If you’re going to hire an agent, it’s highly recommended that you research their history. If that agent has an excellent track record, it might be worth paying a premium, which essentially means paying full commission. Below are the questions you should ask to help you find a quality real estate broker/agent.
Questions to Ask Before You Hire A Real Estate Agent
What experience have you had?
This does not necessarily mean how long a broker has been in the business; rather this question lets you know how well they know the local market and your kind of property. Ask them what has sold in your area in the last three months, the last six months, for how much and after how long. Ask questions like, “What are the prices of comparable properties?”
What’s your marketing plan?
You want a detailed description of everything the broker is going to do to put your property “out there.” Does the broker have creative ideas that have worked—such as blogs or special events like an invitation-only cocktail party for select brokers and prospective buyers? How will they make your property stand out from all the others a buyer will encounter? Since digital marketing is crucial (more than 90% of buyers search online), have them show you sample web listings and make sure that a professional photographer is included in the marketing budget.
How will you keep me informed of your progress?
Tell the broker how you like to communicate—text, phone or email. Ask if they’ll commit to a regular schedule of detailed written marketing and activity reports (every two weeks is a reasonable expectation) and make sure that they can be easily reached when you have questions or need an update.
Also, find out whether they have a skilled colleague to cover for them if they are ever unavailable and make certain that they will never let anyone view the property unless they or their representative is present.
What’s your commission?
Remember that the amount of the commission is never set in stone and there may be room for negotiation. Ask to see the budget and be clear about what sales-related expenses will come out of the broker’s commission and what you may have to pay for yourself (stagers, etc.).
How well-connected are you?
This doesn’t mean how many friends the broker has on Facebook–it means how well connected are they within their own firms and in the field in general. A tested broker will have solid connections to the world of another real estate–related professionals: stagers (a broker can help you decide whether hiring one will enhance or speed up your sale), real estate lawyers, photographers and even moving companies whom you can trust.
Do you have references you can give me?
Don’t overlook this one. Be certain to 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 rely solely on that. Make the calls.
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