The Washington Post

Real Estate Matters | To sell a home, you need to assemble a great team of pros

(Michael S. Williamson/THE WASHINGTON POST)

I’m about to sell my third property. I know how difficult the process can be.

I am considering listing my condo with an agent that has been very successful selling units in my building. She is about to have her first child next month. She is young and seems like a real go-getter. I have not had children and don’t have much experience with raising/caring for infants.

She is a Realtor for an agency, has an assistant, and seems very capable and knowledgeable. She told me she would be working from home for a while once the baby is born. The unit above me sold in six days, and my unit should have a contract on it in less than a month.

I am considering signing a three-month contract with the Realtor. Do you have any advice for me?

Finding a good real estate agent is a necessary step in selling your home, and it sounds like you’ve found someone who could be a good long-term partner for you. She has been responsive (despite being at the end of a pregnancy) and seems to have laid out a plan to meet your needs while she is working from home.

This makes us think she really understands both the value of a good customer (you) and the value of customer service. It’s an unbeatable combination.

We’ve always tried to emphasize how important it is to put together a good group of people to work within the home-selling process. You like this real estate agent, and she has a team to back her up. We don’t see why you wouldn’t want to give her a chance and work with her.

You could consider talking to her about your concerns and have her introduce you to her team. While the real estate agent may take some time off for the delivery of her child, she may still be in touch with her office every day to answer questions and give advice.

On the plus side, if your unit is priced right and sells before your agent delivers her child, you will have achieved the top reason to hire the real estate agent: to sell the home. Once the home is sold, depending on the state in which you live, you will then need her team (plus maybe a few members you introduce to the process, depending on whether you’re selling a home you live in or a rental property) to handle the process of bringing the home to the closing. In some states, real estate attorneys have a greater role in closings than others.

For the closing, you will most likely use a closing attorney, and your real estate agent will assist with some of the paperwork needed for the closing. But a closing attorney is different from an attorney that represents only you. The closing attorney handles the paperwork for the closing, including title insurance work, but that person does not represent you in the transaction.

It would be good for you to know who will work with you during the whole home-selling process. Once you understand the process, you’ll know what role your real estate agent will play from the time you hire her through the time you close on the sale of the home.

If you think the home will sell before she delivers her child, you then will only need to know what will happen after she goes on baby leave. If the home doesn’t sell before she delivers her child, you should understand what her plan is for taking care of you during that time.

We believe that this agent will have answers that make you feel more comfortable. Our sense is to give her a chance and let her show you what true customer service looks like. Let us know what happens.

Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is “Buy, Close, Move In!” If you have questions, you can call her radio show toll-free (800-972-8255) any Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Contact Ilyce through her Web site,



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Kathy Orton · December 10, 2013

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