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, and then select at least three individuals to interview.
Here are 12 insightful questions you should ask when you have your face-to-face interview:
1. 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.
2. 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. For example, ask how many homes the company sells per year compared with other companies and the average sales price compared with other companies.
3. 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. You want to hire someone who is a specialist is the specific area where you want to buy or sell a home.
4. 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.
5. 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 88 percent of the time) and social media. Ask to see samples of sales materials this person has used for other clients. 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?
6. How would you keep me informed about buyer activity and feedback (if you’re a seller) and homes on the market (if you’re a buyer)? Communication is important and you should discuss how much you want to know and how often you want to talk in advance.
7. 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.
8. How many sellers (or buyers) are you currently working with? There’s no magic number here, but you want to know that this person has time to devote to your sale. Also, the more buyers a REALTOR® is working with, the better your chances of selling quickly.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Would you provide a list of references? Of course the REALTOR® will give you good references, but you should still call some of them, including past clients, and ask what it was like to work with this person.
12. Can I cancel my listing contract if I am not satisfied? The REALTOR® should release you from a listing agreement prior to its expiration upon request.
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.
But there’s something even more important… Don’t just work with any REALTOR® to buy or sell a home – work with a Home Buyer Representative or a Home Marketing Expert…
BUYING?: Hiring an experienced Home Buyer Representative can save you time and money with buying a home by:
- Helping you find the perfect home at the right price… so you don’t have to worry you bought the wrong home or paid too much.
- Providing you with direction and contacts to get pre-approved for a home loan… so you’re never lost trying to find the most affordable financing for your situation.
- Negotiating the best deal with the sellers… so you avoid costly traps and pitfalls. You don’t make money when you sell a home, you make money when you buy it!
- Coordinating all inspections, appraisals, escrow and title services, with the very best companies… so you feel confident and can focus on other tasks with your move.
SELLING?: Hiring an experienced Home Marketing Expert can net you more money and save you time selling your home by:
- Assisting you in pricing your home… so it sells for the most money possible, and you have more for your next home.
- Providing you exposure by marketing your property to other real estate agents and the public, through the official MLS… so it sells in less time, and you can move on. Homes that sell fast sell for the most money!
- Screening buyer calls, showing buyers your property, and negotiating… so you don’t have to constantly be available, and know things are done correctly to sell your home.
- Coordinating the closing process including: opening an escrow account, completing requirements for a purchase contract (disclosures, inspections, and other legal documents)… so you don’t have to think about all the details and are protected.
- Not intended to solicit property currently listed for sale.
How To Find The Perfect Home and Save Thousands When Buying…
I offer a Preferred Buyer Program for those considering buying in the next 6 months. My program includes an Advanced Home-Locator Service™ where my software will sift through the market each night to find hidden bargains and new listings before anyone else – and send you daily email notifications at no charge. To enroll in my no obligation program or if you have questions about my Lowest Loan-Locator Service™ to help you find the best loan program for your needs – call me using this number:
Sarah Garrett, REALTOR®
ALLIANCE REALTY GROUP
Home Buyer Representative 239-464-8620
How To Sell Your Home For TOP DOLLAR and Eliminate Costly Pitfalls…
I offer a Maximum Home Value Audit for those considering selling in the next 6 months. My audit is much more than a simple home valuation you’ll get from another agent. It’s a complete top-to-bottom analysis not just of the value, but every aspect of your home to identify items that may affect your sales price. To request a no obligation audit of your home’s value or if you have any questions about my 28 Step Home Marketing Plan designed to sell your home for every penny it’s worth, in YOUR time frame, and with the least pressure and hassles – call me using the number below:
Sarah Garrett, REALTOR®
Home Marketing Expert
ALLIANCE REALTY GROUP