Many of my listings happen to come from expired listings, because of that I meet a lot of homeowners that are hoping a new Realtor will get their home sold. Let me first off by pointing out that I am going to list the questions you should be asking in order and the most important !
1. What Kind Of Company Do They Work For ?
The very first question I hear from a homeowner is "What Is Your Commission" ? This should actually be your LAST question, it does not matter what a Realtors commission rate is if they don't do what needs to be done to sell your home.
- Is the company individually owned, or is it owned by a company ? In most cases bigger is always better because they are affiliated with other companies that can help get your home sold. You can't just assume that because they have the named Century 21, Coldwell Banker, or Prudential does not mean owned by a company because these are franchises. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is company owned, that is why and how we are able to offer so many options like in-house mortgages, home warranties, insurance, and a title agency.
2. What Is Their Internet Presence, and How Do They Create Your Listing ?
- What do they do for online advertising ? Everyone puts their listings onto MLS, what you want to know is how many other sites will your home be on, and who will be the point of contact on each of those websites ! Many homeowners don't realize but the ad space around all listings need to be purchased by your agent otherwise the point of contact is not your agent, but rather the agent who did purchase it. Another important part of Internet presence is do you know if your listing is actually coming up in a search and being viewed, you should find a company that can track at least the number of views your getting or how many times your home came up in someones search.
- What do they do to create your listing ? The first impression your house gives is by it's listing does the agent stage your home or professional photos, buyers are very visual so you want to be sure that you catch their attention right away ! Another often overlooked aspect is what your listing will actually have written on it ? You want to make sure that it has a detailed description and directions many buyers look to the directions to figure out the area that it is in. The best way to gauge all of these things is to ask to see the agents other listings and see how they present !
3. How Available Would Your Agent Be ?
- How available are they to you ? This is another question that homeowners often forget to ask, you want to know how often your realtor will be following up with you to give you updates on your home, feedback from Realtors, and most importantly what is going on with other homes that are selling and coming onto the market while your on the market ! You want a realtor who has a system to keep you up to date on all of those things going on in the market around you, this way you know how and when you will hear from them.
- How available are they to buyers ? This is a very important question to ask because how quickly they respond to inquiries will decide how many buyers stay interested in your home. Statistics show that 60 minutes after an inquiry is sent, the chance of reaching that potential buyer decreases to less than 50% ! The best way to find this out is after your appointment place an inquiry with them about one of their listings and see how long it takes for them to get in touch with you ! You will also want to see if they will attend showings that are being done by other brokers. Granted the other brokers will be the ones talking to the buyers you want any questions they have, or any pertinent information about your home to be answered accurately and the only way they can be sure that happens is if your agent is there. Now, this is my disclaimer, even the best agent will not be able to attend all showings but you should make sure they have a follow up plan in place for the ones they won't be able to attend.
4. What Technology Do They Use To Help Their Listings ?
- This question is more of a general question, you want an agent who uses all the tools that are available out there to help get your home sold. You also want someone who understands the basic technology that is being used in today's market such as the social marketing, virtual presentations, online newspapers and forums ! These are the tools that bring buyers to your home, the more places your home and your agent are the more chance the right buyer for your home will come across it. I happen to offer some additional tools for buyers who look at my listings like that ability to chat with me online, or giving them the ability to actually schedule an appointment anytime at their convenience!
These are the most important questions you should be getting the answers too, and the very last question should be that of "What Is Your Commission", don't discount a company or agent because of this answer decide who you think will do the best job and get your home sold ! If you hire an agent that your not sure can actually sell your home to save 1% on commission you will only end up spending more time and money living and maintaining it rather than moving onto your next home !