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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What is the number one rule when choosing a real estate agent?

Question:  What is the number one rule to follow when choosing a real estate agent? 

Answer:  Get all the answers up front.

Sounds like a pretty easy thing, right?   Actually getting all answers may be an impossible  challenge but you should get as many as possible by asking the right questions up front.

Deciding to sell your home is a huge life changing (and life disrupting) decision.  Choosing the right real estate agent from the start can hopefully prevent an unhappy ending - especially  if (when) frustration sets in!

Here are some questions to consider when interviewing real estate agents.  By the way, I suggest you interview three real estate agents before selecting anyone.

General questions should be expected by any real estate agent.  These are questions like...
  • How long have you been in business? 
  • When are you available? What days do you work?
  • How many agents work with you or are you a one person team? 
  • What happens if you are sick or are unavailable due to unforeseen issues?
  • What is your preferred method of communication? When do you answer your phone?
  • How often will you speak with me during this process?
  • Where do your buyers come from? 
  • Why should I choose you over your competitors?
The above questions skip over one point most sellers always ask up front.  What are your fees?  I say hold off until the agent answers your questions.  Evaluate the product before checking the price. 

These general questions, if answered to your satisfaction, should be followed by more probing questions that target key areas like LOCAL KNOWLEDGE and PROCESS such as...
  • Where do you work primarily?
  • What has sold in my neighborhood (area, similar communities, street, etc)? 
  • What has not sold in my neighborhood (active, how long, price, withdrawn)?
  • Why did these properties sell or not sell? 
  • How much can I get for my house? 
  • How long will it take to complete the process?  
  • How much will this process cost me?  
  • How much do I walk away with?  
  • Ask the agent to  summarize the process including their marketing plan (print, Internet, open house and others). 
Your goal should be to choose a real estate agent who understands the process is all about you and your goals and nothing else. 

When you are ready to sell your home, I would appreciate the opportunity to answer these questions and any others you may have about the process and how I work!  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help in any way.

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