How to choose a realtor – 7 questions to ask your real estate agent

Buying or selling real estate is probably the most important transaction you will ever make in your life. That’s why it’s important to choose the best realtor to help you achieve this goal. But there are important things to consider before hiring the services of a real estate agent.

Many people have the impression that all real estate agents are the same. Some sign with the first one that comes. Unfortunately, they later realize they should have been more selective before signing the deal. To guide you in choosing the best realtor for your needs, below are seven questions to ask your real estate agent.

1) What is your experience in real estate?

The first thing you should ask a real estate agent is how long they have been in the real estate business. It doesn’t mean you can’t enlist the services of newly licensed real estate agents. Keep in mind that those with years of experience under their belts are probably more knowledgeable about what to do from listing to closing. In addition to the number of years in the business, ask them what segment of real estate they focus on – residential, commercial, luxury, etc. Familiarity with the market is also important, so ask what geographic areas the agent covers. You can dig deeper by asking if the agent has received any awards for outstanding performance.

2) How many and what types of properties did you list and sell last year?

It is one of the most important questions to ask a real estate agent. The number of properties he or she has listed and sold in the past year is an important indicator of how good a real estate professional is at getting the job done. Note that this question consists of two parts: listed properties and sold properties. Agents can demonstrate their ability to list homes; However, the most important thing is the sales department – the ability to close deals. If they have a lot of properties listed and sold in the past year, this shows that whatever strategy the agent is using, it’s really working.

3) What was the average sale price for the properties you sold last year?

Asking this will give you an idea of ​​what kind of market the agent is targeting. Find out if the real estate professional has experience selling properties in the price range you’ve listed. If most of the properties sold fall in the lower end of the market, the agent may take longer to sell than if your home is a high-end home. Although agents can sell any property, regardless of price range, they may have better success in the market and price segments in which they have more experience.

4) What is your average sales to list price ratio?

List sales price (sometimes called sales-to-list or list-to-sales ratio) is the final sales price divided by the list price, expressed as a percentage. If it is 100%, it means that the sale price was equal to the list price. You can look at this ratio in two ways. A skilled listing agent can negotiate sales prices equal to or close to the list price, and sometimes in a very competitive market. So ideally, listing agents should sell for price ratios close to 100%. On the other side of the coin, a good buyer’s agent can negotiate a sale price below the list price. Therefore, the buyer agent ratio should be less than 99 percent.

5) What marketing strategies do you use?

Deciding which strategies to use can mean the difference between success and failure. A poor marketing strategy reduces your chances of success. Do your own due diligence by asking how the agent will sell your property. There are many options – events, open houses, joint marketing, print advertising and of course online marketing. Whatever approaches are used, they should be designed to bring in the highest number of qualified buyers. High-end properties can also often benefit from professional preparation. In any case, your agent should be able to advise you on how to best prepare the property to make it most attractive to buyers.

6) Can you give me some references?

Reputation is important in this line of business. Whether you are buying or selling property, you should ask for references (past clients). If possible, call a few and ask them about their experience with the agent. Are you satisfied with the service provided? Also ask if they are connected to the agent in any way. A list of references from friends or relatives generally does not provide an objective assessment of the agent’s qualifications.

7) Do you offer any kind of guarantee, and if I’m not satisfied with your service, do you let me out of the contract?

Even if you take due care, you can’t say for sure how things will turn out. For this reason, you must ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality. If you sign a contract and later find out that you are not satisfied with the service, does the agent allow you to cancel the contract? If things don’t work out the way you envisioned, you should be free to choose another agent that can produce better results.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing a real estate agent. Finding and interviewing realtors can be a time-consuming and tedious task. However, now armed with these seven questions, you’re on your way to choosing the best Realtor for your needs.

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