As you embark upon what will be one of the most important transactions of your life – whether buying or selling a home – you should be absolutely certain that you are happy with the real estate agent you have hired to help you manage it.
To help you with this all-important hiring process, here are ten important questions to ask an agent before you decide on whether or not to hire them:
How Close Do You Get in Sale Price Related to Asking Price?
It is important to ask for this information as it relates to the past 60 days. Given that many agents are not that active in the market, you would be best served to obtain the most recent information possible. As a seller, your agent’s ability to come close to the asking price is a strong attribute and can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in your transaction.
How Many Days on Average Does It Take You to Sell a Home?
What’s the average number of days on the market for properties listed by your prospective agent? Since this statistic can reach as high as six to nine months and in some cases and as much as a year, it is important to ask how your prospective agent ranks on the scale.
What is the Rate of Homes Sold on a Monthly Basis?
Knowing the absorption rate of homes similar to yours that are on the market allows valuable insight as to how the market is performing for your particular needs. Not only does it give sellers a glimpse into the system and how it would translate to their own sale but it also presents a broader view of the entire market in general.
What Do You Do Differently To Get Homes Sold?
Especially with the current trying economic times, many agents have been faced with adversities trying to sell the homes on their list. One of the best ways to learn whether your agent is a self-starter is to find out what they have done in the past when they were unable to successfully sell homes. Ask why the agent feels the home(s) did not sell and then find out what they are doing differently to get them sold.
What Percentage of Deals Do You Represent the Buyer versus Seller?
Some agents work primarily with sellers while others work mostly with buyers and still others are experienced with dual-agency deals. Depending on your needs, you will benefit from an agent that specializes in one of the two. It is important to ask which side of the fence your prospective agent tends to represent.
How Many Homes Did You Sell Last Year?
Nothing speaks louder than numbers. A very important statistic, ask what the total number of homes sold last year was and if possible try to get a more long-term picture of the agent’s performance in this regard. You can also ask for a month-to-month breakdown to see if there are certain stronger months.
Can You Provide a List of the Ten Most Current Clients You Have Worked With?
Rather than rely on the given list of referrals that many agents have handpicked, it’s a good idea to obtain a list of clients that are currently working with this Realtor. It will provide a much-needed glimpse into the agent’s performance on various stages of real estate transactions.
How Much of Your Work Day Do You Dedicate to the Real Estate Industry?
You want an agent that is 100% committed to their job and if they are focusing more on a day job with real estate being a secondary thing, you run the risk of inaccessibility, lack of knowledge and experience plus lackluster motivation. Find out how they feel about the real estate industry and whether they are passionate about their work.
What is Your Style of Marketing – Proactive or Reactive?
What is your potential agent’s style of working? Does he or she speak to a large number of people each day? Are they proactive or reactive in nature when it comes to marketing? See how this lines up with your real estate needs. Are you in a hurry to buy or sell? Does a laid back agent hinder your efforts? Or does slow and steady work better for you?
What Does Your Daily Schedule Look Like?
The typical schedule of a real estate professional can be very telling. By asking for a copy or general idea of how they conduct their day in terms of their work, you can get a good idea of how much time is devoted to the profession and what kind of business they are running.