People often ask me, “How do I hire a great agent?” Today I’ll give you a list of questions to put to any potential agent before you hire them.
All too often, people ask me how they can hire a great agent to assist with all their real estate needs. Today I’ll share them with you.
The first question you should ask any prospective agent is, “Are you a Realtor?”
This question is important because being a real estate agent and being a Realtor are two very different things. You should be looking for a Realtor; we are held to a higher standard than regular agents and we take a lot more educational courses to become licensed. A Realtor is a professional in the field who may be able to represent you better than a regular agent.
The second question to ask is, “Do you work full-time?”
When you’re hiring someone to represent you in the biggest transaction of your life, it’s important to know that this person does their job over and over again on a regular basis. A full-time agent is more likely to be skilled at their craft than someone who only works part-time. You wouldn’t hire an open-heart surgeon for your procedure if they didn’t do open-heart surgery regularly, would you? The same goes for real estate agents.
The third question you should ask an agent, especially if you’re a seller, is, “Do you hire a professional photographer?”
Buyers fall in love with homes online before they fall in love with homes in person. It wouldn’t be doing you any favors by cutting corners and taking amateur photos of your house, so be sure to look for an agent who understands the value of professional photography and will invest the money to make sure your home looks as spectacular as it is in real life.
Fourth, “How do you market and promote your listings?”
If you’re going to pay an agent commission for their services, you want to know that they have a strong plan in place that is proven to help sell homes on time and for the maximum amount possible.
Finally, ask a prospective agent or Realtor where you can find reviews on their services.
It’s important to note that there are tons of online websites that provide third-party reviews on real estate agents. Take a look at a few of those websites in their entirety to see what others have said about the agent’s level of service—not just the paid platforms that agents use to generate business.
I could honestly make an entire video to explore each one of the questions I discussed today, so if you’d like to talk about them more in detail, or if you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.
How much does a great real estate agent cost?
The answer depends on whether you’re buying or selling a home.
If you’re buying, the answer is…absolutely nothing! The commission fee for your agent is actually paid by the seller. This means the costs to buy your home extend only to your down payment and closing costs (which usually constitute 1% to 3% of the overall purchase price).
If you’re a seller, you’re responsible for the commissions of both your agent and the buyer’s agent. But in reality, as with the buyer, a great real estate agent should cost you absolutely nothing.
What I mean by that is, with the tools at our disposal, we’re able to market your home to the broadest audience and present it in a way that’s appealing to buyers so that they’ll have the confidence to offer you the best price possible.
Working with an agent such as myself will cost you nothing because I can net you more than you’d be able to get if you sold the home yourself. I can also guide you through the entire process and make sure you get where you’re going on time and with minimal out-of-pocket expenses.
If you’d like to know more about this topic or you’re ready to buy or sell a home in our market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you get started.
Now that the first quarter of 2019 is in the books, what’s the state of our current market?
First, let’s talk about our housing inventory. With just two to three months’ worth of available homes, we’re still facing a bit of a shortage. Since a balanced market constitutes four months’ worth of homes and we’re still below that mark, we’re in a seller’s market. Because inventory is low, we’re seeing multiple-offer situations pop up in competitive price points.
As far as interest rates go, 2018 was an interesting year. We expected them to rise multiple times, and they did rise at the end of the year, but they dipped back down again at the beginning of 2019 and gave buyers renewed confidence.
If you’re a buyer, this means you need to have a pre-approval in hand and be ready to make an aggressive offer the moment you find your dream home. Also, make sure you have all your questions for the seller ready so they can be answered up front. If you need to sell your home first, make sure you meet with a great listing agent and you establish your intended list price.
If you’re a seller, you need to have your home photographed, well-presented, and fully marketed so that you can find the buyers who will pay the most for it.
If you have any more questions about our market or you need help buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.