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5 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

Does your real estate agent have what it takes get buyers to your home? To find out, here are 5 questions you need to ask when interviewing them:

  1. What is Your Marketing Plan to Sell My Home?

Some agents consider putting a for sale sign in front of your home and placing it on MLS is an effective marketing strategy, however we believe a good real estate agent must market your home effectively through multiple mediums. Each one of these avenues should complement the other by driving traffic from multiple sources to your home and creating increased demand and more interested buyers. A good agent should also commit to a full-time marketing campaign to give your home more exposure on all the major listing engines like Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and many other free and paid search sites.

Additionally a successful marketing strategy should also include appropriate preparation and staging of the home. A good agent will be able to view your home more objectively—as a buyer would and provide you with great staging tips.

  1.   Who Will Respond to the Buyer Leads on My Home?

A recent article by RIS Media stated that 42% of buyer calls on listings to brokerages go straight to voicemail.   Another study back in early 2014 by WAV Group said that 48% of buyers who inquire about a property online via email never get any response at all.  When selling a home it is critical that every single buyer lead is answered and followed up with accordingly.  With this said; be sure that the agent you hire has a specific process in place for handling incoming buyer leads. Some properties produce a tremendous amount of inquires so an effective action plan for handling them is needed.

  1. How Many Homes Have You Sold In the last year?

Finding out how many homes an agent has sold will give you an idea of how much experience they have. Since there are so many moving parts in a real estate transaction, experience is key when handling issues like financing, home inspections, lead paint, etc. Just like choosing the best surgeon or attorney, the more experience they have the better. You don’t want to be part of an agent’s learning curve for what is probably the largest financial transaction of your life.  One misstep by an agent in a negotiation with can cost a home seller tens of thousands of dollars.

  1. How Often Will I Hear From You?

A good real estate agent has strong communication skills.  Establishing a preferred timeline and method of communication upfront is important. Find out how they will stay in contact with you: will it be with phone calls, texts, emails, or a combination? Are they part of a team or are they just working on their own; we all get sick,  take vacations and have unexpected events in our lives come up. Also remember that it is important to hire an agent who will tell you the truth even if it is something you don’t want to hear.  A good agent is an advisor and good advice is not always easy to hear but it is important that they tell you like it is.

  1. At What Price Should I List My Home?

Pricing your home accurately from the beginning will undoubtedly allow for increased buyer activity and higher offers. The first step in this process is to have them do a complete walk-through of your home, as well as have them do a thorough investigation of the exterior.  The agent should take the neighborhood and the surrounding homes into account when determining value. Remember, homes can be listed at any price, but to get the most money the home must be priced correctly from the beginning.  Here are 5 Things to Consider When Pricing Your Home.

Hiring the Right Agent can make the difference between selling your home for top dollar and having it sit on the market with no activity. Make sure you ask these questions so that you get the right agent to sell your home.