As a Seller, What Questions Should You Ask a REALTOR?
- How long have you been in residential real estate sales?
Real Estate sales, like other professions is learned through education, life experience and time of service, you will want to be sure that your dealing with a knowledgeable and dedicated individual.
Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.
- What designations do you hold?
This is part of knowing what education the Realtor has. For instance, if you are buying a home, you would like to know that they are ABR certified – Accredited Buyer Representative, someone who has specific knowledge on how to handle the buyer situations. Many other designations require additional education and experience to gain and may help you gain an edge on the competition. Designations such as GRI and CRS®, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.
- How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year?
By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the agent has.
- How many days did it take you to sell the average home?
Asking your agent to be aware of their local market is an important part of buying and selling. This knowledge will allow for better awareness of pricing and other factors needed to provide realistic expectations of your upcoming real estate experience. Your Realtor should have some knowledge and be able to present market statistics during the interview process.
How did that compare to the overall market? The REALTOR® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison.
- How will you come up with a price for my home and how close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices?
When selling or buying a home, the comparable market is exactly what is used by appraisers and the real estate community. We all feel our homes are special and, yes, they are. However, the values of our homes are dictated by the buying and selling market, in other words, SOLD. What have homes like this one sold for in recent months in the very local market? This is usually within a 2-mile radius.
This is one indication of how skilled the REALTOR® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.
- What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?
You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR® is responsive.
- Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?
Ask the Realtor to explain Agency and how it applies to you, the buyer or seller.
This answer is critical when developing a relationship with a Realtor. It’s important for you to know how this agent will represent you and how important this relationship is within the transaction. Once you develop a relationship with an agent, he or she must put your needs, in relation to the purchase or sale of real estate, above their own. This is the type of agent you want representing you in a transaction.
While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. Your REALTOR® should explain his or her agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party.
- Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done?
Because REALTORS® are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home inspectors, home improvement companies, and other service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive compensation from any of the providers.
- What’s your business philosophy?
This answer is simple. Legacy’s motto BRINGING INTEGRITY HOME, says it all. Our philosophy is to take the magic out of the Real Estate transaction and provide the much-needed honest information that is necessary for each client to make a realistic and accurate decision. While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
- How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?
It’s very important that you stay informed along the way. Communicate with the agent that you would like, good communication. Whether the information is good or bad, it is necessary when trying to make good decisions.
Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?
- Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients?
Ask recent clients if they would work with this REALTOR® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the REALTOR®.
- Tell me about how you market my home on the web and social networking?
Almost 100% of all homes sold are viewed on the web in some form prior to being sold. The internet has changed the way homes are sold and this is the most important part of where we spend marketing money. First of all, we strive to keep our website at the top of all local real estate searches. Second, we pay to be listed on over 40 national level real estate search engines. We then take as many high-level pictures of your home as possible, based on the size of your home. In some cases a video tour may be done, and in others, a virtual tour using the pictures may be done. Pictures are worth a 1000 words and in this instance, it is dead on. It’s the way buyers are purchasing homes from the comfort of their current home.
- Do you have an assistant to help with details?
Some agents use assistants but what is most important does the agent have the skills and knowledge to take the transaction from beginning to end. Here at Legacy we do have the knowledge and for those that are new to the business they are walked through each step of the process so each transaction is as smooth as the next.
- Why are you motivated to sell my property?
Our belief is that money follows the service. Of course, we all like to be paid for what we do, but Legacy strives to provide the most information, the best communication and only the best of service before we get a commission. This truly makes us stand apart from our competitors. In the end, making the transaction smooth, as stress free as possible and creating realistic expectations along the way, makes our clients happy and that’s the real joy of our business.