Are you considering entering the housing market? About 89% of homeowners use a real estate agent or broker when buying or selling a home. Therefore, choosing the right agent is crucial for a successful real estate transaction.
Key points to remember
- Choosing the right real estate broker or agent involves asking questions about their experience of the local market and your type of property.
- You should also ask a broker about their marketing plan, communication methods, references, and relationships with other real estate professionals.
- Make sure you hire a full-time professional who is full of suggestions and has a personality you can relate to.
Questions to ask a real estate agent
Selling your home is probably the most important financial transaction of your life, so choosing the right real estate broker is important, though overwhelming. To help you with that task, we asked New York-based real estate agent Victoria Vinokur to comment on the most important questions to ask when interviewing brokers. Here’s a recap of what Vinokur had to say along with the list of top questions to ask:
1. What experience do you have?
It does not necessarily mean how long a broker has been in the business; rather, such a question will help you understand how well they know about the local market and your type of property. Ask them what sold in your area in the past three months, the past six months, for how much, and after how long. Ask questions such as “What are the prices of comparable properties?” ”
Since listing your home for the right price is essential, ask how often they had to lower the price of a property to make a sale. A good broker will not agree to market a property that they deem too expensive. Brokers need to have all of this information at their fingertips and be able to back it up with data. They must be versatile and understand the psychology of the market. Plus, don’t be fooled by a pitch that includes celebrities the agent has been able to help. It has nothing to do with your sale. You need to know what they can do for you.
2. What is your marketing plan?
You want a detailed description of everything the broker is going to do to showcase your property. Does the broker have any creative ideas that are proven successful, such as blogging or special events such as an invite-only cocktail party for selected brokers and potential buyers? How will they make your property stand out from other properties that a buyer will come across?
Since digital marketing is crucial (over 90% of buyers research online), ask them to show you sample web listings. Make sure a professional photographer is included in the marketing budget – not a photographer who will just take wide angle shots, but a photographer who can capture the important and interesting details and aspects of your property – the spectacular view of your balcony, perhaps, or a unique feature of one of the bedrooms.
3. How will you keep me informed?
Tell the broker how you like to communicate: text, phone or email. Note that sending an SMS is not appropriate for any important legal communication. Ask if they will commit to a regular schedule of detailed written activity and marketing reports (every two weeks is a reasonable expectation) and make sure they can be easily reached when you have questions. or need an update.
Also check if he has a qualified colleague to replace him in case of unavailability and make sure that he will never let anyone visit the property unless he or his representative is present.
4. What is your commission?
The standard commission rate for real estate brokers is 6%, usually split between the selling agent (aka the listing agent) and the buyer’s agent. Part of it goes to the listing brokerage first, so the agent personally receives a reduction of between 60% and 90% of that commission. However, the amount of the commission is never fixed and there may be room for negotiation.
Ask to see the budget and make it clear what sales-related expenses will come from the broker’s commission and what you may need to pay for yourself (eg, staging).
5. Are you well connected?
This doesn’t mean that you want to know how many friends the broker has on Facebook. Rather, it means that you care about how well they are connected within their own business and in the real estate business.
A seasoned broker will have strong connections with other real estate professionals: staging companies, real estate lawyers, photographers, and even moving companies you can trust.
6. Do you have any references?
Don’t overlook this one. Make sure you get the names of recent clients. It’s always helpful for the broker to have a page or two of quotes from clients for that first meeting, but don’t just rely on that. Make the calls.
The number of real estate establishments operating in the United States, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The checklist for hiring a real estate broker
Beyond the questions mentioned above, there are other criteria to consider when hiring a real estate agent or broker.
Find someone who is full time
While there are knowledgeable part-time agents who sell properties, it is crucial that you hire someone who can show your house at different times or, if you are a buyer, who can take you to view the properties at different times. a time that suits you. .
Ask your real estate agent if he works full time. Those who do tend to take their jobs more seriously and are generally more flexible when it comes to showing off your home.
Find someone who offers suggestions
Savvy real estate agents know what features homes in the area sell for, whether it’s a swimming pool, screened porch, or any other desirable feature. To this end, they will be able to make suggestions on parts or features to emphasize or tone down.
During the initial interview, ask the agent if there are any changes you could make to the home that would improve its curb appeal. More often than not, the best agents will make these suggestions without prompting from you.
Find a regional expert
Hire or retain someone who knows the area well. These agents will also be more aware of typical offer and sale prices than agents who do not typically work in that neighborhood.
One way to find a local expert is to ask a local brokerage house or your friends or relatives if they know of anyone who has sold a lot of homes or businesses there. Another suggestion is to browse local real estate publications and see which agents have the most listings in certain areas.
Find someone you click with
Salespeople, in particular, should look for agents whose personality matches theirs. In order for a home to sell quickly and cheaply, the listing agent and the agent need to be on the same page as to how they are going to market the property, what price will be set, and how and when the house will be displayed. Coordinating these ideas will be much easier if the parties involved get along and understand each other intuitively.
The bottom line
Even if you’ve hired someone you think is an ideal agent, think twice before signing an exclusivity agreement. While your agent may be knowledgeable, if you are a seller the more agents you have who can potentially show and sell your home, the better the chances of a sale. Unless certain extenuating circumstances exist, bring in a listing agent, but insist that the property be placed on Multiple Listing Service (MLS).