Questions To Ask Potential Real Estate Agents
Today, there are about as many real estate agents as there are homes being sold. That makes it tough for sellers to know which agents are worthy of their investment and which ones will only slow them down. Luckily, there are plenty of well-qualified, experienced, and friendly real estate agents in every town. It just takes some time and research to locate them.
Your goal should be to locate a qualified real estate agent that can utilize an array of different marketing tactics and tools to sell your home and for the best price possible. There is also the factor of time to consider. You want to sell your home before the end of the decade, but some agents just can’t pull it off. Finding such an agent is going to take some time and you will need to interview multiple agents before you make your decision.
What will you ask them during your interview? Asking the right questions is important. It will help you get a feel of the agent and a sense of what they can accomplish. Here are just a couple of questions you should consider asking a real estate agent during the interview process.
“Can You Explain A Few Ways Your Business Has Changed In The Past 5 Years?”
This is a great conversation starter. You need to find out just how tech-savvy this agent is. Of course, they don’t need to be writing custom programs and smartphone apps in order to be successful real estate agent. However, it’s a good sign if they mention smartphone integration, online website tours, and websites.
Agents who utilize such technological tools are more likely to be connected to a larger network of buyers. They will have more opportunities to offer your home and to get a price that you like. Believe it or not, there are some real estate agents who still don’t even use email. Those are the kind of agents that you want to avoid.
“What Is Your Plan For Marketing The Home?”
There’s a large gap between the marketing effort some agents are willing to put forth compared to others. For example, some agents will throw a few ads in the paper, maybe even post the listing on their website, and then leave it at that. That’s a great start, but it is barely enough to warrant a share in the profits. After all, the homeowner could do those things.
An agent needs to know the local market, needs to know just who is likely to buy the home, and then have a specific plan for appealing to those people. The potential agent should be able to explain the target audience for the home and then explain their strategy for reaching that audience and peaking their interest in the property. If they cannot provide an answer to this simple question, then it’s time to move to the next candidate.
“What Should I Do To Make The Home More Sellable?
It’s not a bad thing when a real estate agent has expectations. After all, they should know the best way to sell the home. Thus, there may be some steps you need to take to make the home a better property for potential buyers. You may need to move some things around, clean some things up, or it may be something more serious like painting a room.
Of course, these things aren’t obligations. You are still advised to take their advice and make any changes you think you can handle. It should raise a red flag if the agent has absolutely no expectations of you. That would be like saying the house is perfect and ready to sell, which is rarely the case.
“How Much Can I Make?”
The final question all boils down to money. The more agents you ask this question the more understanding you will have. If you eventually interview five agents and four of them say $200,000 while the fifth says $400,000, then you know something is up. Chances are, the fifth agent is trying to exaggerate the price so that you work with them.
Rinse And Repeat.
You should repeat the interview process with at least three agents. The more real estate agents you can interview the better.
Characteristics of the Best Real Estate Agencies
With so many real estate agencies offering their services to clients, it may be difficult to choose the right one. Reputation is obviously important but there are various other essentials to examine prior to finalizing the decision.
The agency and the real estate professional representing you will be the ones responsible for safeguarding your financial interests. Thus, it’s imperative to take enough time and to examine multiple possibilities. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of real estate agencies, you can move on to the final phase of the selection process.
Checking the essentials is the first step. Once you’ve established the reputation of the agency, you can move on to figuring out whether you have chemistry with the professional that will be representing you.
Real estate agencies need to have the right license in order to practice legally. Every state has its own regulatory body responsible for licensing agencies. Such information will usually be available on the organization’s official website or by request.
Number of Years that the Agency has been in Business
Some real estate companies that have just established themselves on the market will do a stellar job. They have the incentive to please clients and grow their clientele. Still, by opting for a company that hasn’t been around for such a long period of time, you are accepting some risk.
Experience gives agents tons of market knowledge. They know what it takes to work with clients and to find the best buyer for a respective property. Understanding of market dynamics and decision-making based on practical knowledge can never be replaced by the enthusiasm of an inexperienced agent.
It’s also important to find a company that has been around for a long time and that has managed to establish its reputation through the years. A real estate agency that has a big number of satisfied (return) clients is to be prioritized.
Talk with Clients of the Agency
Agencies that have a good reputation and a big number of satisfied customers will be glad to provide potential customers with some referrals.
Talking to former or current clients of the company will shed a lot of light on the corporate philosophy and the approach towards addressing specific customer needs.
There are several important questions to ask when having a conversation with a former client. What was the asking price? What was the sale price? How fast was the property sold? Did the agent address all requirements and client concerns in an adequate way?
Individuals who are selling should inquire about former clients who sold properties that were similar in size and asking price. A company that has experience with the specific type of real estate is expected to do a better job than the one that doesn’t.
Training and Experience
Now that the credentials of the real estate agency have been established, it’s time to assess the professionalism of the experts working there.
When it comes to real estate agent credentials, there are a few specifics to look for. CRS stands for Certified residential specialist. SRES is a senior real estate specialist. ABR stands for Accredited Buyer’s Representative. These are indicative of the completion of additional training that gives the agent specialized skills.
Inquire about both the pre-license and the additional training of the agent that will be representing you. This professional’s experience is as important as the number of years that the agency itself has been in business.
Commissions and Payments
While the cost of being represented by a reputable real estate agency isn’t the most prominent consideration, this is a factor that you should examine alongside all of the others.
Some companies rely on a traditional brokerage model. Usually, the agent will get 50 percent of the commission and the rest will go to the agency (as a profit and to cover administrative costs). There are also some agencies that make agents responsible for various fees (a hybrid model). This model is more popular in the case of experienced agents who know that they could close the deal.
Make sure you have a clear idea about the commission percentage right from the start. Inquire about additional fees and costs. All of this information should be provided in the form of writing and outlined in the contract, as well.
You have the right to ask as many questions as you need to in order to make up your mind. The agency that you choose will be responsible for a major transaction that is going to be life-defining. Don’t leave the selection of the right professional to chance.
Tips For Finding Local Realtors For Your Needs
If you are interested in real estate, you need to find local realtors that will be able to help you. There are many factors that will influence your decision when selecting a realtor. However, if you invest some time in your search, you will be able to find a good agent that will help you make the trades you want.
Whether you are buying or selling, a local real estate agent will be able to help you out. If you are selling your property, it can be a headache to do it on your own. The same is true for buying. In either case, you could lose out on money and time by attempting to handle matters on your own.
Look at the local realtors and find out which ones specialize in the types of property that you are interested in dealing with. While most agents are capable of handling basic deals across the board, you want an agent who focuses on the type of land you want to sell or buy.
The reason for this is you want a person representing you who knows exactly what a piece of property is worth and why. There are many things that can influence the market, including upcoming projects done by the city. If a realtor focuses on commercial property, they will know of any impending changes in the commercial district that could impact the quality of a piece of land. An agent who deals primarily in residential properties may be unaware of the buzz within the commercial sector.
You also want to make sure that you find a realtor who has closed many deals and has satisfied the needs of their clients. You can gather this information by talking directly to people in your community and doing an online search. Ask people that you know about their own property buying experiences.
Were they happy with the agent? Do they believe their needs were properly represented during the transaction? Would they recommend the person or not? Either way, why? The answers to these questions will help you to make a list of potential local realtors that you can use.
When you do your online research, make sure that you read the reviews of the services provided by the real estate agents you are investigating. Ratings alone can be misleading. See where people were at in the process when the review was left. Someone who has just moved in to a new home may still be buzzing from the joy of the purchase and not yet discovered some way that they were mislead.
It is important to realize that having a real estate agent represent you during the process helps to make certain that your interests are looked out for. Some people believe that they can trust the agent of the other party to cover the points of the sale. However, if an agent is working for the seller, they will work in the best interest of that person, not the buyer. As a buyer, you need to know your agent has your back!
Talk to the agents that stood out in your research. Tell them that you are speaking to others in order to get a feel for which realtor will be the right fit for you. As with any relationship, you need to find a realtor that you are comfortable interacting with. Otherwise, you will have a difficult time. Just because someone else clicked well with an agent does not mean that you will have the same experience.
Once you have met with a few different agents that have good reputations and deal in the types of properties that you are interested in, you can make a choice. By finding an experienced agent who understands your vision and your needs, you will be able to get the deal you are searching for. That individual will know exactly what to keep an eye out for and ways that you can work with properties to make your dreams come true.
You can have a good experience with your real estate endeavors if you take the time to choose a reputable realtor to assist you in the process!