Most people have better things to do than spending their evenings and weekends interviewing sales agents. That’s probably why statistically less than half of all home sellers consult more than one agent for a proposal. Use these five simple but essential questions to choose the RIGHT realtor.
1) What is your communication plan?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the number one complaint of all home sellers is a lack of communication. Nothing is more frustrating than going to voicemail when you need help. Is your agent available during the peak times in evenings and on weekends? Or will you be forwarded to the office assistant or answering service? How are activity updates delivered? How are showings booked? A great realtor will keep you up to date in real-time and be available for you and your potential home buyer when you need them.
2) How will your home be marketed beyond MLS?
Almost all agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS for short) but only the very best agents have a marketing strategy that extends beyond the reach of MLS. In today’s digital world, home buyers are outpacing “old school” agents and finding the information they need faster. The old way of relying on MLS to do all the work and bring in buyers just can’t keep up with today’s tech-savvy people. Are third-party search sites featured? Will social media me used? Wil the marketing package include professional photos and video? The internet now replaces the “first showing” and there is no second chance to make a good first impression.
3) Public reviews?
Printed testimonials are great, but where can you read reviews of your agent written by unique genuine people? User reviews have become a commodity used for well everything from choosing a place to eat to choosing a realtor. Find real reviews written by actual clients. Do the common themes in the reviews line up with your expectations and specific goals? Do the reviews and testimonials sound “coached” or are they legitimate? Are the reviews in a public open source?
4) How do you handle negotiations?
People feel uncomfortable talking about money, during contract negotiations you need a sound advisor, firm advocate, and a team player to get the parties talking and keep the contract together. Hiring an agent who sounds like a tough negotiator may sound like a good idea but you also need an agent who is a liaison through the conditional stage of the contract and see it to a successful closing. If you are hiring a real estate team the contract negotiation may be handled by a totally different person than who you met during the listing stage. Who is present during the negotiation? How are your requirements presented to buyers? What happens if you can’t come to an agreement?
5) How will showings of my home be handled?
Many agents leave the showings up to the buyer’s realtors and, unfortunately, many sellers are unaware their agent is not present. Current market conditions have brought about an increase in new and part-time agents. So, now more than ever before, these inexperienced agents are relying on home sellers’ listing agents for guidance during showings. Due to this, it is becoming more common that seasoned agents will work with more sellers than buyers. How are buyer’s questions answered? How is access handled?
Your realtor is your choice; if it doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t. So, don’t settle for just any realtor. Ask these five essential questions to choose the RIGHT realtor, and if you’re ever in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion. We are happy to provide free proposal packages on residential homes, townhouses and condos located within New Westminster, Burnaby, The TriCities, Vancouver, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.