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If you’re planning to sell your home and you want a speedy sale coupled with the best price, you should be working with a Realtor; but not all Realtors are equal. So, how do you find the best agent to represent you and meet those goals we mentioned above? You ask them questions — the right questions. Here are a few questions to ask that will help you make sure you’re working with the best possible Realtor:
Which Areas Do You Work In?
Some Realtors are very specific, becoming experts on single neighborhoods; and then there are others that work across very large areas, like entire states. Everything depends on your unique needs, but it’s best to find one that falls in the middle. Having too wide a range can be problematic because it can be hard to cover a whole state while also having in-depth knowledge of local markets. Alternatively, a neighborhood expert may be good, but only if you’re looking in that (or those) neighborhoods. Try to find someone who works both in and around your primary area of interest.
How Many Homes Have You Sold in the Last Year?
Realtors often measure their success by their number of listings, but you should measure their effectiveness by their number of sales. You want to work with someone that has a consistent track record of sold houses.
How Long Do Your Listings Stay on the Market?
Sometimes having listings with a shorter time on the market is a good thing, and sometimes it’s cause for further exploration. If the average time on the market is faster than the average selling time for the surrounding neighborhood, you should ask why. It could be that the Realtor is impressively effective, or it could be that they’re low-balling the asking price. Look at the difference between original asking price and what the house sold for. That will let you know how good the agent is at getting the right asking price, or at least in the ballpark.
Are You Part of a Team?
It’s important to know whether your Realtor works as part of a team because communication is imperative when you’re selling your home. The relationship between you and your agent needs to be defined from the start, especially if there’s a team involved. There are many benefits to working with a team, starting with the combined experience of everyone involved. When one person doesn’t have specific knowledge of a situation, someone else on the team probably does. However, you need to know up-front how the team will operate. Will you meet with different people for different things at different times? Will there be a designated point-person? You don’t want to be develop a relationship with one agent, only to be shuffled off to someone else later on.
Before you select an agent to represent you, ask them these questions (and any others you have). You’ll have more confidence in your choice once you get the additional information.