If you’re asking this question, you’re likely concerned with the amount of experience a realtor has. Maybe you’re worried you won’t sell your home without someone representing you who has made thousands of sales and is a veteran in the industry. The more sales, the better, right? Well, this isn’t always the case—numbers can be very deceiving. The answer to this question, in short, is you potentially can, but you must read those numbers with caution. The public could get an idea of the number of homes a realtor has sold by looking at a realtor’s profile on Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com. However, not all realtors have profiles, and even if they do, their numbers are often inaccurate. Realtors typically work on a system called “MLS” to list homes for sale, and this tool can also reveal how many homes have been closed. But, MLS is not available to the public; it’s for realtors only.

However, there is something called “Local MLS.” Most MLS’s have a “public-facing web site” that allows you to browse current property listings. Some also have profiles of agents who are members of the Local Realtor Association, which includes the ability to see an agent’s current and past listings. This is only available for some MLS’s and, again, not every realtor is apart of the Realtor Association. So, this isn’t necessarily going to give you any results.

Additionally, many realtors operate in very different ways making number comparisons problematic and unequal. For example, some agents with the most substantial numbers aren’t actually the ones making all the sales. Sometimes, they are a team leader who puts all the sales of their team members under their own name. On the other side, some realtors choose to work privately. Working by referral only limits the number of sales they show in comparison but does not mean they aren’t phenomenal realtors. So, contrasting these two very different types of realtors can’t give you a quality comparison, even if the numbers were accessible. The average realtor sells about 2.8 homes a year, so getting the correct information on their track record is EXTREMELY important. Other realtors can look at their numbers and report if they see any inaccuracies which can get your realtor’s license revoked, or ruin your reputation.

The easiest way to find out how many homes a realtor has sold is to ask! When interviewing realtors for your prospective home sale, ask if you can see their closed MLS listings from past transactions. Even more useful information to you is how many homes similar to yours has the realtor sold. Look for the quality of the photos, the final sale price, and the number of days the house was on the market. Does it match what you want or are expecting? By far, the most essential information that should be a factor when choosing a realtor is their selling strategy. How are they going to push the sale of your home forward? Do they have the buyers? Are their strategies aggressive enough? Although numbers are important, a proven track record of foolproof marketing strategies and a large number of potential buyers is what is actually going to get your home sold.

Don’t get too caught up in numbers, as they aren’t always a balanced way to compare realtors and are often inaccurate on public websites. Instead, focus on the future and what plans the realtor has to sell your home. Hone in on marketing strategies and ask questions about how it factors into selling your residence.

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