There is no shortage of advice being given about real estate agents on the internet, but no matter whether you’re buying or selling, there’s one tip that you should keep in mind: always shop around for the best agent with which to work.
In most cases, the perfect real estate agent is not going to be the first one you happen upon. In fact, it’s very easy to go through a dozen prospects before finding someone you truly like. There are a variety of ways to find a great agent, but there’s one approach that never seems to fail when gauging whether or not an agent is right for you: asking good questions.
The importance of asking questions
Great real estate agents have much more to offer than recommendations and good portfolios. They can be identified through a set of questions that allow clients to have a better idea of who they are.
In order to interview a real estate agent well enough to figure out whether or not you should be working with them, it’s essential that you ask the right questions. Many people stick to generic questions during the interview process, which can often lead to subpar answers that barely give a glimpse into what kind of service they can expect. Fortunately, we’re here to make sure that you fare better.
What questions should you ask?
In order to find the perfect real estate agent to work with, here are some questions that you should be asking during the interview:
- “How long have you been in the business?”
In some industries, you could argue that new entrants can offer the same quality of service as veterans, given how abundant information is in the digital age. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said when it comes to the real estate industry. A competent, effective, and reliable real estate industry stalwart has years or decades of experience that has given them skills and knowledge that no school could ever teach. Real estate is an industry that demands that you learn along the way if you want to remain competitive. There’s no doubt about it—-the best real estate agent will come with years of experience.
- “What’s your average list-price-to-sales-price ratio?”
Depending on the type of market that they’re working with, an agent’s average ratio can vary. Often, good buyer’s agents have the ability to negotiate a sales price that’s significantly lower than the list price. Therefore, the list-price-to-sales-price ratio should definitely be smaller for a successful agent. In contrast, a good listing agent should have a ratio as close to 100 per cent as possible. To reiterate, for buyer’s agents, the lower the better. For listing agents, the opposite is true.
- “What’s the marketing plan or strategy you would use for my needs?”
The “right” answer to this question can vary depending on the type of agent you’re looking to work with. For instance, if you’re working with a buyer’s agent to look for a new home, a good agent should be able to tell you how they’ll look for your ideal home, how many homes they’ll think you may see before finding the perfect one, and how many agents they’ll be up against. On the other hand, if you’re looking to sell your home, then a seller’s agent should be able to tell you how and where they’ll advertise your listing, how they can market your home, if they’re marketing the listing online, and how they’ll be able to prepare your home for an open house or sale.
- “Do you offer any guarantees?”
By asking this question, you’ll be able to protect yourself, your interests, and even your agent from any threat or type of exploitation that may get either of you in hot water. A guarantee is an important aspect to inquire about because of the assurance it generates in regard to how well an agent can fulfil their services and promises (or if they’ll be able to fulfil them at all).
Good real estate agents are a dime a dozen. By asking the right questions during the interview process, you’ll be able to pick out the best prospects while eliminating those who don’t have experience or aren’t the right fit for you. If you not sure how to choose a real estate agent, we’ve put together some tips for you.