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Naturally, you’re going to have questions when it comes to selling your Des Moines home. After all, you’re putting your trust in a Realtor to sell your home in a timely manner, and for as close to your asking price as possible — or preferably, more. When interviewing a real estate agent, it’s expected that they will want to show you their qualifications and impressive track record, and to highlight all their good points. There are a few questions, though, that you can ask to give your interview more focus and determine if a Realtor is the right one for you:
What area do you cover?
Some Realtors maintain a smaller scope, becoming experts on specific neighborhoods, and there are those that work across entire states. Everything depends on your specific needs, but it’s best to find one that falls in the middle. Having too broad a range can be problematic because it can be hard to cover a whole state while also having in-depth knowledge of local markets. A neighborhood expert may be good, but their options are going to be a bit limited, and they may try to fit you into a niche that’s not exactly what you’re looking for. Try to find someone who works both in and around your primary area of interest.
How many homes have you listed and sold in the past year?
Real estate agents sometimes measure their success by their number of listings, but more important than that are their number of sales. Being able to negotiate and close a sale is the true mark of an effective realtor.
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 crucial 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, not least the wider level of experience. When one person doesn’t have specific knowledge of a situation, it’s likely that another team member does. However, you need to know up-front how the team will operate. Will you meet with different people at different times? Will there be a designated point-person? You definitely don’t want to be speaking with one person only to be passed off to different people each time you call.
Do you have any questions for me?
This is a standard interview question for employment, but it applies here, as well. What questions a person asks can tell you a lot about their priorities and where their attention lies. You should be looking for a Realtor that asks you pointed, specific questions about your home and your situation. Asking questions about your needs shows that the agent is client-focused and not just looking at you like another number.
It’s important to find the right fit when you’re looking for a Realtor to represent you. You can’t ask too many questions, and if an agent makes you feel like you are — keep shopping!