We all know many realtors. Before you hire your neighbor who's a realtor based on convenience, take some time to think through what you want in a realtor.
Do you need someone who is experienced? Do you want someone who is available for extra services? Do you want someone with a good reputation and can move transactions along because of their rapport?
Below are at least 5 questions you should ask a prospective realtor to elevate your home selling experience.
1. What Services Are Included In Working With You?
A reputable realtor provides services outside of just putting a sign outside your house. Most commonly services include various marketing strategies such as using the MLS, open houses, signage, flyers, web and social media advertising.
They can provide advice and ways to make your home more appealing to buyers.
They can provide you with strategic pricing and negotiating tactics. They are the market experts and work day in and day out in real estate.
Sometimes realtors will go the extra mile and help with other moving aspects that are not traditional realtor services.
Make sure you ask a potential realtor what it is you receive when you work with them. This way your expectations are clear and can minimize misunderstandings.
2. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Now, everyone has to start somewhere. So there will be newer agents and there will be more experienced agents.
Just because someone is new, doesn’t necessarily mean they would not be a good fit.
Sometimes new means you can get better service or other helpful ideas that older agents would not think were valuable.
Maybe a newer agent poured extra time and energy in expanding their real estate education. Perhaps they are actually more up to date on best practices versus an experienced realtor.
Either way, it is good to discuss your realtor’s background before you sign a listing agreement.
3. How Do You Get Paid?
Real estate agents get paid by commission.
Average commission for the sale of a home is 6% with 3% going to the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Yes, that can oftentimes be a large number. Many sellers do not want to pay that.
However, in 2020 the average home with an agent sold for $318,000 versus For Sale By Owner homes that sold on average for $260,000.
That difference is so large that those with agents not only are able to cover the agent’s commission, they walk away with more money in their pocket. Make sure you check fees with your agent. If you have concerns about the commission, please talk to the agent. Allow them to put your concerns at rest.
Any agent that is worth their commission will be able to illustrate their value, leaving you the seller pleased with the commission.
4. How Many Clients Are You Working With?
The number of clients the agent is working with can determine how much time you get from an agent.
You want to make sure that if you hire an agent they have adequate time to support you in the sale of your home.
If an issue arises, you’ll want your agent to be attentive and present to help with those issues.
If you’re competing with a large amount of listings that your agent has going, you can risk getting overlooked.
Even if you are not overlooked, will you be passed on to an assistant or someone else in the agent’s office? Maybe your needs will be met, but not with the person you signed the listing agreement with.
5. Do You Have References I Can Call?
Feel free to ask for references. People will let you know how their experience is with any business and that includes agents.
It is good to also take the time to talk to local businesses that are involved in real estate transactions.
Talk to a local title company, local lenders, local inspectors and even other agents. These people are constantly working with your prospective agent.
You can probably get a good feel based on these responses about the prospective agent’s business practices and reputation. While they may not outright say they dislike someone, their hesitation or light warnings should be taken seriously.
Of course there are also online reviews. Online reviews can be anonymous, which allows the reviewer to be more candid than they may be in a phone call. This is a good thing when you are looking for any possible red flags.
By interviewing a realtor, you can manage expectations during the sale of your home.
In the end, both the client and realtor should have a good experience during the sale of a home.
Both should leave the transaction pleased and hopefully will have established a good working relationship for the future.
If you have any questions about my post, my methods or real estate in general, please call me, Dave Dail at 208-310-0855.