Home owners should interview a few potential REALTORS® before deciding on one to sell their home. Here are 10 questions to get you started but remember that your REALTOR® should be willing to answer any questions you have about the process of buying or selling your home.
1. How long have you been in the business?
A freshly-licensed REALTOR® can do a wonderful job and will have up to date training; those in the business longer bring more practical experience to the table.
2. How will your marketing plan meet my needs?
Specifically, how will you sell my home? Where and how often do you advertise? Will you show me a sample flyer? How do you market online? The REALTOR® should be able to talk about what kinds of people are likely buyers and how she will reach out to those specific people.
3. Will you provide references?
Ask if your REALTOR® will provide you with references from previous clients. Many will have a contact sheet with the names and phone numbers of previous buyers and sellers who are happy to discuss their experiences with potential clients. If you're uncomfortable with talking to past clients, ask if you REALTOR® has a website with a Testimonial section that you can read instead.
4. What separates you from your competition?
Key phrases to listen for: assertive, available by phone, or email, analytical, able to maintain a good sense of humor under trying circumstances, frequency of contact, communication schedule, and how your REALTOR® cooperates with fellow colleagues.
5. Can you help me find other professionals?
Your REALTOR® may be able to provide a list of service providers who can help with things such as home inspections, staging, renovations, or legal and financial advice. Get an explanation if you see the term 'affiliated' as it could mean the REALTOR® is getting compensation from vendors.
6. How much do you charge?
Real estate fees or commission are negotiable and may vary from brokerage to brokerage.
7.How will you keep me informed?
It's very important to be up-to-date with the process of selling your home. How will your REALTOR® keep in touch with you? Will you have regular meetings? Will they be in person? Over the phone? Via email?
8.How has your business changed in the last five years?
If your REALTOR® doesn't talk about website tours and smart phones, chances are she is not a highly wired agent. While low techies can still sell houses, it it getting harder. Listen for references to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well marketing sites as Craigslist and Kijiji.
9. How do you qualify potential buyers?
You're looking for buyers who have the desire, means, and resources to purchase your home. It's your REALTOR'S® job to ensure that you're not spending your time with deals that can't be closed.
10. Do you have any questions for me?
An effective REALTOR® should be prepared with specific, in-depth questions about your home and needs.
~Some information taken from the Langley Times, Home Real Estate Resource Guide