Many people interview potential real estate agents before deciding on whom to hire. Just as you are sizing up the potential for a good fit, rest assured that a successful real estate agent will likely be interviewing you, too. Be wary of agents who don’t ask you questions and probe for your motivation.
The following are questions to ask a real estate agent before you decide on the real estate professional that will be working with and for you for the next few months.
These are great questions to ask regardless of the type of property sale – probate, short sale, investment, etc.
How Long Have You Been in the Business? It would make sense that the longer a real estate agent is in the business, the more experiences they will have lived through and be better equipped to handle your situation. Also, question as to whether the real estate agent works full-time in real estate.
What is Your Average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio? A competent listing agent should hold a track record for negotiating sales prices that are very close to list prices typically between 95 to 100%.
Will You Provide References? Everybody has references; even new agents have references from previous employers.
- Ask to see references.
- Ask if any of the individuals providing references are related to the agent.
- Ask if you can call the references with additional questions.
What Are the Top Three Things That Separate You From Your Competition?
A good real estate agent won’t hesitate to answer this question and will be ready to fire off why she is best suited for the job. Everyone has their own standards, but most consumers say they are looking for agents who say they are:
- Honest and trustworthy
- Excellent negotiators
- Available by phone and/or e-mail
- Good communicators
- Able to maintain a good sense of humor under trying circumstances
May I Review Documents Beforehand That I Will Be Asked to Sign? A sign of a good real estate agent is a professional who makes forms available to you for preview before you are required to sign them; ask for these documents upfront:
- Agency Disclosure
- Listing Agreement
- Seller Disclosures
How Will You Help Me Find Other Professionals? Let the real estate agent explain to you whom she works with and why she chooses these professionals. Your agent should be able direct you to vendors such as handymen, electricians, heating and air companies and title/escrow companies. Ask for an explanation if you see the term “affiliated” because it could mean that the agent and her broker are receiving compensation from one or all of vendors, and you could be paying a premium for the service.
What is Your Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?
- Specifically, how will you sell my home?
- How will you help me to present my home?
- What is your direct mail campaign?
- Will you show me a sample flyer?
- How do you market online?
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