Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Questions to Ask a Prospective Realtor

  • Ask if they are licensed and if it's up to date.

  • Ask if they are part time or full time, because you want a full time agent to assure you get the most attention. Look at it this way: if they only work part time, your house is only marketed part time.

  • Ask them what type of training they take to stay current, and ask them how good are they at using the Internet and do they use 360 virtual tours, and what type of training they have for marketing homes on the web. Since many consumers now use the Internet to locate homes, you better have an Internet savvy Realtor. In many cases, people reported back to us that they were more savvy at finding homes to look at than their Realtor. There are several highly trafficked home classifieds web sites. They better know how to get your house listed on them.

  • Home buyers and home sellers should both ask their Realtor if they will get them a printout of all the recent selling prices AND the original listing prices of homes in their area, showing what the owners paid for them, how much they sold for, and full details on the homes. Selling price is useful, but knowing what they listed for and how much the sellers dropped in price is a great gauge of the real estate market in your area.

  • For sellers, ask the Realtor how they plan to market and sell your house. Get it all in writing, absolutely no verbal promises. You want them to blitz the market and get your house into the premium listings and the free listings, and all the online web sites. You want your house to be found. You want no surprises or excuses later on. Pin them down and get their battle plan in writing now. This is a major source of miscommunications and resentment when the seller is expecting several things to be done, and all the Realtor does is list it in the MLS.

  • Ask if they are willing to offer more commission to the buyer's agent. There are many savvy buyers agents just looking for houses whose selling agent pays that extra 1/2% or more. This incentive can help sell the house quickly if needed.