Whether you are buying or selling a home, the right real estate agent makes the process much easier. If you are looking to hire a real estate agent, you’ll want to ask lots of questions to determine if the agent is the right one for your needs.
Here are some of the important ones to consider:
1. How many closings have you had in the last year?
You can phrase this question as it relates to your goals, whether buying or selling, but knowing how much recent experience a real estate agent has in your area will help you determine if he or she is the right one. Look for an agent who has had a significant number of successful sales in your area.
A real estate agent who is willing and able to provide a number of statistics about his or her success in the market is one that is confident in being able to help you. This is the agent you want on your side.
2. Are you working full-time?
You will do best with someone who is working full-time as a real estate agent. Many part-time agents do quite well, but they are not able to give you their full attention. Choose a full-time agent if you want to reach your real estate goals more quickly.
3. What aspects of my real estate transaction will you handle personally?
Many agents, particularly those who work in an agency or firm, will delegate some tasks to free their time for the more critical tasks. Real estate transactions can be maddeningly complex, and it’s not cost effective for them to handle every aspect themselves. However, you should know what parts are being delegated and what parts the agent is handling. Plus, the answer to this question will give you a clearer picture of the agent’s knowledge and expertise.
4. Do you think my goals are reasonable?
Before you talk to your agent, know what your specific real estate goals are. For example, if you are selling, know what you think you need to sell the house for. Then, ask the agent what he or she thinks you will be able to sell it for. This will give you a clear picture of your agent’s market knowledge, and it will also help you determine if your goals are reasonable.
If you are buying, tell the agent what your goals are. What type of house do you want, where do you want to live and what is your price range? Then, see if your agent thinks your goals are within reach.
An experienced real estate agent will be able to use current market data to help you consider your goals. They will know details that you can’t find on national home search sites. If they are bringing detailed market statistics to you to help you analyze your goals, then you’ve likely found a good agent.
5. May I see the comparative market analysis for homes for sale in my area?
If you are selling, the comparative market analysis will be an invaluable tool. This gives you details about the local market and what your home is likely worth. Not all homes have comparable properties that the realtor can share with you, but you should ask to see if they are available.
When the realtor presents the comps, use the opportunity to ask detailed questions. This will show you what the real estate agent knows about your local market conditions.
6. What is your plan for showing my home?
For sellers, the agent’s marketing plan is crucial. Know how the agent plans to show and market your home, and make sure that it includes the following:
- Online marketing
- Photos, photos and more photos, preferably taken professionally
- Open houses, at least for other agents
- The use of technology to help with the sale
- Home staging help
The more marketing techniques employed, the better your success will be, so spend some time on this question.
7. What is your availability?
If you are buying, find out when the agent is available to show you potential houses. Make sure that the availability is in line with your own. You don’t want to end up with an agent that can only show houses on days or times when you have to be working.
Whether you are buying or selling, you want the right agent at your side. Take the time to ask these detailed questions, and you can move forward with confidence that you have found the right one!