There is a lot that goes into the home selling process. Real estate agents approach the
job differently. Hiring the right person to represent your most valuable asset is an important decision. Here are some questions you should ask your potential agent to determine if they are the best fit
for you. If you’re planning on hiring a realtor in the next few months, cut out this article and keep it for future reference.
How many homes did you sell last year? How many have you sold this year?
In which towns were those homes located? You want to make sure the agent you are interviewing has sold homes in your area. Every town and market is different. Knowing the local market is vital.
How long have you been a realtor? Nobody wants to be an agent’s first listing. Beware of agents who talk about ‘being in the real estate market’ for 10 years – they may just mean they’ve owned a home for 10 years or worked in a related field.
Are you a full-time realtor, or do you have another job? Beware of part-time agents who won’t have time for you and aren’t on top of what’s happening in the market. Part-time agents also may not have the experience of selling multiple house per year that a full-time agent would have.
If I list my home with you, will you actually be the person I deal with? Lots of “top agents” will hand you off to their assistants. Make sure that the person you meet is the person who’ll be doing the work to sell your house, the person who’ll be hosting open houses, and the person with whom you’ll communicate.
How will you market my property? Other than posting it on MLS, what is your marketing approach?
How will you market my home online? Approximately 93 percent of buyers search for a home online, so you want to make sure your home will be found there.
Will you hire a photographer to take photos of my house or condo? Run from the agent who claims he takes great photos with his iPhone. Top agents hire photographers (and pay for them).
How much do you think my house is worth? Don’t make the mistake of hiring the agent who answers with the highest number – that’s an old-school strategy that a lot of agents use to get hired. The market determines how much your house is worth, not the agent, and pricing too high in the beginning will hurt you.
Why should I hire you? If an agent doesn’t know what makes him or her different from other agents in the area, then move on.
Do you have any advice as to what I should do to get my home ready for sale? Experienced agents know what matters and aren’t afraid to tell you what you need to do to help get top dollar for your home.
When do you think I should list my house? A good agent will know the importance of timing and be able to offer strategic advice.
What would your past clients say is the best thing about working with you? Look up the agent you plan to interview on Zillow and read their reviews from past clients. This is a good way to see what other people have to say about the agent you are interviewing.
Have a Real Estate Question?
Feel free to email me any of your questions and I would be happy to answer them next month in this column or directly to you. Email me at email@example.com