If you’re planning to buy or sell property this coming year, you may want to work with a real estate agent to guide you through the process. While you may have a neighbor or cousin who works in real estate, it’s a good idea to vet potential agents to ensure the best fit for your needs, since it’s hardly a one-size-fits-all proposition. Here’s a look at questions to ask.
1. Are you a Full Time Real Estate Agent?
Consider the difference between a part-time real estate agent who sells a few properties for friends and relatives and someone who treats it as a full-time business venture. Full Time Real Estate agents are available to work buyers when they are available. If the agent representing you is part-time, that’s what you are getting. Don’t miss out on someone who wants your home because your part time agent is at work on their primary job.
The days of being a neighborhood specialist have ended with the invention of the internet. In the past, real estate agent would advertise in your local new paper and by word of mouth.Real estate information was a kept secret by the agents who held the key. Today, all real estate agents and the public have access to all sales information in your area. Real Estate agents that are quality can take your property and market it to the masses and secure the best price in the fastest possible time.
3. How will you communicate with me?
A communication lapse of a few hours can mean the difference between an accepted offer and a missed opportunity. With that in mind, choose an agent who responds quickly in the mode of communication that works for you, whether it’s email, text, phone or fax. “Quite frankly as Realtors, our job is to be able to communicate the way the consumer wants. “Finding a Realtor who will work with you in the way that you need to work is great.
Also ask who will be your main point of contact, because some busy real estate agents use a team of assistants or sub-agents to handle day-to-day tasks, and you may not have direct access to the agent you choose. A lot of teams sell themselves as the most accessible to them but, the client may be dealing with an unlicensed employee or a brand new agent. As a sole practitioner you will work with me.
4 .Can you share references?
As I wrote earlier the internet has taken a lot of work of researching an agent and made it public. I am so proud of my reviews I put them on my blog for everyone to see. If you are a poor agent, the internet will tell on you.
This is one of the most important questions to ask. Many agents try to cut corners on marketing by placing a sign in the yard and hoping that someone calls. The utilization of professional photography and videography is what is needed today. Here is an example of a cell phone photo which a lot of agents use and a professional photo following:
This is a bad photo
This is an actual photo from one of my listings.
Video is also an important part of marketing. here is an example of a video on my listings
6. What will it cost me to sell this property?
Buyers often don’t pay commission directly, but sellers often do and the costs can vary from agent to agent. For buyers who worry that bringing up the commission topic will be uncomfortable, ask “What will it cost me to sell this property?”
Obviously commission is the biggest cost. Agents can sell your home for varying commissions. Most commissions range from 5 to 7%. This commission is negotiable based on several factors. Are you buying another property? Is this property is an area which sells very quickly. Are you a fan of open houses? Are you reasonable on the price or are you several thousand above others in the area. All of the above matter when negotiating commissions. Also, ask the agent if his brokerage charges additional commission for the brokerage. This can be masked as an administrative fee, processing fee, documentation fee. All of which are not necessary. Don’ t waste your money.