Selling a home can be stressful. Despite this, 5.51 million existing U.S. homes were sold in 2017, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In many cases, homeowners choose to work with real estate agents to facilitate the process of listing, showing and selling their homes.

Real estate agents are valuable assets. Agents have neighborhood knowledge, are educated in pricing trends, can filter phone calls or emails from buyers who aren’t serious, and can organize all of the people necessary for a closing. Real estate agents provide many services that the average person may not have the time or the experience to handle.

When selecting an agent to sell a home, homeowners may not understand that the terms real estate agent and Realtor are not interchangeable. Although both must be licensed to sell real estate, the main difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor is the latter is a member of the National Association of Realtors. NAR ensures that members subscribe to a certain code of ethics.

There are many qualified agents, but an agent cannot do his or her job well without some help on the part of the homeowner.

Tips For Selling A Home

These tips can make the process of selling a home go smoothly.

• Price the home correctly. Homeowners should trust the agent’s ability to price a home for the market. Everyone wants to get the most money possible, but listing the home for more than it’s worth may cause it to sit unnecessarily for several weeks or months, which could raise red flags among potential buyers.

• Market the home. A real estate agent will list the home via a multiple listing service (MLS) on a private website, in newspapers and wherever else he or she feels is pertinent. Homeowners can share the listing via social media and word of mouth to help increase the chances of selling the home.

• Be available. Limiting the time an agent can show the house to potential buyers is in no one’s best interest. Sellers should be ready and willing to open their homes, which is the best way to make a sale. An agent may suggest a lock box so the home can be shown when homeowners are not on the property.

• Make suggested renovations. Agents know which features can make or break a sale. Homeowners should be amenable to certain suggestions, such as neutral paint colors, removing personal effects and clearing clutter.

• Give recommendations. Real estate is a commission-based industry. Agents often tirelessly put in hours and only reap rewards if the house is sold. A homeowner who was satisfied with an agent can then recommend that person to friends or family.

By working with real estate professionals, homeowners can sell their homes quickly.