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How to Pick the Right Agent to Sell Your Home in Retirement

Esq_MayWk4Blog_RealEstateAgentThinking about selling your home to move to a retirement living community?

Many older adults rely on the equity they have accrued in their homes to get them through retirement. That’s why it’s so important to find a trustworthy agent who will get you top dollar.

It may have been some time since you last looked for a real estate agent. Since then, the world has changed, and the industry has too.  First, be sure that you understand that Realtors® are different from real estate agents. Both are licensed to sell your home, but a realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Now, on to the tips!

Ask for Real Estate Agent Referrals from Friends and Family

Realtor.com advises that you begin your search by asking friends and family if they have any suggestions. You can also look at online reviews and testimonials, but nothing beats the advice of someone you know and trust.

Also, be sure to ask for more than a simple recommendation.  Ask them what the agent was like to work with, and if they have sold a house in the area recently. An agent who knows the area well is a real asset when it comes to selling your house. 

Meet with Multiple Agents

Let’s say you meet with the real estate agent that your son recommended. The agent seems great and you feel like you can trust her. Should you sign up with her to sell your home right then?

Not quite.

Consider interviewing multiple real estate agents. You may end up choosing that first agent you interviewed because they really might be the best person for the job. But by interviewing more agents, you will have a better sense of the field and its personalities. When you do finally make a decision, you can rest assured it is an informed one.

Ask the Real Estate Agents the Right Questions When Selling Your Home

When you first approach an agent about selling your home in retirement, it’s a good idea to come with a list of questions that you can ask each one. Then you can compare their answers to determine which is the right fit for you.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had to sell or buy a home, here are some examples of questions to ask an agent:

  • How long have you been a real estate agent?
  • Is your focus buyers or sellers?
  • How many active clients do you usually have at one time?
  • Do you have much experience with selling homes for people in retirement?
  • What tools will you use to market my home?
  • How often can I expect communication from you?
  • Do you have any references I could speak to?

Find the Right Chemistry

Up until now, all of these tips have focused on facts and figures. But when it comes to business relationships, that’s not necessarily all that matters.

Moving from your long-time home to a retirement living community can be a very emotional experience. Ideally, the person helping you sell your house will be someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

While finding someone you enjoy working with may not be your primary consideration when making this decision, it’s still an important one.  Not only will it make the process more enjoyable, but it may go more smoothly, too.

Selling Your Home in Retirement

If you’re selling your home and moving to a smaller space in a retirement community, another task you’ll have to tackle after choosing a real estate agent is downsizing. Luckily, many retirement communities have helped seniors downsize and make the move to their new homes, so they are often able to provide the resources and experience you need.

To give you an idea of what moving services may be offered by the retirement community you choose, here at The Esquiline, we help new residents:

  • Find a reputable real estate agent
  • Connect with legal services for estate planning & power of attorney
  • Find a moving company
  • Connect to resources for estate sales, auctioneers, and donation sites

For more information on how to manage the move to a retirement community, download our Making the Move guide.

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