10 Critical Questions to Ask When Hiring an Agent

10 Critical Questions to Ask When Hiring an Agent – Naples Real Estate

Our selling season is approaching quickly and people are often wondering, “What should I be looking for when hiring my next real estate agent?”  We have compiled a special report just for you that details ten critical questions to ask when hiring an agent. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, make sure you vet your agent before hiring him or her to make sure they can get the best deal for you! Buying a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make; take the time to make sure that the real estate agent you hire is the best for you.

1. “Are you a full-time agent?”
There are many part-time real estate agents, especially in a resort market like ours. You should only be looking for a full-time committed real estate agent who relies completely on the income they earn by selling real estate to support themselves and their family. An agent who also earns income outside the real estate industry will not feel a financial hit if they do not sell your home the same as they would if they relied completely on the income of selling your home to support themselves financially. Some part-timers are just dabbling in the business to make a little extra money or because they aren’t good enough to make a living full-time in the real estate industry. You need someone who lives, eats and breathes real estate.

2. “How long have you been practicing?”
In a softening market, you’ll probably want someone who has been a licensed agent for at least eight to ten years. Finding someone with experience will help you sell or buy a home in any type of market. Also, ask your potential agent how long he or she has been an agent in your local market.  Markets vary from location to location; it is best to find someone that knows the ins-and-outs of the market you are looking to buy or sell.

3. “How many homes have you sold in the last consecutive 12 months?”
This is an important question because it demonstrates an agent’s track record. Make sure the potential agent can back up his or her answer to this question with documented proof. A good starting point to separate effective agents from ineffective agents is to see if they have sold over 20 homes in the last year.

4. “Does the agent have a clear and defined Plan of Action that specifically states exactly what that agent will do to sell your home?”
By asking this question, you can find out if your potential agent relies on passive marketing techniques or active marketing techniques. Passive marketing is where an agent lists the home, puts a sign in the yard, enters it into MLS, runs a newspaper ad or two, sits floor-time and waits for a buyer to call. Active marketing is where an agent aggressively spends their time looking for and talking to people who want to buy and sell homes. There are a host of systems specifically designed to find and locate buyers. Make sure your agent specifically identifies the systems they use.

5. “How well does the agent know their Market stats?”
Going in depth on the numbers that make up a real estate market can help an agent fully a market. This can lead to thousands of dollars in savings! Some important statistics are: the number of homes on the market, the number of homes sold in the past 30 days, the average time on sale for a home and how many months of inventory are currently available to by. This data is required to accurately price and strategically present the property to create a successful sale.

6. “Does the agent work alone or does the agent have a staff of professionals assisting throughout the entire sales process?”
With all the activities required to get a home sold and closed in today’s market, will the agent get bogged down with the day to day office activities? Make sure your agent has a paid staff including a listing manager a closing manager, a receptionist and an office manager. Having specialized positions will make the process run much smoother. This also allows your agent to be out generating buyer interest instead of in the office processing paperwork.

7. “Is the agent involved with continuous, ongoing training along with regular practicing and updating of their skills?”
The real estate industry is constantly changing. This is why it is important to find an agent that is dedicated to perfecting their current skills and acquiring the newest strategies to best sell your home. It also shows that the potential agent is committed to finding the best systems to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price.

8. “Does the agent represent themselves as a million dollar or multi-million dollar producer?”
With the median home price approaching $250,000 dollars over the past several years, a million dollar producer would only need 4 sales for the year and a multi-million dollar producer would only need 8 sales per year. Too many agents actually believe people are impressed with these titles. As a seller, your concern should be that the agent you hire has a consistent track record that represents their ability to get homes sold.

9. “What makes the agent different? Why should I list my home with you?”
This question really gets to the core of the agents ability to communicate and demonstrate how they can make your home stand out from the competition. The answer to this question requires some critical thinking and creativity on the potential agent’s part; they can’t just give you numbers or a canned answer. When an agent has a confident, impressive answer to this question it shows that they take their job seriously and are proud of their work. This will translate to a stress-free selling process.

10. “What is the agent’s definition of “work”?
Over the past five to six years, an agent did not have to “work” to make a reasonable living. With the drastic changes in the market, hundreds of thousands of agents who never learned how to work are in a panic and are paralyzed with fear about what to do to get a home sold. We know what it takes to sell your home.

We at the Saad Team will be happy to answer these questions for you if you are trying to find an agent. If you or someone you know has any real estate needs, or are looking to find a real estate agent to sell your home, please give us a call at 239.659.5145 or email us at sold@thesaadteam.com. Thanks and we look forward to speaking with you!

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