Thinking of selling your property? Not sure how to select the right REALTOR to represent your best interests? Here are a few questions you want to be sure to ask your prospective representatives. Remember-- this is the likely to be on the the largest financial transactions you make during your lifetime, choose your professional REALTOR wisely.
1) How long have you been in real estate? Is this your full-time job?
Don't immediately discount new agents- they can be extremely driven, are typically current on laws and regulations, and may be able to afford you more personal time and attention that more established Agents. But, do make sure they are working under or with an experienced agent or team that can help them if needed. Experience doesn't always guarantee skill or professionalism, but more established agents may have the knowledge to drive a more competitive offer and negotiation in your favor. Beware of part-time agents, although we have some great ones in our area, some tend to fail to keep up with our constantly-changing industry legal changes.
2) Do you work alone or in a team?
Again, both strategies have their pluses and minuses. Solo Agents ensure that you always talk to the same person, but that lone agent may be hard to reach at times. Make sure your agent has someone that can handle your business if an emergency arises (or your agent goes on vacation).
3) What is your agent's specialty?
Agents tend to like and excel in some areas, but not all. If your property is a residence, find someone with proven residential experience. Same with Farm and Ranch, Commercial, Investment homes, etc.
4) How many transactions does your agent close in a year? Are they mostly listings, buyers, or a combination of both?
Number of transactions will tell you more about an agent's business than years of experience. There are a lot of people that have had a real estate license for YEARS, but maybe only close 0-2 transactions per year. Beware. Also, some agents specialize in listing homes for sale, and some prefer to work with Buyers. Most in our area have a healthy mix of both.
5) What is your preferred method of communication? How often do you expect to communicate during our transaction?
This is often one of the biggest complaints that I hear about other agents. Make sure you set you expectations early with how you prefer to communicate (email, text, calls, smoke signals, etc,) early. As an agent, I realize that I need to work when my clients AREN'T at work, but not all agents have as much flexibility. However, please do keep in mind that agents are people too, and also have family and other obligations. Most professional agents are easily able to accommodate their clients' schedules with a little advance notice.