When Should You Contact a Realtor About Selling Your House?

Selling a home comes with a neverending to-do list: decluttering, packing, cleaning, and even searching for your next abode. Then of course there is the big task of finding a realtor to sell your home. If you are thinking about selling in the future, you might be wondering when is the best time to contact a realtor? Here are some tips to help you answer this all important question and to know what to do in the meantime. 


If time is of the essence, contact a realtor ASAP

If you suddenly need to move because of work or other reasons, contacting a realtor should be at the top of your list. You can reach out to friends or neighbors for referrals to speed up the process. A referral can save time, but your research doesn’t end there, and first of all, be sure that you are asking for unbiased referrals from people who you trust. Once you have referrals, you can research these agents online and then contact them to find out more and see if they might be a good fit. Without referrals, or if you need a wider pool of candidates, you could use a tool like HomeLight’s agent matching tool to find a professional quickly.


Start the search

You also want to start your search early enough to thoroughly assess all of your candidates. This is a key to finding a trustworthy realtor. Even if you have referrals from friends, you don’t want to hire anyone until you have interviewed them yourself. Interviewing three candidates is a solid rule to follow. When searching for your dream agent, you’ll want to ask about their track record including the number of homes that they sell or help people buy each year, their typical timeline for the selling or buying process, and any included marketing services if you are selling. 


Follow the three month rule, if you can

If your timeline to sell your home is flexible, experts recommend contacting potential realtors about three months in advance. There are a couple of reasons for this: If you start the process earlier, the market might have changed by the time you get to selling. You also want to give time for necessary repairs, and also to find your next home. You can follow the same suggestions from above to help you find the perfect candidate, no matter what your timeline is. While you are searching for your agent, and during those months leading up to selling your home, you can stay focused on some of the necessary home selling tasks that don’t require an agent. 


Get your house ready

Before you contact a realtor you can start getting your house ready to sell. This is not glamorous but it has to be done. We are talking about decluttering, doing a deep clean, and staging your home (getting its interior design streamlined to appeal to a wide audience of potential buyers). Ideally, you’ve already started this process once you’ve hired your realtor so that your home will be ready for its time in the spotlight. Another way to get ready to sell is to have a solid understanding of what your home is worth and how much home you want to buy in your next home, using a home affordability calculator


Every homeowner will have a unique timeline for selling and it’s best to be flexible based on your real estate goals. If your plans are flexible, reaching out to potential agents about three months before you want to sell your home is sound advice to follow to be sure that you can get moving on to your next home.