It's generally in your best interest to hire a realtor when selling your home. The only real benefit of selling yourself is skipping the middleman and avoiding a commission. The experience and professional skill of a certified realtor, however, you'll be able to sell quickly and garner the best deal. You will want to consider your options when choosing, however. Here are just a few factors to consider.
1. Location! Location!
You're going to want a realtor that is local. For example say you're selling in perhaps, Canada. You'll want a realtor as close to your area as possible. A realtor local to your Canadian neighborhood will better understand the Canadian real estate market. There will also be a lot less commuting and therefore broader availability on the part of your Realtor. This will do wonders for communications and for a quick sell. So remember to always think local.
2. Prior Experience and Price Range
You will want to screen your candidate by looking at their past and considering their price. This pertains to not their commission rates, but the price of homes they most commonly sell. It should be easy to check your local listings and see which agents are selling which properties that are similarly priced yours. This reflects their ability and experience level in the homes that go for that price.
You can also check their prior experiences by asking for references that could includes friends and colleagues as well as former client.
3. The Type of Realtor
Most people don't realize this but there are different types of realtors you can work with. A conventional realtor, for example will work on your behalf legally as the seller. They can represent you and negotiate on your behalf as well as suggesting terms and bartering. A dual agent, on the other hand, represents both the buyer and a seller. In this case you and the buyer would have to work out the terms of the sale amongst yourselves.
On the other hand if you're searching for a home to buy you would go to a buyer's broker who as you can guess, works for the buyer.