Interviewing For Agent Representation
Ten (10) Essential Questions You Must Ask
Agent Interviews - Top 10:
Choosing the right agent is arguably the most important step in selling your home. It can mean the difference between a carefree/profitable transaction and one that you regret on many levels. Common sense would dictate interviewing agents for the job. Yet statistics show roughly 66% of sellers just hire the first agent they meet with. That's Just Crazy!
We advocate interviewing, at least by phone, a minimum of 3 agents. DO ASK detailed questions about experience and skills to help yourself find the best agent for the job. This can be especially important if your time is valuable, you wish to minimize your risks & liabilities and/or you wish to yield the highest profit possible.
⇒⇒ Here are some exacting questions that will help you weed out all but the most qualified candidates:
Be absolutly sure you're not sold by slick talk, read the descriptions carefully and you'll easily be able to select a true Top Agent.
- How long have you been selling homes?
Mastering real estate requires much on-the-job experience. The more experience an agent has, the more likely they'll be able to handle any complexities that inevitably crop up. These can include negotiations, contractual obligations, funding issues and escrow matters.
- What designations or certifications have you earned?
There are many designations/certifications that agents can earn or simply pay for. Some meaningful and others more trendy. Ask how the agents' certifications will help them help you.
- How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months?
Many agents tout their companies success. The question is and should be how many homes they personally have sold. It's an indicator of how active and aggressive they are. To get even a better idea of their competency, ask how many homes they've sold in the last 5 years; 10 years. That number should be well into the multiple 100's.
- Can you explain the difference between an agent and a broker?
Know your listing contract is between you and an agents broker. Agents are licensed salespersons. They must work for an employing broker, cannot work independently and cannot make policy decisions. A broker is a step above the agent, generally with more education and is responsible for their agents' actions. Command decisions often are left to the broker should complications arise. A broker can work as your agent but an agent cannot work as your broker.
- What is the average number of days it took you to sell client homes during the last year?
A well educated agent should not only state exactly the average number of days to sell their clients homes but also put that into perspective for you. They should know the average number of days for all agents belonging to the local Realtors Association during the same period. With this information you can easily compare their performance to that of other agents.
- How close were the asking prices to the sale prices of the homes you sold?
All too often sellers choose a particular agent because the agents suggested list and implied sale price is higher than those suggested by other agents. Sadly, many sellers are lured by the prospect of receiving more for their home than is realistically possible. A far better way to judge an agents success, experience and honesty is to compare the data showing initial listed price to the actual sale price for homes they have sold.
- How will you market my home?
If you hear words like "41 point marketing plan" or "customized plan" be very skeptical. These are often associated with one-size-fits-all techniques. Look for an agent that has in-depth knowledge of marketing/advertising. One who competently uses multiple marketing platforms simultaneously: Pre-marketing, social media, targeted marketing, statewide marketing, national direct network… Ask them to explain with precision.
- How will you keep me informed/involved to my satisfaction?
With as many different sellers as there are so too are their communication comfort levels. Choose a representative that can accommodate your preferences. Whether it is to sit down with you once a week, send you daily updates or provide a platform where you can access all information at anytime from any internet connected device.
**9. How exactly will you net me more money on my sale?
Bottom-line profit... Not to be confused with sale price. It's the money you'll walk away with when the transaction is completed. Too often sellers are overly concerned with things like commission rates and listing price. The best agents know many ways to boost your net profits. Don't shop for agents based on commission percentages or sale price promises! Shop skill levels and competency.
- Can you provide references?
What agent can't provide references? What agent wouldn't offer-up a list of their 'happy' clients? Follow the recommendations above, you'll be assured a pleasant and profitable transaction.
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