Top ten questions to ask a prospective Realtor®

Posted by Joseph Epifanio on Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 2:50pm

Make sure you ask the right questions 

  • Call the first real estate agency you can find and ask them to list your home.
  • You may have a relative that sells homes in their spare time,
  • Set out to interview two or three hand-picked realtors® that say they can do the job.  

Hopefully you picked the last one, however, there is no correct answer. 

Whichever route you take, it is important to make sure you ask the right questions, that way you will know your home sale is in good hands.  So here are a quick top ten questions to ask.

  1. What services does the Realtor® offer to sell my home?.  What makes this Realtor® different from all the others? Do they have good ideas for marketing, and negotiating a good deal?  When it comes to marketing, how good is the Realtor® do they offer virtual tours, open houses, a website for your home?  in short, can they give your home the coverage it needs and you expect?
  2. Does the Realtor® have credentials?  What are they, how long have they been in the real estate business, how many homes have they sold, how many listings do they have.  Would you like to hire a realtor who has 30 listings, but has only sold 2 or a realtor who has 5-10 listings and is selling them regularly?  How many homes does the Realtor® handle at one time?  If they have a large number of listings, it could be your home will not get the time and attention it would with a successful Realtor® handling a more manageable number of homes at a time.  Does the Realtor® work full time at their profession, or are they handling another full-time job as well?  Remember the Realtor® you choose will be representing you and your home, they will be talking on your behalf to not only Buyers but also Appraisers, Home Inspectors and more.  Make sure your Realtor® is respected within the Real Estate industry. 
  3. How accessible is the Realtor? With today's technology moving at such a fast pace, many potential buyers start their search online, either on a computer or smartphone.  Find out how tech-savvy your potential Realtor®  is. Are they going to answer their phones and return calls promptly, will they be available by email, phone, skype or face to face for both yourself and potential buyers, or will you spend your time chasing them.   Maybe you yourself are not particularly technically inclined, will the Realto® be able to give you the face to face time you require. 
  4. How does the Realtor® handle their business?  What are their office hours, will you be able to reach them on weekends?  Do they have another job?  How do they handle their contracts, do they have to hand deliver them to all concerned or are they portable and online.  How confidential is the information you give them? How do they handle their marketing? Advertising? What else can they provide that other Realtors® cannot?  
  5. How well does the Realtor® know the local market?  In particular, do they know about the area or community your home is in?  A good Realtor® will come armed with information and research on your home and the surrounding area.  They will be able to advise you on how long your home may take to sell and work with you taking into account your personal circumstances to arrive at a price to initially market your home for.
  6. Is the Realtor® being honest with you about the expected price for your home, ask for information on how they arrived at the selling price. Are they putting a higher price on your home, just to get the business? You need to make sure your Realtor® is open and honest with you.
  7. Is the Realtor® in good standing, or do they have any complaints or grievances against them with the Board of Realtors®?
  8. Realtors® operate as independent contractors, working under the umbrella of a Brokerage, it is the Realtor® themselves that will be marketing your property, even if the Realtor® works under one of the top Brokers in town, it is the Realtor®, not the Broker that will be doing the work of marketing, promoting and handling prospective buyers, is the Realtor® capable of that?  Just because the Realtor® says they are a top agency does not mean they are a top Realtor®. Ask yourself can this person sell my home for me?
  9.  Ask your Realtor® give you a written list of everything they said they would do to sell your home and attach is as an addendum to the listing contract. Every Realtor® is going to present you with a listing contract, but typically that contract is just about the property you are selling, as a seller you need to know your home is is good hands and that the person representing it in a sale is going to do their very best to sell it for you, at a good price and within a reasonable period of time.  
  10. Does your prospective Realtor® understand your goals?  Choosing a Realtor® is probably one of the most important decisions you will make, moving home is stressful even under the best circumstances.  Make sure you choose a Realtor® who has your best interests at heart, is willing to go the extra mile, has a good work ethic and has the same goals as you for selling your home.    Your home is probably your largest investment, make sure you place it in the right hands.

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