Selling your house? How to pick a listing agent


If you're looking to sell your home and don't have the adventurous streak in you to go the fizzbo (For-Sale-By-Owner) route, the first thing you'll want to do is find a good real estate agent.

But what exactly is a good real estate agent? The time-honored method of finding one is to get a referral from a friend, but as Alison Rogers begins her book, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie, "More than six million Americans move each year. If anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, more than 5.9 million of them hate their real estate agent." So your friends might not be much help.

I was pondering just how I would pick a real estate agent if I were selling my home while watching HGTV's Bought & Sold, and saw the man who I think would be the perfect Realtor: Samuel Joseph of RE/MAX Village Square -- South Orange. In just three years in the business, Joseph has reached $15 million per year in sales during the toughest national housing market in U.S. history. He does that with a combination of real estate knowledge, marketing know-how, campy promotion (see photo at right) and strong people skills. I recently had a chance to chat with him about the art of picking a Realtor, and my interview with him is after the jump.