As we mentioned in our blog post Listing Your Property This Spring, it’s important to meet and interview several Real Estate Agents before going to market with your listing. You’ve asked your friends for recommendations and completed a local Google search, and have the 3-5 Agents nailed down. Now, what do you ask them? Here are several important questions to ask when interviewing a Real Estate Agent.
1. How long have you been in business for?
While length of time might not always equal success, finding an Agent who has the knowledge, understanding and wisdom from past transactions will keep your experience positive. A little bit of “been there, done that” should give you the comfort knowing they can help keep things on the tracks (and your stress levels at bay), especially when surprises emerge through the process. In my experience, surprises are part of EVERY transaction, so be prepared, and partner with an experienced Agent who can calmly and expertly guide you through the process.
2. Are you a full-time or part-time Agent?
No knocks to part-time Agents, but it’s important to know how often, and when, you’ll have your Agent’s attention. A part-time Agent might not be able to answer your calls or texts at the drop of a hat, especially if they’re at another job. Full-time Agents, like myself, have learned to manage our days around the needs and expectations of our Clients. Do you need me to meet a handyman while you’re at work? Done – it’s all part of the job.
3. Have you previously sold properties like mine?
Knowledge and understanding only go so far, so find yourself an Agent who has the experience selling properties like yours. If the property you’re looking to sell is nuanced, say, with easements or strict CCRs, it’s important that your Agent understands those, and how to use them to your advantage when marketing your property.
4. Have you previously sold properties in my area/neighborhood?
The Flathead Valley spans far and wide, and while we’re a tight-knit community, the towns and neighborhoods that make up the Valley are as unique as the homes within them. If you can find an Agent who is familiar with your area or neighborhood, they’ll be better suited to talk about, and market, your property.
5. How do you plan to market my property?
Of course every Agent will put your listing on the MLS, but what else will they do? What reach do they have, and how can they better connect with interested Buyers? When I sit down with potential Sellers, I walk them through an integrated marketing plan, tailored to their exact property, and the types of Buyers who would be interested in purchasing it. If your Agent can’t answer this question, I’d continue your interviews.
6. How will my property be introduced to other Realtors?
In addition to marketing a property to prospective Buyers, it’s important for your Agent to interact with their “coworkers,” other Realtors in the area. Do they “play nice?” Do they have strong relationships with other Agents, even those at other Brokerages? Will they be present at every showing, ready to answer questions on demand, or simply sit at an Open House? It’s important to understand how your Agent will connect with those who are representing potential Buyers.
7. Can you give me the name of 3 current or former clients who sold their properties with you in the last year?
If the Agent can’t answer this question, that means one of two things: 1) They haven’t sold 3 properties in the last year, or 2) The relationships with past clients didn’t end well. Last year, I had the privilege of overseeing 25 transactions, and I know that every one of my clients would happily provide a review of my services. That is the benefit of providing exceptional customer service – your clients-turned-friends become another marketing channel for you.
8. How will you communicate with me, and how often?
It’s important to set expectations up-front on when, and how often, you want to hear from your Agent. Here’s how I would answer this: “Once listed, I plan to send you a listing report bi-weekly, which will include the number of queries I’ve received, including calls, texts and emails, as well as, the number of showings I’ve had, and any potential follow-ups with Realtors or Buyers. Additionally, with my targeted marketing approach, I’ll share the metrics from the bespoke webpage we’ve built out for your listing, as well as social media metrics and any ad-buys we’ve made. Is there a different cadence you’d like to receive this, or any additional information you’d like to see?” This is your chance to have your voice heard, to make sure you and your Agent are on the same page.
9. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
No, but seriously, it’s important to feel like you mesh well with the Agent you choose. After all, you’ll be spending time with them, both in person and via email/over text and phone. Wouldn’t you rather work with someone you like being around? Finding an Agent with a personality you vibe with is important in the long run. For me personally, I find that most of my clients turn friends after the real estate experience is over.
If you’re ready to start your Agent interviews, we’d be honored to be in the mix. You can contact me HERE, or explore our entire team of experienced and hyper-local Agents at Revel Real Estate, ready to go to work for you.