5 Questions to ask before hiring a Real Estate Professional
Buying and selling homes is big business. It pays to do some “home work” to find a real estate agent who knows his or her stuff – literally, it pays. An experienced agent with a track record will go a long way to get you top dollar on your property sale, and the best deal on your purchase.
Treat your vetting process like a job interview. Ask questions, and don’t settle until you’re satisfied with the answers.
1. What is your experience?
Experience is about more than how many years someone has been in business. Take the time to learn about the types of properties they typically work with, which cities or areas they work in, and how many homes they helped buy or sell in the past year.
2. What is your approach to the buying or selling process?
If you’re buying, how will the representative search for suitable properties and what is their approach to negotiations? If you’re selling, how will your home be marketed to help attract prospective buyers? By understanding their approach, you’ll know what to expect and will be able to determine which representative’s philosophy and methods align with your preferences.
3. What services will be included?
That ‘For Sale’ sign on the front lawn is great and all, but it just scratches the surface when it comes to selling strategies. Will the home be listed on the Multiple Listings System? What about social media marketing, like Facebook? Online virtual tours? Print advertising, like newspaper ads or flyers? Open houses? The more eyes see your property for sale, the better.
4. What are the commissions or fees that I will need to pay?
Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and for the services provided, so be sure to understand what will be provided, and what it will cost. Keep in mind that, as with most things, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best one.
5. Do you have references?
As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references is an important step before hiring someone. So, speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more. Were past clients pleased with their experience? Was the representative responsive and easy to get in touch with? Would they recommend them to others?