Buying or selling your home is a daunting process, so it’s no surprise that 87% of home buyers and 89% of sellers solicit the professional abilities and experience of a real estate agent. Admittedly, choosing the right agent out of thousands to ease the process can be a stressful undertaking in itself: Where do you start? How experienced does the realtor need to be? What questions should you ask? What should be the answers? What is an appropriate fee? Which realtor should you choose?
Referrals, but take them lightly. Ask around to get an idea of the agents your friends, neighbors, or acquaintances have used in the past. But remember, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to find an agent who encompasses the right skills and expertise for your specific location and expectations.
After researching and reading reviews from past clients, compile your top local choices into list. Call, e-mail, and leave voicemails if you don’t reach them on your first attempt. Sit back and wait for a response. This will be the first step in weeding out the masses. Test their responsiveness. The best agents will get back to you that day.
Interview at least three agents before making your final decision. Take notes on experience, accomplishments, data, pricing, marketing plans, communicative abilities, and personal connection of each realtor you interview.
While interviewing agents, the questions you ask and noting how the agent answers is key. Agents should know their stats. If their response is vague or if they dance around the issue it’s a red flag. Bring a list of questions with you to the interview so you remember what to ask and ensure all bases are covered. Your questions should be on point with the list below.
How long have you been in business?
Most experts recommend that five years of experience is an adequate starting point. Although do not automatically disqualify an agent for being new. New agents have fresh perspectives and are well worth your while to utilize their knowledge. They may have fewer clients which means more time and attention dedicated to your needs.
Ask about their stats and past accomplishments or failures, such as:
- How many houses did you sell last year?
- What is the average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings?
- How has your business changed in the past five or so years?
- How many homes are you currently listing, and what you doing for them?
- What is your specialty?
- How well do you know the area?
Press them about marketing plans if you’re a seller:
The agent should know the type of people who would be interested in buying your home, and how best to reach them. Pay close attention to their grasp of online marketing and abilities. It’s important to have a realtor who is tech savvy and knows how to use social media to his or her advantage.
- How will you market my home?
- What online and offline advertising will you use?
- How do you incorporate social media with your marketing?
- How much are you willing to spend on marketing?
Tip: Don’t shoot for the cheapest answer. Extensive marketing is crucial in selling a home.
When hiring a Realtor to assist you in buying a new home, it’s important they know the area well; not only do they work locally, but also play locally. They will know about schools, future developments or planning, red flag areas, commute times, and how the area will fit your expectations and lifestyle.
After the interviewing process, hopefully you will have a strong grasp of which realtor has the right experience, local knowledge, and goals for you. Communication is one of the most important aspects when deciding on an agent. Your realtor should be an attentive listener and prioritize your requests so time is not wasted, but also give you sound, honest advice. Choose the agent who you connect with and trust. Contact one of our Homesale Realty Agents to see what they can offer you!
AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore Metro, Federal Hill, Harbor East, Phoenix,Timonium, and Westminster. Pennsylvania real estate offices include Lancaster,Ephrata, Elizabethtown, Mt Joy, Quarryville, Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon,Schuylkill Haven, Wyomissing, York, Dallastown, Gettysburg, Hanover, and Shrewsbury.