You might feel stressed out just thinking about buying a new home or selling your house, let alone actually doing it! It’s a realtor’s job to help alleviate this stress and make your real estate journey as seamless as possible. But part of the client's heavy lifting is choosing the right real estate agent. There are many variables in what makes a good realtor and, specifically, a good realtor for you. The Rebecca Francis Team wants you to be ready to start this journey and know how to pick the best individual for your needs. Check out the list of questions below to ensure your realtor has the right level of experience, availability, and more.
How long have you been in the business?
Agents that have been in the business for a reasonable amount of time will have good negotiation techniques that they can utilize on your behalf when buying or selling a home. They will have the experience and knowledge to anticipate problems for they arise. Also, they’ll have relationships with other real estate professionals, such as contractors, stagers, photographers, painters, HVAC professionals, and more, each of which could be helpful for buyers and sellers alike.
Are you a full-time agent or a part-time agent?
Full-time agents are more likely to be able to devote the time and attention that you need from them, whether you are pursuing the sale or purchase of a home.
Do you work independently or with a team?
While having a realtor who works with a team is not absolutely necessary, it can significantly benefit you. A team can be like a built-in backup plan - if your agent is tied up and an urgent problem arises, someone from their team may be able to support you and help you better reach your desired outcomes. Our team-based approach to selling your home ensures that more than one person is dedicated to the task. Rather than working independently, we work together to help you find a buyer as quickly as possible.
Do you work with buyers, sellers, or both?
Some agents work strictly as listing professionals. Others work specifically as buyers’ agents. At the Rebecca Francis Team, all agents work as buyer and seller agents. This means that the team has the infrastructure in place to be able to support our listings and our sellers. Agents who work with buyers and sellers have a great understanding of the market and receive calls from potential buyers, which could make a huge difference in finding the best offer for your home.
May I see your real estate license?
This may sound silly, but verifying that your potential agent is a legitimate Realtor® is critical. Do the research. Check out their background. Ensuring your Realtor is credible and reliable can prevent unexpected problems throughout your real estate process. A Realtor®is a member of the NAR (National Association of Realtors®) and must agree to abide by NAR’s Code of Ethics & Professional Standards, which outlines duties to clients and customers, the public and other Realtors. This is in contrast to a non-member real estate agent.
Questions to Ask as a Buyer
How many homes have you helped buyers purchase in the past year?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average agent helps 12 buyers and sellers annually. If your agent is far below that average, it might be time to find a new agent.
Have you helped other buyers find homes in this area?
Communities differ in terms of what types of homes are available, what types of homes buyers want, and what types of homes sell. Your real estate agent should know the area you want to buy in.
Have you helped buyers find homes in my price range?
Price ranges can dramatically alter the way homes are marketed. Price ranges also determine the types of relationships agents have with one another. Often, an agent's relationships with another agent are how you find your next home - not necessarily what’s listed on the MLS. It’s very important to find an agent that has excellent relationships with other agents. Additionally, this is important for understanding the amount of attention you will get from your agent. If an agent usually works with buyers having 8-figure budgets, you might get less time devoted to you if your budget is $300,000. Find an agent whose other clients have similar price ranges as you.
Questions to Ask as a Seller
What is your process when preparing a home for sale?
A good agent can and will tell clients what’s necessary to make your home as desirable as possible to buyers. Whether this means renovations, appliance updates, or professional cleaning, they should know what buyers want to see. If they can’t make these recommendations, odds are, they won’t be able to get you the best deal.
What is your marketing plan or strategy?
Different homes require different marketing strategies, but the best agents have multiple marketing strategies in their back pockets. This ensures they will know how to best market your home. A one-trick pony regarding marketing could mean waiting months for potential buyers.
How do you arrive at a listing price?
Houses listed too high can deter potential buyers, and houses listed too low mean you’re not getting a good deal. Good agents have a process to list your house at the best price to ensure you will get the best deal possible. If they don’t have this process, you may risk getting lower or fewer offers than you deserve.
Asking potential realtors these questions and feeling confident in your received answers is a prime way to ensure your process, whether you’re a seller or a buyer, goes as smoothly as possible. The Rebecca Francis Team is ready to answer these questions and more. Contact us here.