Selecting a Real Estate Agent: The Five Questions

 

You don’t have to be real estate expert to offer your home for sale, but especially in today’s challenging market, it’s all but a necessity to join forces with a real estate agent who is.

Residential real estate is still selling, but the market is not one which favors those who leave the details to chance. As much as any time in the past, success belongs to those who prepare for success. And one of the most important steps in the process is also one of the first steps — choosing your greatest ally, your listing agent.

Thorough preparation will mean interviewing at least three real estate agents. Keep in mind that in a slow-moving market, agents are likely to ask for a six- to twelve-month listing period, so you are committing to your agent as much as he/she is committing to you. Both of you are going to need to be excited about conquering the challenges ahead.

Personal referrals are usually any real estate agent’s favorite ways to meet new clients, so start by asking your friends and Asheboro neighbors if they have an agent to recommend. You can also consider how familiar the names of local agents and companies are to you, because those are probably the ones with the most effective advertising strategies (or just the most energy!).

Here are some questions you can use to frame your interviews. Being sure to ask them to all of the agent candidates so you can establish a basis for comparing them:

 

1 – How many years have you been in the real estate business, and how many of those have you been in Asheboro?

It’s important to find not only an experienced agent who has the know-how to guide you through the process, but also to find someone who knows the particulars of your town and neighborhood. Real estate is a local business, so you’ll do well to hire an agent who knows Randolph County.

2 – How long do you estimate it will take you to sell my home in this real estate market?

A good real estate agent knows the current average Days On the Market (‘DOM’) for your area, and should be able to give you a couple of rough estimates based on how aggressively you are choosing to price the home. You can always extend your listing with this agent if you like her or him — but it’s hard to cancel a listing if you don’t.

3 – How do you and your company advertise? Do you have a website?

Ask to see sample ads from the agent’s recent listings.

4 –  Will you take professional photos of our home and create an exciting marketing? 

5 –  How many homes did you sell last year? How many of your homes have failed to sell within the last year? Why do you think they did not sell? Is there anything you would have done differently?

These are great questions for more than one reason. Of course the real estate agent wants to tell you all about the homes he has sold and all his success–and you do want to hear that because you ought to be convinced that your choice is successful and can sell your home, too. But by calling attention to the negatives, here is a chance for you to observe how the agent functions under fire. Great real estate agents will give you an honest assessment of why a home they listed did not sell. What you want to hear is how the agent speaks about past challenges. If they turn very negative or resentful here, chances are this agent does not do well when faced with difficult situations. What you want to hear are clear, direct reasons why a home did not sell–even if that reason is just simply the market changed–but you want these answers honestly and without anger or resentment. A professional knows that selling homes is a business. Someone who can coolly handle questions like these is likely to be a valuable partner should your own emotions threaten to overheat!

Finally, be sure to interview more than one Asheboro real estate company (rather than three agents from the same group).

You don’t have to be an expert in selling real estate, but you do need to feel comfortable with (and confident in) your professional representative.

Call me today, and ask me any questions you might have. I’m ready to answer! 336-953-6526. You can also email me at waraj@me.com

Visit my website at www.WaynetteAraj.com to search the MLS like Realtors do.

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