Questions Every Seller Should Ask A REALTOR®
you a full-time professional REALTOR®?
How long have you worked full time in real estate? What professional
designations do you have?
whether or not your REALTOR® practices real estate on a full-time
basis can give you a piece of the puzzle in foreseeing scheduling conflicts
and, overall, his or her commitment to your transaction. As with any
profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does
not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it
is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply
to professional designations.
you have a personal assistant, team, or staff to handle different parts
of the sales transaction? What are their names and how will each of
them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them?
It is not uncommon for high real estate sales producers to hire people
to work for them or with them. They typically work on a referral basis,
and, as their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same
or higher quality service to more clients. You may want to be clear
about who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role
each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members
before you decide to work with the team overall. If you needed help
with a certain part of your home sale, who should you talk to and how
would you communicate? If you have a question about fees on your closing
statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?
These are just a few of the many important considerations in working
with a team.
Do you and/or your company each have a website that will provide me
with useful information for research, services, and how you work with
sellers? Will you advertise my home online and on what sites? Can I
have those Web addresses now?
Many homebuyers prefer to search online for homes and home buying information.
There are certain privacy and comfort levels that buyers might appreciate
in starting a preliminary search this way, and often it is just a matter
of convenience to have 24-hour access to information. As a seller, the
Internet can be an additional avenue for your agent to market your home.
By searching the REALTOR's® and the company's Web sites, you will
get a clear picture of how effective an online home listing might be,
how much research you could accomplish online, and whether or not these
things suit your preferences.
will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how
It's a good idea for you to set your expectations reasonably in accordance
with how your REALTOR® conducts business. You may be looking for
an agent to call, fax, or email you every days to tell you about prospective
buyers who have seen your home. On the other hand, your REALTOR®
may have access to systems that will notify you automatically each time
a new visitor tours your home (which could happen several times a day
or several times a week). Asking this extra question can help you to
reconcile your needs with your REALTOR's® systems, which makes for
a far more satisfying relationship.
you explain one thing that you do that other agents don't do that ensures
I'm getting top dollar for my property? What is your average market
time versus other agents' average market time?
Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional's
unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether
or not a property sells quickly. For example, an agent might research
the demographics of your neighborhood and present to you a target market
list for direct marketing purposes.
you give me names of past clients who will give references for you?
Interviewing a REALTOR® to help you sell your home can be very similar
to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting a REALTOR's®
references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she
works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.
Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your
performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?
Understand that, especially in the heavily regulated world of real estate,
it can be increasingly difficult for a REALTOR® to offer a performance
guarantee. Sometimes you may find a REALTOR® who is willing to guarantee
that if you are dissatisfied in any way with their service they will
terminate your listing agreement. If your REALTOR® does not have
a performance guarantee available in writing, it is not an indication
that he or she is not committed to perform. REALTORs® at eBlue® Realty understand the importance of win-win business relationships,
and that the REALTOR does not benefit if the client does not also benefit.
will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in
This is an issue that can also be related to agency. In many areas,
the seller still customarily pays all REALTOR® commissions through
the listing broker. Sometimes, REALTORs® will have other small fees,
such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to
clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware
of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate
of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.
would you develop pricing and marketing strategies for our home? Will
you commit to the marketing strategy in writing?
Pricing a home correctly is the single most important factor in determining
if a home sells quickly, or at all. Although location and condition
also effect the selling process, price is a primary factor. Access to
all current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal
will help. Ask your agent where he or she obtained the information to
create the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale
By Owner homes, foreclosed homes, and bank-owned sales in that list.
What will you do and what will you not do to sell my home? Who determines
where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising?
Ask your real estate agent to present to you a clear marketing and advertising
budget, and how those dollars will be spent. Ask if there are other
forms of advertisement/ marketing media that are also available but
not mentioned in the budget/plan, and who pays for those. Request samples
of the various media that your agent proposes (such as Internet Web
sites, print magazines, and local publications).
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