The realtor you hire will determine how quickly you sell your home – and for how much. If you’re buying a home, they will determine whether you get a great deal or a bad one. While it’s very easy to hire a realtor because you saw an advert or you met them at an open house, they may not be fit for the job. A realtor is a critical person in the home-selling (and home-buying) process so don’t go with your gut. Before hiring a realtor, here are some important questions you should ask them.

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1)     Are You a Full-Time Realtor?

A jack of all trades is a master of none. If your realtor has 2 other jobs, they may not always be available to show homebuyers your home or to show you homes (if you are buying). You need someone who will be available at a moment’s notice, not one who is distracted by their many obligations. A full-time realtor is more familiar with the market as well as the law. They will know if there are major changes happening in the near future that will affect the real estate market.

2)     What Is Your Experience?

While training for realtors never stops, experience is the best teacher. Ask your agent about their experience to ensure they are skilled at what they do. An experienced realtor is able to handle any issues that come up to ensure your transaction is a smooth one.

In 2014, the National Association of Realtors reported that only 13% of realtors make it, 87% fail after 5 years in the industry. Becoming a real estate agent isn’t a hard task. You go to school, take an exam, and get a license. But there’s no exam that teaches agents how to handle problems that crop up during transactions, they learn while working. The more sales a realtor completes, the more they learn.

3)     How Will You Market My Home?

If your realtor doesn’t market your home, it won’t sell. Do your due diligence and ask the agent how they plan to market your home. You can also find your agent’s marketing track record by checking their previous and current listings.

How does the agent increase a home’s visibility online? Do they market it on social media? Marketing a listing online is a vital skill because most homebuyers find homes through online listings. Also, ask to see examples of virtual tours they’ve made as they are very important in the home-buying process.

4)     Can You Provide References

Every agent has references, even new agents (their previous employers). Ask the agent for references and ask if you can call them to ask additional questions you may have. However, if the agent you are planning to hire has many reviews online, there’s no need to ask for references. Popular agents can feel insulted if you ask for references, but a new agent won’t.

There are very many realtors out there today, however, each has a different skill set so it’s important to choose someone who understands your needs best. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time with your realtor during the home-selling or home-buying process, choose someone who has your best interests at heart, not theirs.

 

For more tips, visit this archived post about understanding buyer and seller rights before closing.