Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent, Ask These 5 Questions!
Question: What is the most important step of buying or selling a house?
Answer: Interviewing a realtor!
A real estate agent (or realtor) is an important player in any real estate transaction because they’re the ones who know the market, can find properties that meet your needs and are within your budget, and so much more.
Seeing as these folks are so important to the home buying/selling process, it’s important that you choose the right one to work with. You can do that by interviewing agents you’re interested in working with and asking them these 5 questions.
1. “How many years have you been in real estate?”
This is an important question because the more experience someone has, the more likely they’ll be to know the ins and outs of the industry. On the flipside, an experienced agent may have a big workload and won’t be as readily available as a new agent with a smaller workload could be.
You have to figure out what’s more important to you: an experienced agent who knows the market like the back of their hand but may not be readily accessible, or a new agent who’ll work hard to make you happy and is available 24/7.
2. “What is your listing v. sales price ratio?”
This question is an important one because it gives you an idea of how well they’re able to negotiate. For sellers, you’d want the sales price side of the ratio to be higher than the listing price – that means the house sold at a higher price than listing. For buyers, you’d want the sales price side of the ratio to be lower than the listing price – that means the house sold for less than asking.
3. “Can I reach out to previous clients for references?”
When you ask this question, the agent may or may not have references available. If they don’t, your next bet would be to look them up online and read reviews. The agent may have honeyed words when they’re talking to you, but if they don’t have the references to back it up, it’s just lip service.
4. “What is your marketing strategy for my property?”
Prior to putting your house on the market, your agent should go over their marketing strategy with you. During your interview, you’ll want to ask the agent what marketing tactics they typically use to get their listings seen. Not only that, but ask them how well these tactics work and how often they will advertise your home.
5. “How long can I review documents before signing them?”
There’s a lot of documents that will need to be signed and you don’t want to sign them without reading them. Ask the agent if you can take documents home to review them before signing. If they agree, ask how long you can review them before signing. If they say that you cannot take them home, end the interview!
A real estate pro is a key player!
Hiring a real estate agent is the first step to any real estate transaction and it’s important that you choose someone you feel confident in. We recommend researching agents at least a month prior to entering the market so that you can take your time interviewing them and getting a feel for how well you’ll work together. They may seem perfect on paper, but if your personalities clash, the whole experience is likely to be a miserable one!