Buying or selling a home is often a significant life event. It can be overwhelming, stressful, and exciting all at the same time. This is why hiring a real estate agent is an important decision and one that requires some due diligence. Hiring the right agent for you and your real estate goals can reduce the stress associated with the process and increase the likelihood of having a positive buying or selling experience. Whether you are looking for an agent, or you already know a real estate agent in your family or socially, it is important that you interview him or her prior to hire. This month we cover 5 important questions you need to ask before hiring a real estate agent.
Question 1 – How will you market my home or can you provide your advertising plan to market my home?
If you are hiring an agent to sell your home this question needs to be at the top of your list. Asking a potential agent to verbalize or present an overview of a marketing plan is a crucial part of your hiring checklist. Keys things the plan should cover include: what outlets will be used to market your property and how many qualified people the agent expects your listing to reach.
Question 2 – How long have you been a real estate agent?
While the answer to this question shouldn’t make or break a decision to hire one agent over another it is still a good question to ask. Someone who is a seasoned veteran might be able to provide a broader perspective on market trends in your area while a junior broker may be able to offer a fresh marketing approach. Use the answer to this question to better understand an agent’s overall approach. An additional question to ask is if the agent is in real estate full time or part time. There is a big difference between the two and knowing the answer to this question will be important to making your decision to hire.
Question 3 – How often will you communicate with me?
This question is important to ask as everyone is different when it comes to communication preference. For instance, if you expect weekly communication with your broker it is important to work with an agent that will provide that level of communication during the buying or selling process. Establishing your communication expectations and having an agent who is meets them is critical for a successful agent/client relationship.
Question 4 – Will I work with you throughout the process or do you work on a team where I might work with other team members during the buy/sell process.
Agents can work independently and handle all details of a transaction themselves. Or, an agent may work on a team where one agent will handle certain aspects of a transaction and other team members handle other aspects. Understanding which category an agent falls into is important. The benefit of an independent agent is that you will have a single person to assist you throughout the process. A team of brokers can be beneficial when a sale or purchase is particularly complicated and requires multiple areas of expertise.
Question 5 – Do you have references I may contact?
Last on this list of questions, but certainly not least, is to ask the potential agent for a list of references. Connecting with people who have previously worked with the agent will give you a good idea of the agent’s capabilities and working style. This should help to validate the information you have already gathered from the previous questions and help to finalize your hiring decision.
Hiring a real estate agent is a very important step in any real estate transaction. Asking the right questions upfront can set you up for a great experience and successful outcome. If you are looking for an agent or just have questions about your real estate needs give me call. I can answer these questions and any others you might have.