At last count, there were more than 2,100 real estate agents in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton area. With so many agents to choose from, how do you know which agent will work best for you?

One way would be to get a referral from a friend or neighbor. Another would be to choose an agent who regularly advertises properties listed and sold in the local newspaper or online.

Or maybe call some local real estate companies to get agent referrals (it does not matter whether the brokerage is big or small).

I suggest that you interview at least three agents before making a decision. During the interviews you might ask questions like:

• What fees and/or commissions do you charge?

• Can we negotiate fees/commissions based upon services provided?

• How did you determine the value of my home and what it should sell for?

• Do you have a marketing plan to sell my home for the highest possible price?

• How do you show prospective buyers the true value of my home?

• What enhanced services do you provide that gives my home the competitive edge?

These are just some major questions that I think will be helpful … there are many others. For example, what will the agent do if you are not getting many showings or if you are getting a lot of showings but no offers. What if you are dissatisfied with what the agent is doing or not doing, can you get out of the listing agreement?

Also, at the end of the interview you could ask that a list of references be emailed to you (published testimonials are good to get as well).

In 2007, a year after we moved to Bluffton, I published a little book called “Finding Agent Right for Your Best Real Estate Deal.”

The purpose of this book was to help home sellers and home buyers choose the real estate agent who would be committed representing them exclusively and getting them the best real estate deal.

This book offers a question and answer methodology that prospective sellers and buyers can easily use in helping them choose the real estate agent who will do the best job for them.

Visit for the online version of of the book, or email to receive a complimentary printed copy.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,