Finding the right Realtor is critical to successfully buying or selling a home in today's market. It is vital for you to sort through perception and get to the facts. Following are some important questions you should ask when "interviewing" a Realtor.
- How many years have you been selling real estate?
- Are you a full-time Realtor or do you also have another job?
- How many listings do you have at any given time? (Too many listings may mean your listing may not receive the service and attention you deserve and want!)
- How many homes have your SOLD in the last year? (Some Realtors LIST a large number of homes, yet sell a much smaller percentage of the homes they list. Some agents sell less than 50% of the homes they list. Work with a Realtor that actually brings their listings to the closing table!)
- Do you have a cell phone? Do you give out your cell phone number? How often do you check messages and return calls?
- How will you determine the market value of my home? (Be sure your Realtor can back up their answer with comparable sales within the last 3-6 months. Do NOT be fooled by a high listing price. To sell a home today, the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT criteria is to PRICE PROPERLY. Candid Realtors that can SELL your home often lose the opportunity to Realtors that tell a Seller a price they want to hear, only to tell them later they need to reduce their price, or worse yet, never sell their home.)
- Will you do Open Houses, and if so, how often and how will they be advertised?
- What percentage of the overall commission will be offered to the Buyer's Agent? (This is very important as commissions are negotiable and Sellers need to be certain a fair commission is offered to the Buyer's Agent. For instance, if you are paying a 6% commission, ask if 3% will be offered to the Buyer's Agent. Most Sellers don't realize, when they negotiate down the commission, they are doing themselves a disservice, because only the commission offered to the Buyer's Agent might be reduced. This may reduce the number of showings, and may ultimately hurt the Seller.)
Hopefully this outline will help you find the right Realtor. Is is essential a Realtor's style and personality is in synch with yours. When you work with a Realtor, they become a part of your life and family. You must like and TRUST this person's knowledge and intefrity in order for the relationship to work successfully.