Choosing the person to trust with one of your biggest monetary assets, your home, is a big decision. Be prepared by asking a few important questions to make sure that the agent is right for you and has the experience and skill set to get you to the closing table!
What is your experience?
See what their background is and what skill set they are bringing to the table. While real estate experience is important, having a professional background in other things can be a great way to round out their experience.
Do you have another full time job?
While I respect the hustle, it’s important that your real estate agent’s focus is on you and your home! If they are only moonlighting as an agent, their focus is going to be limited and it can potentially effect their performance. In addition, there may be some times that they are unavailable to provide the service you hired them for since they will be working another job. Hire a full time, dedicated real estate professional.
If I list with you, will you be the person I deal with?
Make sure the person you are speaking with will be the person you will work with. Some agents have additional staff that they pass their listings or buyers on once the contract gets signed. While having a support team is great, hiring one person but never being able to communicate with that person is another.
How will you market my home?
Make sure that your listing agent doesn’t plan to list your home & pray someone brings a buyer. That is almost never enough. Ask about their marketing plan & make sure that it makes sense to you! Don't be afraid to ask questions.
How will you market my property online?
I hate to say it, but some agents are still sticking a sign in the yard, holding Open Houses and calling it a day. No thanks. Over 90% of buyers are looking online for homes at some point during their search. If your agent isn’t utilizing digital marketing along with social media then you are losing out on a very large pool of buyers.
Will you hire a photographer?
Do some online research. See that home with the agent in the mirror, taking a picture of the bathroom with the toilet seat up? It’s getting less views, which means less showings, which means it will be on the market longer, potentially resulting in it selling for a lower price. That’s a pretty big downward spiral don’t you think? Make sure your agent hires a professional photographer so that your home stands out & looks it’s best!
How often do you communicate?
Selling your home is stressful! You should never be left guessing what is happening with the sale of your home. Make sure that your agent has systems in place to keep you up to date on what they are doing to get your home sold. Once your home is under contract, there are lots of details that need to be done & deadlines that need met. Your agent should keep you on track & communicate with you often!
What is your negotiation style?
Real Estate is a team sport – everyone has to work together to get to finish line. While your agent should always have your best interests in mind, it’s important they play well with others. Being bull headed and hard to deal with can often lead to lost deals & lose you lots of money! On the other side of that coin, your agent should be able to stand their ground when it matters.
How much should my home be listed at?
Are you ready for the most shocking answer of all? You should not just list with an agent who brings you the highest number & call it a day. Wait, what?!? While a higher number is tempting, remember that buyers will only pay what the market says your home should be valued at. And most of the time, buyers won’t pay anything higher than the appraised value of your home. What your home should be listed at should be based on multiple factors. Your agent should do research and be able to show you why & how they came up with the numbers for your home. Be wary of an agent who brings high numbers with no data backing it up – you’ll end up with your house on the market for too long, resulting in it actually selling lower than what it would have if it was priced correctly to being with!
Why should I hire you?
Bottom line is no two agents are the same. Make sure that you are able to connect & build rapport with the real estate agent you are interviewing. Ask what makes them different from all the other hundreds or thousands of agents in your town. If at the end of the interview you have doubts or don’t feel confident that they are the right agent for you, listen to your gut! It’s okay to “no thanks” and interview someone else!
Thoughts on hiring family or friends:
Chances are you may already know a real estate agent in your own social circle. The truth is, just because they are family or your friend, doesn’t mean you should hire them. Buying or selling a home is a huge financial and emotional event and it’s important that your agent is able to confidently help you navigate the transaction.
Need help finding a real estate professional in your area? I have a huge network of amazing agents all over the country and would love to help you find one that is perfect for your needs! Reach out to me & I can provide you with a list of agents you can interview in your area.