You probably already know how to find a real estate agent when you want to sell your house or other real estate. All you have to do is put a “for sale sign” out and wait for the phone to ring. But how do you find the right real estate agent for your property? Here are some tips to get you started, followed by the questions you need to ask.
Note which day most brokers typically advertise real estate in your local newspaper. Get that day’s issue, and also collect a few real estate guides. Find advertisements for properties similar to yours. For example, if you are selling a lakefront home, you want to look for those.
Take notes, writing down the names and numbers of the agents selling similar properties. You want to find real estate agents who have experience with your type of real estate. The woman who has all the million dollar homes listed may not be the best one to sell your vacant commercial lot. Try to find agents who have sold or are selling several properties like yours, and start calling them. Call those who are active in your general area first – they are more likely to know how to properly price and market your real estate.
Hiring the right agent can mean thousands of dollars to you. When I was a new agent many years ago, I told a couple that we should list their home for $59,000, but they insisted on $65,000. We got a full price offer within a month. In other words, my advice could have cost them $6,000 in lost profit.
Find A Real Estate Agent – And Ask These Questions
Always ask as many questions as you need to, starting with the ones below. Most real estate agents won’t like it, but this really is a job interview – and you’re the one hiring him or her. Thus you should ask questions like:
How much experience do you have, and what kind? – The importance of experience is shown in my own confession above. I wouldn’t use an agent with less than a year of experience unless he or she had experience in a related field, like appraisal or mortgage lending. As for the type of experience, you want one that has sold properties like yours.
Can you give me examples? – Get an address or two. Then you can drive by and see what kind of properties he really has experience with.
Why should I list my property with you? – An obvious question, but listen closely to what he has to say. He needs to sell himself to you for you to trust that he can sell your real estate.
What will you do to market my property? – She should do more than place an ad and put your home in the MLS listings. Is she working with any people looking for properties like yours? How will she let other agents know about your listing and encourage them to bring buyers to see it?
Other Questions For An Agent
Do you show your own listings?
Do you handle your own closings?
How much is your commission, and what is included?
Are your listings selling close to the asking price?
How long do you think it will take to sell?
How long is your listing agreement for?
How will you determine the asking price?
How To Find A Real Estate Agent – Other Considerations
Be suspicious if it takes a dozen rings for someone to answer the phone at the real estate office. Hang up and try again later, to see if this is normal. If you have a hard time getting through, buyers will as well. Note whether your calls are returned promptly when you leave a message also.
Avoid agents who just want to agree with whatever you say. They just want to get the listing, but you want an expert who will tell you what he honestly thinks. Have him go over every detail of the listing agreement, and ask many questions. The agreement is a legal contract. Suppose you get a full-priced offer, but you changed your mind about the price or about selling. You’ll probably have to pay the commission anyhow – check the contract.
Ask to review papers you’ll have to sign when your property is sold. Will you likely have to pay for inspections, or to have a survey completed? Find a good real estate agent and you’ll get the answers to these questions.