Hire the right real estate agent | News, Sports, Jobs

When you form a relationship with a real estate professional, you hope for a perfect match.

Selling your home is like a short-term romance. It requires believing in the person you choose. You depend on your realtor for meaningful communication and timely feedback. You want to sell your house, so you have to trust them, because they are your link to achieve your goal.

The real estate agent you choose is critical to your success in selling your home. Follow this guide to help you through the selection process.


If you’re unsure how to find the right real estate professional, start with a list.

• Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues to recommend you.

• Check for “For Sale” signs in your area.

• Check the membership records of your church, social club, parent-teacher association, or other organization.

Once you have a list of real estate agents, search their company’s websites. Some businesses use Facebook to make it easier to interact with customers, so do a search there as well. See an agent’s listings and sales, open houses, and marketing efforts. Find a list of references, real estate specialties and customer reviews.


Compile a list of open houses from online searches or open house signs in neighborhoods where you would like to live. Just show up with all the other guests and tune in. The person who organizes the open house is usually the seller’s agent. Therefore, when you walk around the house, check them as well.

• Are they well informed?

• Do they look and sound professional?

• How does he respond to inquiries about the house?

• What does your instinct tell you about working closely with this person?

You can learn a lot from secret observation, but also ask some questions. If you’re impressed, ask for a business card.


Treat an interview with a realtor as if you were the employer looking for the best candidate for the job. That’s basically what you’re going to do. Make sure the agent understands that this is an informational meeting only. Be prepared to ask the questions you couldn’t answer by checking a website or visiting an open house.

• How long have you been selling real estate?

• What is your speciality?

• What homes have you sold in the area?

• Can I contact your former customers?

• What is your commission?

• What services do you offer?

• What is your marketing plan?


Ask about degrees, licenses and designations, but don’t waste your interview time discussing them. You need to focus on the marketing, the negotiation, and the closing experience. Ultimately, these are the most important factors in selling your home.

You can usually check a real estate agent’s licensing status through a state’s online licensing portal. Realtor and broker designations are tied to education and ethics.

• Real Estate Seller: has passed a licensing exam, is qualified to sell real estate;

• Real Estate Agent: member of the National Association of Real Estate Agents and committed to education and ethics standards;

• Broker or Associate Real Estate Broker: Obtained broker designation and broker license through training and testing.

The National Association of Realtors offers education and training for other designations and certifications. You can find criteria for Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, and other designations on NAR.com.

Making a perfect match with a real estate professional takes time and patience, but it’s worth it. When you choose the right person, it can make a big difference in selling your home quickly, professionally, and for the price you want.


• Mahoning County: 487 homes on the market; 697 houses sold; 232.33 average number of houses sold each month; 2.10 months of inventory remaining; and 143.12% chance of selling your home in 90 days.

• Columbiana County: 205 homes on the market; 244 houses sold; 81.33 average number of houses sold each month; 2.52 months of inventory remaining; and 119.02% chance of selling your home in 90 days.

• Trumbull County: 341 homes on the market; 583 houses sold; 194.33 average number of houses sold each month; 1.75 months of inventory remaining; and 170.97% chance of selling your home in 90 days.

Dennis Gonatas is the 2022 President of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors.

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