Whether you are a seasoned veteran or embarking on your first real estate sale, it is important to have to have the right real estate agent. There are several real estate agents out there such that the sheer number of options you have might make it difficult to identify a good fit. A smart property owner or buyer asks several questions to identify the right real estate agent.
One of the best ways to find and interview local agents is using online real estate marketplace for connecting agents with property buyers and sellers. The beauty of it is that you have a large pool of agents to choose from. When these agents compete you win. The whole process is simple. The first step is stating your preference then the site will filter the best agents with a proven track record in your area who will send you proposals within 24 hours. From here, you will choose the best agent to interview. Below are the top questions to ask when choosing a real estate agent.
How long have you been in the business?
This question is vital because it will give you a picture of how qualified and equipped the agent is to handle your unique situation. Since real estate is largely commissioned based business, it is hard for agents who provide awful services survive for several years. While there is nothing wrong with working with freshly licensed agents, relevant experience will come in handy when dealing with transactions related problems.
Is your license in good standing and do you have any certification?
Smart agents understand the importance of continuous training and certification. Generally, designations and certifications help the agents to acquire specialized skills to handle specific real estate transactions. Needless to say, but it is important to check for a potential agent’s license within your state’s real estate department website.
How many clients have you helped?
While it is good to work with an agent who is already serving customers like you, it is important to find out if he or she has enough time to handle your needs. If an agent is already serving dozens of other clients, he or she should elaborate to you plans in place to remedy the situation should you require additional support.
What is the average variation between initial listing and final sale price?
This question is important because it let you ascertain the agent’s negotiation and pricing skills. However, note that agent's average variation depends on the market. The best seller’s agent to work with is the one with a ratio closer to 100% of the list price while the best buyer’s agent is the one with buyer’s agent average ratio below 99% of the listing price.
What is the best marketing strategy for my situation?
Ideally, your agent should have a good marketing and negotiation track record and have an innovative plan. If you are a seller, your agent should elaborate the campaign or marketing systems he or she uses to advertise your property such as online listing. Likewise, if you are a buyer, the agent should let you know the how many homes are you likely to see before making a purchase or how he or she handles multiple offers.
Can you assist me with contact information of some of your customers?
It is important to get a way of talking to real customers. Inquire from the agent if you can call the references for additional questions and if they are related to him or her. As you talk to the references, inquire about their experience with the agent, and if they will use his or her service in the future.
Can you refer me to other professionals?
A smart agent will build relationships with several industry professionals over the course of his or her career. These professionals could include home inspectors, mortgage brokers, contractors, and title companies.
What guarantee do you offer?
Would the agent allow you to cancel the engagement if his or her service does not meet your expectation? A real estate agent should allow you to work with someone else if the relationship doesn't work. So, you should establish his or her company’s policy on contract cancellation.
What differentiates you from other real estate agents?
A smart agent should elaborate to you his or her unique strengths and how these strengths will help in your situation. While we all have different taste and standard, most customers like to work with agents who are good negotiators, honest, available when needed, friendly, and knowledgeable about the market.
There are several other questions you can ask your real estate agent, but the above is what you shouldn’t miss. One thing that you are sure is that you can’t miss an experienced agent that meets your needs.