What to Ask Before Choosing Your Listing Agent
Choosing a person to sell your home is like choosing a person to fill the job at work, but more important. You want to pick someone who is reliable, trustworthy and can get the job done! In order to find the right fit, you will want to interview any agent that you are thinking of using. Generally, it is suggested to interview 2-3 agents before making your choice. Here are some common questions that you should ask in order to make an informed decision:
Are they a real estate agent or a REALTOR®?
A real estate agent is someone who has completed a certain amount of training hours necessary to get his or her license. A REALTOR® is someone who has received his or her license and became a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). REALTORS® are required to adhere to NAR’s code of ethics and have access to market data, transaction management services and other benefits. Whether they are a real estate agent or a REALTOR®, you will want to ensure that they are a good fit for you.
How many years have they been in real estate?
Of course, every agent has to start somewhere, but it is ultimately your choice if you want to work with an agent who is new to the industry compared to an agent with five plus years experience.
Is real estate a full-time or part-time job for them?
Many hardworking agents only work in real estate part-time. This is completely fine, but if you are in need of immediate, consistent contact throughout the workday, a full-time agent is probably the best choice for you. You never want to feel like a last priority.
How many homes did they sell last year and what was the average sale price?
You will want to work with an agent who has experience selling homes in your price range. If you have a luxury multi-million dollar home, you most likely would not choose an agent who generally sells homes for $100K because of the differences in experience.
Do they have experience selling in your neighborhood?
If an agent has experience selling other homes in your neighborhood, that can mean they are knowledgeable about the market and trends in that area. It might be best to choose someone who is familiar with your neighborhood, rather than someone who has never even heard of it.
What is their involvement in this process, and what would they delegate to a member of their team?
Not all agents are in this business alone; many have assistants or work on a real estate team. Before committing to them, it is beneficial to ask what their duties are during this process. Will they be taking the lead on this sale, or are they going to pass it along to a team member instead? It is not a bad thing that an agent delegates, but you will want to know how the process works either way.
How will they decide on a listing price?
If your potential agent cannot thoroughly explain the process of how the price of a home is decided, then they are not the agent for you. You do not want your agent pulling the sale price from the sky. An agent should be making an informed decision based off research, market statistics, a comparative market analysis (CMA), etc.
Can they explain the marketing plan they would put in place to sell your home?
Marketing is such an important piece in selling a home. You are going to want to choose an agent who has a clear plan of how they will market your home to sell. Can they create a virtual tour of the home? Will they be hosting an open house event? Do they have the means to take visually appealing photos of the home? Are they going to run ads in the local paper or do they have a social media page where they can run ads or create posts? These are all marketing tactics to consider asking your agent about.
What will communication consist of?
You do not want to get lost in the mix of your agent’s busy workload. Agents should be keeping you in the loop no matter what, but if you are someone who prefers organized, prompt communication, then you will want to ensure that your agent can provide that. Do they prefer calls, texts, emails or all? Do not let miscommunication or lack of communication be an issue.
Can they provide you with past references?
Any good agent should be able to provide you with client references that you can contact to inquire more about working with the agent. You can also look up agent reviews and testimonials online. A list of Crye-Leike agents with further information can be found here.
Looking for more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks!