Questions to ASK a Real Estate Agent before you HIRE them

questions to ask a real estate agent

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK A REAL ESTATE AGENT

Choosing the person to trust with one of your biggest monetary assets, your home, is a big decision.  Be prepared by asking a few important questions to ensure that the agent is right for you. Do they have the experience along with a skill set, that can get you to the closing table?!

What is your experience?

The first question you should ask a REALTOR® is what their background is, in addition to what skill set they bring to the table.  While real estate experience is important, having a professional background in other things can be a great way to round out their expertise.

Do you have another full-time job?  

While I respect the hustle, it’s important that your real estate agent’s focus is on you and your home!  When they are only moonlighting as an agent, their focus is going to be limited. This can potentially affect their performance.  There may be certain times when they are unavailable to provide the service you hired them for, since they’re priority will be another job.  Hire a full time, dedicated real estate professional.

 

If I list with you, will you be the person I deal with?

Make sure the person you are speaking with will be the person you will work with.  Some agents may pass their sellers or buyers off to additional staff once the contract gets signed.  Agents who have a support team is great but hiring a person that you’re unable to communicate with on a regular basis, is not.

 

How will you market my home?

Make sure that your listing agent doesn’t plan to list your home and just pray someone brings a buyer.  That is almost never enough.  Ask about their marketing plan and make sure that it makes sense to you! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

How will you market my property online?

I hate to say it, but some agents are still sticking a sign in the yard, holding Open Houses and calling it a day.  No thanks.  Over 90% of buyers are looking online for homes at some point during their search.  If your agent isn’t utilizing digital marketing along with social media, then you are losing out on a very large pool of buyers.

 

Will you hire a photographer?

Do some online research.  See that home with the agent in the mirror, taking a picture of the bathroom with the toilet seat up?  It’s getting less views, which means less showings. Less showings means it will be on the market longer, potentially resulting in it selling for a lower price.  That’s a pretty big downward spiral, don’t you think?  Make sure your agent hires a professional photographer so that your home stands out and looks it’s best!

 

How often do you communicate?

Selling your home is stressful! You should never be left guessing what is happening with the sale of your home.  Be sure that your agent has systems in place to keep you up to date on what plans they will implement to get your home sold.  Once your home is under contract, there are lots of details that need to be done as well as deadlines that need to be met.  Your agent should keep you on track and communicate with you often!

 

What is your negotiation style?

Real Estate is a team sport – everyone has to work together to get to the finish line.  While your agent should always have your best interests in mind, it’s important that they play well with others.  Being bull headed and hard to deal with can often lead to lost deals and lose you lots of money! On the other side of that coin, your agent should be able to stand their ground when it matters.

 

 

How much should my home be listed at?  

Are you ready for the most shocking answer of all?  You should not just list with an agent who brings you the highest number and call it a day. Wait, what?!?  While a higher number is tempting, remember that buyers will only pay what the market says your home should be valued at.  Most of the time, buyers won’t pay anything higher than the appraised value of your home.  The listing price of your home will be based on multiple factors. Your agent should do research and be able to show you why and how they came up with the numbers for your home.  Be wary of an agent who brings high numbers with no data backing it up – you’ll end up with your house on the market for too long, resulting in it actually selling lower than what it would have, if it was priced correctly to being with!

 

Why should I hire you?

Bottom line is no two agents are the same.  Make sure that you are able to connect and build rapport with the real estate agent you are interviewing.  Ask what makes them different from the other hundreds or thousands of agents in your town.  If at the end of the interview, you have doubts and don’t feel confident that they are the right agent for you, listen to your gut!  It’s okay to say, “no thanks” and interview someone else!

Should I hire an agent who is a friend or family member?  

Chances are you may already know a real estate agent in your own social circle. The truth is, just because they are family or your friend, doesn’t mean you should hire them.  Buying or selling a home is a huge financial and emotional event and it’s important that your agent is able to confidently help you navigate the transaction. Need help finding a real estate professional in your area?  I have a huge network of amazing agents all over the country and would love to help you find one that is perfect for your needs! Reach out to me and I can provide you with a list of agents you can interview in your area.

 

About the Author
Kim Devlin is a Relocation Specialist in beautiful St Augustine Florida. She enjoys sharing real estate tips and local insight on communities and life in St Augustine. Tune in weekly and be sure to subscribe to her monthly newsletter.