Over the last few years as the real estate market has heated up, more and more people decide to get their real estate license. Since the barrier to entry is also very low, typically, just a 120 clock hour course, we have seen 1000’s of unqualified people join the real estate sales game. As many have found out, not all doctors and lawyers are the same, well, neither are real estate agents. So to help you avoid picking a “Crummy” real estate agent and picking a professional here are some questions to ask and tips.
- How long have you been in the business and more importantly how many houses a year do you sell? If the person in front of you says anything less than 5 years they might not have the experience necessary to provide you with solutions when problems arise. I know from experience that it is not IF a problem will arise on your transaction, but rather When. Also, you want to make sure the agent you choose does at least 35 deals a year. This is most people’s largest and most complicated transaction they deal in. So protecting yourself is very important.
- What is your average number of days on market? The magic number that I have found is about 5-8. This allows your home to be exposed to 1 weekend of showings and open houses. Anything less than that and we find the terms and prices tend to not be as favorable. Anything more than that, buyers think your home is overpriced or has some issues.
- What is your list to sales price? In this current market, it typically isn’t a matter of how many showings you will get. It is about how many offers you get, the terms of the offers and the prices of the offers. Getting 1 offer is great, 7 is awesome, however, 25 to 30 is just overwhelming. If your agent prices so low that you have 40 offers to review it is as almost as bad as having just 1 to review. You want to find the market sweet spot and a great skilled agent will be able to help you with that.
- How do you market yourself? This is a question I love being asked. If your agent doesn’t market themselves to attract business, chances are they will do very little marketing on your behalf to attract as many potential buyers as they can. Ask them to pull up their Zillow review page as well. Again, if they don’t know how to promote their business, they will typically have little ideas how to promote what is your business.
- Does your agent embrace Social Media or shy away from it? If the words Instagram, Facebook live, Insta stories, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Boosted posts, dark posts, Zillow, Trulia sharing, hashtags sound foreign to your agent, chances are they are not using the platforms that progressive agents are using to get as many eyeballs on your home as possible. Ask to see their social media pages before hiring them. If not, your home might be left in digital darkness and you’ll be missing a huge opportunity for amazing exposure.
- How and how often will you communicate with me? The #1 complaint across the industry is that you, the seller, cannot get a hold of your agent. You call, text, email, use smoke signals and still cannot get a hold of your agent. So ask up front and have them put it in writing. If they say they are available 24/7, test them. If they don’t get back to you within a few hours when they are trying to win your business, can you imagine what it will be like when they have your business? We call it Lsquared- List it and Leave it! Don’t get stuck in this trap.
Limit your search to Only the Best
With over 15,000 active licensees in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), do your research prior to inviting over your friends best friend who sells a few homes a year. Start by googling their name to see what pops up. Second, go to Zillow.com or go to Google.com and type in your agents name with Zillow behind it, i.e. Vikram Deol Zillow. If nothing shows up, you might be better off interviewing those agents who are using the new tools of the trade to get business.
These are questions I always encourage clients to ask to all agents they interview. I always recommend multiple agents, however, limited to 3 should be plenty. When you are ready to sit down to talk about your home sales plans, please give me a call to discuss potential opportunities.
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