Hiring the wrong person to help you with a large financial transaction can cost you thousands of dollars and cause you nothing but stress. Whether you are selling or buying a home, start by asking friends, neighbors, relatives and business associates for recommendations.
Here are 8 insightful questions you should ask when you have your face-to-face interview:
- How long have you been practicing real estate, and what services would you provide? You want to hire an experienced professional (not just a “friend of a friend”), and this is a good conversation starter.
- Tell me about your company. Most REALTORS® will say their companies are #1 in this or that category. Ask for details on the company’s track record and reputation.
- Have you sold any homes in this area? An experienced REALTOR® should be prepared to give you a comparative market analysis, or listing of homes currently for sale or recently sold in your area.
- Why should I list my home with you? Not all real estate agents are alike! If you’re going to hire this person to sell your home, he or she should be very good at answering this question and selling themselves. The only 80/20 rule applies here, 20% of the agents do 80% of the business!
- How would you market my home? This is key. You are looking for a complete, innovative marketing plan that only starts with listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service. The right REALTOR® should go beyond traditional methods like open houses and use all possible advertising avenues, including the Internet (statistics show it’s used to find a home over 90 percent of the time) and social media. One of the advantages of using a REALTOR® is his or her experience and ability to provide exposure – to buyers and to other REALTORS® who may be working with potential buyers. What particular media does this REALTOR® find most effective in today’s market?
- What percentage of your business comes from referrals? You want to hear a high percentage, indicating that this REALTOR® is competent, well known, and gets a large part of his or her business from satisfied clients.
- What is your average length of time from listing to SOLD? A short time isn’t necessarily good (homes could be underpriced). You want a REALTOR® who is good at helping you determine the asking price and selling your home close to that price, in as short a time as possible. Ask them what their typical “days on market” is for a listing in your area.
- Can you refer me to a reputable mortgage lender, banker, appraiser or real estate lawyer? This question will tell you how well connected the REALTOR® is, which can help you save time if they can introduce you to great service providers.
You may be asking yourself… How Do I Make The Final Decision?
The subjective part: As you’re doing the interview you want to see if the REALTOR® is listening to you and communicating with you effectively.
Hiring the right REALTOR® requires chemistry – you need to work well together to have a successful home selling or buying experience.
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