We often link up with clients after they've had a previously bad experience with another agent, which has resulted in a home that's yet to sell.
While there are a wide range of reasons why a home might not be selling in such a lively market as the one we're currently enjoying, one major pitfall that's 100% avoidable from the outset is hiring the wrong agent.
It's also equally true to say, however, that choosing the wrong agent is all too easy if you don't do the right groundwork.
Therefore the purpose of our blog today is to give you some great questions that will enable you to quickly establish the credentials of any agent during an interview, thus minimizing the possibilities of getting it wrong and suffering a really bad experience that delays you moving to the next phase of your life.
OK, here goes:
What's your track record? - It's absolutely vital that your agent can demonstrate recent and sustained success in selling homes. You might as well ask this up front, because any question you subsequently pose will be informed by the quality of the answer you get.
Are you a full-time agent? - You'd probably be amazed how many agents don't work full-time at real estate. Part-time agents will have other calls on their time and not be giving the sale of your home total priority in their working lives. While the market is buoyant right now, making the most of it in terms of achieving the best price in the shortest time frame requires nothing less than a 100% daily effort.
How do you spend your day? - OK, it's great that you've reached this question with the prospective agent, as you've at least confirmed the agent is full-time. That being said, you also want to know how the agent organizes his/her day. Does he/she, for example, spend several hours a day prospecting for buyers, through liaison with other agents and a strong contact list?
How will you market my home? - As an extension of the above question, knowing how your home will be marketed starts drilling down even further on what the agent will be doing for you on a daily basis. Here's where you need to see a multi-faceted plan to promote your home to as many potential buyers as possible. Given that almost everyone begins their home search online these days, you want to see plenty of evidence as to how your home will be publicized on a quality website like this one and via a wide range of social networking channels etc. Perhaps above all, however, it's important to ask the agent to outline a case study of how he/she recently sold a home similar to yours. The best agents will be coming to the interview armed with that sort of detail.
Show me some proof of satisfied clients - The agent's just told you how he/she makes clients happy through his/her actions, so now you want to see some concrete proof. Ask for testimonials from recent clients. The more the better, but what you're looking for is evidence of what makes this agent exceptional in the eyes of people just like you.
How often will you communicate with me? - This is a surprisingly important question to ask. So many agents fail to keep in regular contact with their clients, with the result that there is no forum for regular discussion and review of how the home sale is going. If the home isn't selling, for whatever reason, you need to be in regular contact with your agent in case any corrective actions need to be effected.
How will you support me during and after the offer process? - Other than promoting the sale of your home, your agent should be advising you in negotiations and also holding your hand throughout the entire process to closing, and beyond. Ensure that the agent tells you all about ongoing customer support - you'll often find that testimonials will be very revealing in this respect.
Why would you be the best agent for me to hire? - Something of an open question, but this gives the agent the opportunity to close the interview with any outstanding qualities that he/she believes places him/her above other competing agents. Here's where you can quite accurately gauge the enthusiasm and desire of the agent to get the job done for you.
We hope that the above questions give you a simple framework in order to quickly establish if the agent you're interviewing is the one for you. Why not contact us today and put us to this exact test!