Looking for an agent? Asking the right questions can help you decide on the best agent for the job. Here are 7 questions we think can help:
1. Are you a full-time real estate agent?
There are agents that work in real estate part-time; this does not mean they will fall short of meeting your needs, but it does matter. This information can be valuable in understanding your agent’s priorities and how they fit your needs. An agent’s years’ of experience should not be a significant question in determining an agent because it may not reflect their ability in meeting your needs, nor does the agent’s designation but they are good opening questions to get a feel for who your agent is and how they do business.
2. Can you provide me with references?
Having an agent provide references will help you get an idea of their work ethic, style along with an overall perspective of how they work and if their style compliments your needs.
3. Does your company have a website that lists homes for sale?
Most buyers begin their home search on the Internet because they like the flexibility of reviewing homes at their convenience. For seller’s this make having your home listed online imperative! Knowing where your home will be posted is important ask the agent for their company’s web address, so you can get a perspective of how your home will be viewed on their site.
4. What do you do that will market my home in a way that will bring me the most money?
What is your average market time? One of the most important aspects of choosing an agent is their ability to market your home. Marketing abilities are learned and should be ever evolving; the agent should be able to define the target market and present you with a marketing strategy for selling your home.
5. What are your methods and frequency of contacting me throughout the selling process?
The methods of contact (email, phone, etc.) should be discussed with your agent as to what works for you and fits their processes. Frequency of contact should be more about you the client’s wants and needs although you should be contacted at least weekly with updates to how many potential buyers have walked through your home.
6. Who pays your commission and are there other fees charged?
It can be argued that the seller or buyer pays the commission however the commission comes out of the cost of the home, and is taken from the proceeds of the sale before the seller receives their proceeds. Also it’s important to note that though 6% commission is widely viewed as the norm, all commissions are negotiable. All commissions must be negotiated and included in the listing agreement before the agent can list the property. Agents will have nominal fees for administrative fees and/or service fees that will also be charged to their clients. Ask for a quote of these fees up front from any agent you are thinking about working with.
7. What is your pricing approach for our home?
Location and condition are of course major factors in selling your home but price is the most important factor and it determines how quickly your home will sell. Your agent’s ability to research property information is vital; knowing if their pricing analysis includes all sales or just those listed with agents can also help you determine their commitment to successfully selling your home.