How Can I Be Sure That I Will Be Listing With a Superior Agent?

To help you answer this question, Flagstone Financial in association with By Referral Only has listed thirteen questions you can ask prospective listing agents. The answers to these questions should tell you how professional the agent is compared to others in his/her field.

Whether you have a home that will need a conforming mortgage, jumbo mortgage, or super jumbo mortgage you need a realtor that knows how get it sold.  This infromation will help you achieve that goal

1. Is the agent a full-time real estate professional? (Real estate is a full-time job Part-timers cannot be competitive)

2. How much real estate experience does the agent have? (3-4 years or more is enough to have encountered most of the more complex real estate transactions, averaging 18-25 transactions per year)

3. Does the agent have more than the minimum requirements to get licensed? (Real Estate is complex. You want to be sure that your agent has the skills required to do the best job and that inlcudes continuing education.)

4. How has the way the agent does business changed over the past five-ten years? (If the agent does not mention increasing use of technological tools, target marketing, ongoing training opportunities, etc., he/she is probably not keeping up.)

5. How many properties did the agent sell last year? How many properties have you sold within the past 6 months? 90 days? 30 days? (State average is five – six in the past year, top agents sell 80% of all real estate averaging 40+ sales per year)

6. Does the agent have references you can call? What percentage of your business is from referrals? (If not, beware! The agent should be able to produce a list for you of the last 15-20 clients they have worked with not just a selected few. Referrals are an agent’s life-line in this business, find out what percentage of their business is based on referrals)

7. In what ways does the agent market properties to prospects? Listen for specifics What systems does the agent have in place Look at his/her written marketing plan – how does it work?

8. What is your average market time vs. the area average market time? (Can the agent produce written proof of each?)

9. What is your list to sales price ratio vs. the average market time? (Some agents will promise anything to get listings. You should not list with the highest bidder. List with a marketing leader who will negotiate hard for you and sells within 2% of list price consistently – yet maintains the high sales of the neighborhood.)

10. Do you base the marketing price of my/our home on Actual Sold Listing prices rather than current listing prices to establish a realistic selling price? (You can list your home at any price, but your property is worth only as much as a buyer is willing to pay – this is the definition of MARKET VALUE. Right priced properties sell faster and at a higher price. Your home will be subject to an appraisal by the buyers lender. The appraiser is only able to look at comparable from the past 6 months of sales of like properties. If the home does not appraise, you must come down in price. Look at it from the buyers view… would you purchase a home for an amount over the appraised value?)

11. Do you have professional brochure done on my/our home and do you send them to other real estate agents in the area, for their review? (Advertisements don’t sell homes – People do! Your agent should keep your property in the hands of the agents at all times. Not just their office agents, but any agent who has listed property in your area or who has listed or sold in your area in the past 3 years. Agents must network with other agents at all times and with all brokers to get your home sold.)

12. Will you reduce your commission rate? (if an agent is willing to reduce their commission and work for less, they may also be willing to reduce services and reduce their commitment to negotiate – giving away thousands of your dollars Just to make the sale. You will also get fewer showings from agents because agents work on a commission basis and may choose to show homes with an offer of a higher commission rate. Would you work for less if you have experience, a commitment to your career and a good track record for service and results?

13. Do you have a full time personal staff assistant to see that no details are overlooked? (The agent’s job is to be listing, marketing, negotiating, and selling. Not to be stuck in the office making copies, and miscellaneous paperwork. An agent can hire a personal assistant to do the latter so the agent can be more productive doing what an agent does best…selling!)

Copyright © 2001 By Referral Only, Inc.

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