One of the most important first steps when selling your home is choosing a realtor that will represent your best interests. So how do you avoid getting stuck with an agent that isn’t willing to do the work for you? Interview, interview, interview. Here are some questions and things to consider before committing.
Are you a full time realtor?
When working with a realtor, you want to make sure they are available for showings, calls, agent inquiries and appointments regardless of the time or day of the week. If an agent isn’t full time, it could impact their availability to provide the service you need for your your sale.
How long have you been in real estate?
Experience in real estate is extremely important. Knowledge and expertise comes from selling experience and encountering different situations. However, being in it longer doesn’t always mean they are better. There are newer realtors that have the motivation and support to sell your home better than someone who has been doing it for years and years. The key is knowledge AND support.
What proven results do you have?
You don’t want to hire an agent that has only represented buyers, have your home sit on the market with no offers, or have your home listed at the wrong price. Questions regarding proven results can give you a lot of insight into their ability to work for you. A few questions to ask is what is the average time from listing date to contract date. What is the average list to sale price ratio? How many pending transactions do you have? Results speak for themselves and they speak volumes.
What advertising vehicles do you use?
According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of home buyers begin their search on the internet. So it comes as no surprise that you should ask how an agent markets their homes for sale on the internet. Here are several things to consider asking. Do you have a company website? Do you have a blog with useful information for buyers and sellers? Do you utilize social media? All of these questions will ensure that the agent you choose maximizes exposure anywhere they can and where buyers are actually looking.
How do you price my home when selling?
In most cases, the comparative market analysis technique is going to be the best method for determining a listing price of a home. During the interview, any prospective realtor should have an example of a comparative market analysis for you. It should be detailed and show the time and effort they put in to pricing a home.
Are the agent’s past clients satisfied?
Having the opportunity to speak with a past client of the prospective realtor is not always possible. You can however ask prospective realtors for testimonials from their past clients. Many testimonials are easy to access and live on the agent's website or social media page.
How do you communicate?
Lack of communication from a realtor is one of the biggest complaints from a seller. It is important to know how often and when you would hear from the agent through the process. It is also important that you are comfortable with the method of communication the agent can or will use. An agent and seller with the same level of expectation can help to avoid future communication mishaps.
Another important question to ask is how showings are coordinated. Does the agent have an assistant or a service to book showings and how will they be communicated to you? Since every agent does this differently, make sure to ask this ahead of time.
What is your commission?
You need to know what the commission or fee is if you hire a realtor. Just because one agent’s rate is less than another doesn’t mean you are getting a special deal. In reality, you could actually be costing yourself money. a top producing agent can justify what their commission percentage or fee is and it should be based on the service you want or need.
Not all real estate agents are equal and neither are their real estate companies (brokers). What are the tools and administrative support provided to the agent? What is the broker’s reputation in the local area? Is the brokers website user friendly? Agents should gladly provide information on their broker and be proud of the company.
If you’re considering selling your home, please contact a COListings agent for a professional, no-obligation discussion regarding your real estate needs. Our agents would love the opportunity to answer the questions that you have.
Source: 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics.