What questions should you ask your realtor? We have the answers.
Buying a piece of real estate – everything from your first home to a commercial building – may seem like a daunting proposition but it is not if you merely ask the right questions of the real estate broker and of yourself. Here are a few of the most important questions to answer before you hire a realtor:
1. I need to hire a realtor. Why should I hire you?
The answer is simple – honesty, integrity and trust. If an agent can’t handle this softball question without batting an eye, run as fast as you can and find a different one. The bottom line is that a real estate sale is a transaction that needs to benefit all parties involved or it will not be successful.
2. What do you understand the ultimate goal of my transaction to be?
A good broker will ask a number of questions of a potential buyer or seller. The goal is to narrow down the aims so that the goals of each party are aligned. In particular, both of you should agree on whether the final price is the critical issue or the rapidity of the sale is more important.
3. What does your sales network look like?
In other words, how long have you been “in the game” and how much exposure will I get if I give you the listing? This is primarily a seller’s question but it is still relevant to a buyer. A broker with a limited list of contacts is simply not as desirable as one with multiple avenues of contact.
4. Is your license in good standing?
This is a no-brainer question and should immediately be followed up with a question about any complaints that may have been proffered to the BBB or the local Chamber of Commerce. Do not accept an equivocation on this point and independently check the answers yourself.
5. What differentiates you from the competition?
In a nutshell, a realtor should be friendly, experienced in the local market, superior at negotiation, good communicators, readily available by phone or e-mail and quick to return messages as well as analytical and ultimately successful at getting results. A tall order but one that can be filled.
6. What is the advertising plan?
Properties must be actively marketed or they will simply not sell. It is also a reason to not skimp on paying the usual commission rate. The goal is to align the interests of the selling agent with your own. In the end, it really is a win-win situation though it may seem to cost you a few more dollars.
7. How often will I hear from you?
Ironically or not, nothing says more than silence – in real estate as in every other facet of human interaction. A real estate agent should be in contact with their clients on a weekly basis at least and far more often if there is active interest in the property. Settle for nothing else or find yourself another agent.
For more specific information on buying or selling real estate in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, please contact Steve Lehmeyer and his team at Transition Realty. Find us online TransitionRealty.com or reached directly at 612.298.1900.