Staging is one of the most important things you can do to help sell your home for the best price possible. But home staging along can’t get people in the door to see how wonderful your home is. Without a great real estate agent who has a proven track record of selling success, you may not have the pricing expertise, personal connections, or home marketing skills at your disposal to make the most of your expertly staged home.

To sell your home quickly – without leaving money on the table – you need the selling strategy of the top real estate professional who specializes in your neighborhood, your price range and your home type. Direct experience with homes similar to yours is practically priceless. In Denver, using top agents with relevant experience results in an average of a 7% increase in selling price and a 20% reduction in selling time when compared to similar homes sold with other agents; in the Denver Country Club area, for instance, the top agents make $33,782 more, on average, for their clients.

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time seller or this is your second, third or fourth home, here are 3 tips to help you evaluate a listing agent and ensure they’re the right professional for you:

Investigate Your Competition

By stopping by an open house or two in your neighborhood, you can get a sense of the market and trends in your area. You should talk to the real estate agent at the open house (the listing agent preferably, not their assistant). Listen to what they have to say, but never divulge too much about your situation. They’ll give you a good sense of the current market. Most importantly, don’t let them convince you to let them list your home. They might be good, but someone else’s open house isn’t the time to have this discussion – they aren’t doing the best they can for their current client.

By educating yourself, you’ll be able to spot red flags when interviewing prospective listing agents. For example, if an agent offers to list your home for a price significantly higher than similar open houses you’ve seen, you’ll know it’s a tactic to win your business, not necessarily a sound pricing strategy. An excessively high price could leave your home sitting on the market for longer than desired.

Interview 3 Real Estate Agents Who Specialize in Selling

Even when you think you’ve found an agent who is a great fit, make sure you’re on the same page by interviewing them. You are trusting their advice on one of the largest financial transactions in you lifetime. Find out how often they plan to show your home, how much they will spend in time and money marketing your home, how much time they’ll devote, personally (if they work with a team), as well as their strategy to attract multiple offers.

Find out about comparable homes they’ve sold – make sure there are a few in your price range and neighborhood in the recent past. Ask for specifics, not generalities. They should have a written plan of action with a specific schedule, not just good ideas.

Check Your Agent’s History of Success

It is important to speak with some of the agent’s past clients for reference – preferably those who have similar homes to yours.

The most certain way to find out whether your prospective Realtor has a track record of success with homes just like yours is by verifying their performance with independent third-party service, like Agent Ace. A free service like this will evaluate the performance of every agent in your area, tell you for sure which has the best track record – eliminating the need for you to interview past clients. Agent recommendation services like Agent Ace can save time and reduce the risk of using the services of an agent who may not be the best fit for your home.

You know the importance of making your home look great to attract the most qualified buyers. You owe it to yourself and your family to get the most you can for your home. Working with a great real estate agent will provide the reassurance you need to get the best outcome possible.