Monday, August 06, 2018 / by Lindsey Gudger
In our line of work, we talk to many buyers and sellers who tell us they already have agents they’re working with. In reply, we ask how many agents they interviewed before picking the one they have. Nine times out of 10, the answer is none.
Buying and/or selling a house is a really big deal; it’s not as simple as using any person who has a real estate license to help you do it. It’s important to find out if you’re working with the right person because it can cost you a lot of time and money if you’re not using a professional agent—about 80% of all real estate agents only close about five to six homes per year. That’s abysmal. You wouldn’t want an agent with that record handling what could be the biggest asset you’ll ever own.
There are three critical questions to ask when you’re interviewing agents for your transaction:
1. “How much business do you do, and over what time period?” Compare whatever figures they give you to your next alternative. You’ve got to work with someone who spends time out in the field, using and gaining experience that will help you with your own transaction. Markets can change in a relatively small amount of time, so if your agent hasn’t been active for long periods because they simply don’t do much business, then they’ll be out of touch.
2. “How are you different?” There are many factors that can make an agent stand out, but we’re focused on two. First, does the agent have access to off-market properties? Many people are interested in selling their homes, but don’t want to put them on the market. An agent with access to these kinds of sellers will be able to provide you with a wider pool of potential homes, ones without competing buyers.
Secondly, does the agent have team members specializing in different processes? No one person can do everything. We have a team who each handle different areas, like frontline communication, pricing analysis, contracts and addenda, and so on. For you, that is all behind the scenes, since you’re only communicating with the agent you hired.
3. “How much will you spend to market my home?” For sellers, if your agent is only doing five or six transaction per year, they won’t have the money to do your property justice when it comes to marketing. A good agent should be marketing your home to as many people as possible so that you can get as many viewings as possible, in turn getting you as many offers as possible. You can’t do that without a marketing budget.
The bottom line is: Don’t make the mistake of not interviewing your agents. Buying and selling homes is a huge deal that needs to be handled by a seasoned professional.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.