What are the best questions to ask when interviewing a real estate agent?
When you’re considering selling your home, hiring a real estate agent is probably at the top of your list. They’ll be the ones to help you find prospective buyers and negotiate the best price for your property -- which means they’ll play an instrumental role in whether or not you end up making money off of your house. But that’s as much as you know right now. Asking the right questions will make sure you end up making the right decision when it comes time to sell. Here are some key things to keep in mind when interviewing agents so that you can easily narrow down who is the best fit for your real estate needs:
Why are you looking to sell/ why are you interested in buying?
This is one of the first questions you should ask. It’s also important to find out how long the agent has been in business, as this will give you a sense of their experience and their success rate. Additionally, you should ask questions about the agent’s fee structure -- what are their commission rates, what their fees are, and what exactly do they do?
What’s the current market like where you live?
It’s important to know the current real estate market in your area, so you can decide whether you want to sell now or wait until the market gets better. You should also ask how long it takes for a property to sell based on the size of your home and location. Some agents might not be willing to take on a listing that’s expensive or difficult to sell, because they don’t want to waste their time.
Do you have any recent comparable sales that helped guide your decision?
When you’re looking for a real estate agent, the first thing to ask is how they found their clients. What methods did they use? How did they learn about your home in the first place? If an agent tells you that they have a system that helps them find homes like yours, it’s a good sign.
It’s also important to think about how long they have been in business and how many homes they have sold. If someone has 20 years of experience and 100 sales, that means that their success rate is likely much higher than someone who just started out as an agent last year.
Of course, one of the biggest questions you need to ask every potential real estate agent is: "How do I know I can trust your judgment?"
How long have you been a real estate agent?
It’s important to choose an agent that has the knowledge and experience necessary to sell your home. It can be a good idea to ask how long they have been in real estate. If they have been in it for less than five years, you might want to consider someone else. If they have been in it for 10 or more years, they are likely seasoned professionals who know what they are doing and will help you make the most money off of your house as possible.
How many real estate transactions did you do last year?
This is a great question to ask as it will tell you what the real estate agent's experience level is. You will be putting the agent on the spot by asking them this question. Every real estate agent should know how many transactions they have done in the past twelve months. Choosing an agent with experience is everything as they are representing the brokerage who is representing you to sell your most expensive asset. You want to make sure you hire an agent who is experienced and professional and knows and understands your market as well as one who has extensive marketing and social media skills.
Do you have any other experience that helps make you an expert in real estate (i.e. other professions)?
When interviewing a potential agent, it’s important to ask about their experience. They may have been a real estate agent for a long time or only been at it five years. If they’ve had time in the industry, they may have gained valuable experience that other agents haven’t had yet.
How do you plan to market your home if it sells?
If you want to sell your home, you need to know how the agent plans on marketing it. While many agents advertise their homes in local newspapers or other print materials, some will take advantage of social media and online advertisements. They also might have a personal website that showcases their listings.
Now that you know how an agent plans on marketing your home, ask them about their success rate and what percentage of homes they list end up selling for what price point. Many real estate agents are able to list properties for below market value, which can mean the difference between making money and losing out on the sale of your home.
What is your bottom line pricing goal and how do you arrive at it?
If you're hiring a real estate agent, it's important to find one that will help you achieve your bottom line pricing goal. That way, you'll be able to ask them the right questions and make sure they know exactly what you want from them. They should also be able to explain how they arrive at their bottom line pricing goal so that there's no confusion about what your goals are for the sale of your home.
Interviewing a real estate agent is an important part of the home buying process. It’s important to ask them questions that will help get you the answers you need. Using the questions in this article, you’ll be able to get the best agent for your needs.