The real estate professional you choose should be experienced in marketing and selling homes like yours – the price range and the neighborhood. This is important because the REALTOR needs to understand and empathize with the prospective buyer; needs to understand the value of the various amenities of your property and be able to explain them; needs to be aware of the sources of financing for your type of property. You want a person who knows your neighborhood, but one who will also be aggressive in marketing and who will have sources of potential buyers from outside the area.
Choose an agent who is responsible and responsive, ethical, and who treats real estate as a profession. Track record is important. Increasingly, situations arise between contract and closing that require experience and persistence. Be sure to hire an agent who has those.
Look at Agent Interview Questionnaire for some questions to ask in the process of choosing an agent.
Once you have chosen the agent, you should jointly address the listing price, the expected sale price, the commission rate and the term of the listing. Do not feel awkward about asking for a resume or for references of past clients – after all, you are hiring this person to perform a service for you! Consider not just the price of the service, but the value of the service.