Information is power. When you are deciding who to hire as your real estate agent, you want to make sure you ask the right questions.
1. Is this your full time job?
A person who practices real estate full time is going to know more about the changing market and local trends than someone who does real estate part-time or in addition to another job. If someone is focused solely on real estate, they will be more focused on doing a good job for you. A full time agent will be available during the day to answer your questions and to show properties– not just on their lunch break, like someone who is only practicing part time. I am a full time real estate agent and make sure I have weekday, weeknight, and weekend availability for my clients.
2. How many homes have you helped people buy, sell or rent?
If you were going into heart surgery, you would want to make sure your surgeon knew what they were doing, wouldn’t you? When you entrust someone with your largest asset, it is just like selecting a surgeon for your heart. You want to make sure they have done it many, many times and have a history of proven results. I have been a part of hundreds of transactions in real estate, so you can trust my experience. I am able to anticipate problems before they happen and take a proactive approach.
3. How often will I hear from you, who will I speak to most often, and when are you available?
An organized, productive agent should have a schedule of when you can expect to receive updates on the sale of your home or where you are in the home buying process. If you are speaking to someone with a team especially, find out who exactly is your point of contact. Most often the person you initially meet with is not the same person you speak to throughout the rest of the process, which can make communication difficult for you. When you work with me, I make it easy. I have an assistant for back office work so that I am always your main point of contact and readily available to show you properties. Plus, you’ll always have my cell phone number and I am available via text, email, phone calls, facebook messages- whatever is easiest for you.
4. How strong are your negotiating skills?
Since you’re leaving your largest asset in the hands of your real estate agent, you want to make sure they know how to negotiate, and how to do it well. It is truly an art, and my negotiating skills alone are worth my fee. I am a Certified Negotiation Expert and I start setting up for a successful negotiation the moment I take your listing or we see the house you want to purchase.
5. What geographic area do you serve?
It is common for experienced agents in our area to serve several counties. Once an agent has been practicing for many years, they develop a skill and talent to go into any house, on any street, in any neighborhood and understand its value. I have helped people across the whole of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and am confident I could give you great results, no matter where you are located.
6. If selling a home, how long does it typically take and how much can I expect my final sales price to be?
History tends to repeat itself. Any real estate agent interviewing to sell your home should know what their track record is, as it tends to be a predictor of the future. By looking at what they’ve done in the past, you can have an idea of what to expect. So you want to ask them how long their homes take to sell, on average. You want to know that you real estate agent has a good understanding of value and the market. When they give you a listing price, is that just a guess? Ask them what their average final price is compared to the listing price.
7. If selling my home, what is your marketing plan and how do you help me prepare?
Is your real estate agent going to slap a sign on the lawn and that’s it? What will they do to help guide you? When it comes to selling your home, your real estate agent has to have a marketing plan they will execute to get your home sold. Further, they should already have this plan well thought-out and proven to the point that they can share with you a presentation about exactly what they will do to get your home sold. You do not want someone just “winging it” when they have your home in their hands. I have a 3-part marketing plan that is customized to each client I work with, which includes how I will help you prepare the home for sale, my strategy for presenting it to the market, and how we price it to sell for top dollar. Most of my clients find the couple hundred dollars they spend getting the house ready per my suggestions, yields amazing results. I am a certified staging agent and maintain a library of items we can pull from, if needed. I also have relationships with handymen and other key people who can help make the process less stressful for my clients. My plan also includes the advertising I plan to use such as professional photography, print, email, video and internet marketing.
Contact me to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.