfortable and can speak freely. Interviewing your prospective realtor is always the best way to start, even if your very good friend recommended them.

Make sure they are there for you and your best interests, and not just a big commission check. Communication is key when selling your home.