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I hope you will find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything real estate to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I would love to talk with you!

 

Feb. 15, 2019

Questions for Your Listing Agent Interview

When I first became a Realtor, I rarely found myself in competitive listing situations. However, it has become more and more common for sellers to interview multiple agents before choosing one to list there home, and I think this is smart. Realtor.com offers the following questions to get you started when interviewing agents.

10 Crucial Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

By Cathie Ericson | Jun 5, 2017

 

If you're looking to sell your home, you'll want to hire an amazing listing agent to help—and there are certain questions to ask a real estate agent to pinpoint the right professional for you. And it's smart to be picky! A great Realtor® can help sell your home fast and for more money. Pick wrong, and your listing might languish, then the low-balling bargain hunters come circling—it's not pretty.

Not sure where to get started? You can search for agents in your area with online tools where you can also read real estate agent reviews from previous clients. From there, you'll want to call or meet with a few you like and probe further.

Here are some questions to ask a real estate agent when selling your home.

1. What are your credentials?

At the least, your agent should have a state license and belong to the local real estate trade association, because this means your agent will access to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, and can list your home far and wide. But you might want to look further and find someone who's a member of the National Association of Realtors®, which requires additional training and adherence to a code of ethics.

2. How many sales did you close last year?

While an agent's past performance doesn’t guarantee a quick sale, a track record of success can at least give you the assurance that this professional knows what she's doing. Also inquire about the price range for the homes the agent has sold, because you ideally want someone who knows what features will be valued by buyers in your income bracket.

3. Do you specialize in this neighborhood?

Having a local expert can be an advantage because she'll know about any upcoming developments, plus plans for stores or other amenities that might affect the value of your home.

4. How do you arrive at the listing price?

Few things are as important to a seller as the money conversation, and your agent’s ability to land on a listing price that is appropriate for the market. A home that is priced too high will languish, eventually turning off potential buyers; but a home priced too low might leave money on the table. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the market and what other similar homes have recently sold for to help you arrive at the right price.

5. Whom will I be working with?

You want to find out if you will be working with one specific real estate agent or a member of the agent’s team. There are pros and cons for each.

6. How much will selling my home cost?

Know upfront about the costs you’ll be paying such as broker’s commission, closing fees and anything else so you can plan accordingly—and compare from one agent to the next.

7. What is your sales plan?

An agent should have a written plan that identifies where and how she will market your home, from listing services to open houses to social media.

8. What should I do to get my house ready?

See what their advice is for necessary repairs or upgrades or what hacks they might suggest for budget-friendly but impactful improvements. Find out if they suggest staging services or just a good cleaning and declutter.

9. How will we communicate?

If you’re a texter and your agent prefers lengthy phone calls, that could be a problem. Likewise, you might prefer the personal touch of a call over an email. Knowing the method and frequency of communication can be important.

10. How long will the process take?

While no agent can guarantee how fast the sale itself will go, they should be able to give a ballpark range on how long it will take to sell your house. The national average is 65 days, but it depends greatly on where you live.

Posted in Choosing an Agent
Feb. 15, 2019

Questions for Your Buyer's Agent Interview

I think it is really smart to interview several agents before deciding who you want representing you to purchase a home. For questions to ask the agent, Realtor.com offers up a pretty good list below.

10 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before the Pro Helps You Buy a Home

By Daniel Bortz | Feb 16, 2018

Ready to buy a house? Then you'll want to learn a few questions to ask a real estate agent—the go-to pro whose sole goal (at least as far as you're concerned) is to help make your home-buying dream come true.

Here are 10 questions to ask a real estate agent to figure out which one is right for you.

1. How long have you been a real estate agent?

You want a professional who knows the ins and outs of the business, and that level of knowledge comes only with experience. Look for someone with at least a few years in the business. If the agent is a rookie, ask him if he will receive hands-on guidance from a real estate broker in his office (a broker is someone who has taken real estate education courses beyond the agent level and often manages a team of agents).

2. What neighborhoods do you specialize in?

Your agent should be well-acquainted with the areas you're interested in, so search for someone who can rattle off key info about your desired neighborhood, including home prices, schools, safety, public transportation, and cultural amenities.

3. What's your schedule and availability?

Many real estate agents work only part time, which could present problems: What if a bidding war has just begun on the home you just have to have, or you encounter last-minute closing snafus? Ideally you want an agent who works full time or, if not, the agent should make it abundantly clear that urgent matters will be addressed if necessary (which leads to our next point).

4. Do you work independently or with a team?

Some people think real estate is a solo sport, but many agents work on a real estate team with other agents, an administrative assistant, and a team leader—and there are benefits to working with an agent who's part of a pack. For example, if your agent is tied up and you need to see a property ASAP, someone else on the team can step in and show you the home, or handle last-minute problems in lieu of your agent.

5. What percentage of your business is working with home buyers?

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While most agents help both home buyers and sellers, the very best tend to specialize in one or the other, since the specialties are quite different. To buy a home, you should team up with a buyer’s agent—someone who specializes in working with home buyers. A listing agent, by comparison, focuses on working with home sellers.

6. How many homes did you help buyers close in the past year?

This question is specific, because you want someone who successfully helps people buy homes.

“There’s a big difference between ‘working’ with home buyers and actually selling people homes,” Yee points out.

7. How long does it typically take buyers you’ve worked with to find and purchase a home?

Buying a house takes time. In general it takes an average of 30 to 60 days to shop for a house, and 14 to 60 days to go from contract to closing. However, this number varies widely from area to area, and it's crucial that you have a handle on how long it'll take you. Yet you also don't want an agent who drags his feet unnecessarily. Translation: If an agent says it typically takes six months to a year to buy a house, that’s a red flag you could end up frustrated.

8. How will you determine what homes may match my wants and needs?

A good buyer’s agent provides clients with a comprehensive questionnaire to help them pinpoint their home-buying criteria, so ask for this survey in advance. Also, your agent should be able to tell you whether your list of "needs" is realistically affordable in your area.

9. How many clients are you currently working with?

You want an agent who's busy but not too busy: Anyone juggling much more than 10 clients might be too busy to provide you with high-quality, one-on-one service.

10. How will you keep in contact with me during the buying process, and how often?

Does your agent prefer to stay in touch mainly by phone, email, or text—and how about you? Generally, it's best if your agent's preferred method of communication aligns with your own. If your agent's a texter while you prefer an actual conversation on the phone (or vice versa), that could drive you both bananas.

 

You should also ask how often you two will be touching base. Navigating the home-buying process requires good communication between you and your agent, so you want an agent who will stay in touch and check in with you on at least a weekly basis. In a fast-moving market, your agent should be touching base with you daily, lest you miss out.

 

Posted in Choosing an Agent
Feb. 15, 2019

Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Choosing an Agent Video

 

Posted in Choosing an Agent