June 25, 2014

Ask the Right Questions to Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Posted on Feb 07, 2011 by in Real Estate 101

ask questions before hiring a real estate agent

In addition to interviewing at least three candidates, there are some very important questions you must ask a real estate agent before deciding who to hire.

Finding the right real estate agent is of the most important decisions you make when selling your home. It’s not a relationship that should be entered into lightly. Just as you would never hire an employee without an interview, you should never hire a real estate agent without first asking some very important questions.

Interviewing potential candidates is the best way to be sure that you not only find a real estate agent that has the right skills to sell your house, but also that you choose an agent that you can trust and communicate with. Remember, selling your house may take months and you need to be sure that you and your real estate agent will have a good working relationship.

Before you can ask the right questions, it’s helpful to know what to expect from a real estate agent. You should have a basic understanding of what an agent does for their client, why they do it, and what their systems are. With the right expectations set, you will be able to knowledgeably participate in the process of selling your house and, also, have a more pleasant experience during the process.

Ask Your Potential Real Estate Agent What They Do

In essence, real estate agents work for themselves, developing their own way of marketing and selling homes, so every real estate agent is different. These differences may be slight, or they may vary greatly, but the only way to discover what services each one provides is to interview the agent.

Interview at least three real estate agents at your home, well before you must put the home on the market if possible. The interviews should focus on several aspects that you may not be aware of yet. Let’s take a look at what a proper real estate agent interview should involve:

Interviewing A Real Estate Agent

It is important to understand that the interview process is not to find out which agent claims to be able to get the most money for your home. In fact, pricing should not even be discussed at the initial interview. The object of the interview is to discover what services each agent provides, learn what type of marketing plan they have in place, how that marketing plan applies to your situation, and what systems are in place to manage the paperwork generated by a pending contract.

However, as important as these details are, it is just as important to learn whether or not you are comfortable communicating with the agent. Many sellers make the mistake of simply hiring an agent who promises to sell the house for the most money, even when they do not feel comfortable with the agent. A real estate transaction can be extremely strenuous and emotional; that is why open, clear, comfortable lines of communication are critical to a successful sale.

Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Questions to ask each agent should be written out and utilized during each interview. Asking the same questions of each agent will provide you with a standard way to compare them after the interview process is completed.

These are some of the most critical questions to ask a potential real estate agent:

  1. How many active clients do you generally assist at any given time?
  2. What is your marketing plan?
  3. Describe how my home will be presented on the internet as over 80% of buyers seek homes there.
  4. How do you manage a contract? With all of the paperwork, the numerous service providers involved, and the buyer’s side of the transaction, it must be difficult. How do you keep everything straight?
  5. Are you a full time real estate agent?
  6. Do you have any vacations planned? If yes, how will you manage my business during your absence? How will you be able to handle an offer or showing?

After the Interview: Finding the Right Agent

Be sure to take plenty of notes during the interviews. Once the interviews are over, go over your notes thoroughly. It is a good idea to schedule a second interview with the realtor you’ve chosen, this time requesting that the agent provide you with statistical information and recommended pricing on your home. You may even want to have each agent provide this information in a second interview as well, just to be sure of your final decision.

Although conducting interviews with real estate agents and asking questions takes time, finding the right agent is a critical investment to the successful sale of your home. Taking time in the beginning to ask questions will give you peace of mind as you go through the, often stressful, process of selling a home.

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