Finding the right real estate agent to help you is one of the most important things you should do whether you’re buying or selling a home. Doing it, however, isn’t always the most straightforward route.
I always recommend scheduling interviews with your potential agents to get to know them a little bit better. You can do it over the phone or visit their respective offices, whichever you prefer.
When you’ve the dates for the interviews, it’s time to prepare. Make a list of questions to ask. Here are a couple you should definitely include:
- “How long have you been working as a real estate agent?”
First thing to note is that one’s tenure isn’t always an indication of great customer service and expertise. New agents can do a great job, especially if they have the right training. That said, agents who have been actively working in the industry for quite some time most likely know more.
So, ask this question but don’t use it as a benchmark. What you can do instead is to follow it up by asking if they have attended any seminars or courses, or if they have received any designations or certifications.
- “What’s your rate?”
In real estate, what you pay for is what you get. If you want to get the best kind of real estate service, you’ll want to work with a top agent. And top agents often have higher fees.
That said, agents usually charge about one to six percent.
- “What makes you different from other agents?”
This will help you determine if an agent fits your standards. If you want somebody who’s always available, you’ll want an agent who is on-call 24/7. If you’re anticipating negotiations to secure a real estate deal, an agent who has excellent communication and negotiation skills would be perfect.
Skills and qualities are not the only things to keep note of. For instance, not every real estate agent is a Realtor (a member of the National Association of Realtors). If you want to purchase a luxury home, an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist would be ideal.
If you ask me, I would say that the top three things that make me different from other agents are: I specialize in military home buying, I’m dedicated to give my clients the best possible buying or selling experience, and I’m highly familiar with PCS. So, if you’re in the midst of a military relocation, I’m an agent you’ll want to consider working with.
- “What is your average list-to-sales price ratio?”
At first glance, this question seems fitting if you’re selling your home, but this can also help if you’re looking for a buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s agent (with notable negotiation skills) should have a demonstrated history of being able to lower the list price (ratio should be below 99 percent), especially in normal markets.
Meanwhile, you want your listing agent to have an average list-price-to-sales-price ratio close to 100 percent. This reflects a track record of successfully closing the sale close to the list price.
In both situations, take note if these transactions were mostly done in neighborhoods you’re interested in. If that is the case, this real estate agent is definitely worth your consideration.
- “Can you connect me to other real estate professionals?”
There are a lot of people involved in buying and selling a home. Chances are you’ll need to get in touch with other bona fide professionals, such as home inspectors, builders, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and other specialists.
Ideally, real estate agents should have a couple of names ready on their speed dial in case the need arises. But if they say yes to your question, don’t hesitate to follow it up. Ask if they have previously worked with these people, why they would recommend their services, and if they are affiliated with these professionals. Who knows? You might be potentially working with their family or paying premium for the services you need with you being totally unaware.
Add your own questions to the list and don’t forget to ask if your candidates can provide references. You can also double-check their credentials online and even read reviews and testimonials from past clients.
Find the right real estate to help you explore homes for sale in Las Vegas
You might find my expertise as a military specialist helpful to reach your real estate goals here in Las Vegas. Talk to me today at 702.419.3213 or send an email to loralee(dotted)wood(at)cbvegas(dotted)com if you think we can be a great match!