Ever wonder what to ask a Realtor®? Whether you’re planning on buying or selling your property, asking the real estate agents you are potentially going to hire important questions upfront can save you time, money and hassle.
Here’s a look at the questions to ask:
- How long have you been in the business?
First, you’ll want to ascertain the agent’s experience. Ask about their successful sales. Have they helped anyone in a situation like yours? You need to know if the agent works part-time or full-time. Part-time agents might not be able to provide the service that someone who is working in the industry day in and day out can offer. Full time agents like me keep abreast of industry developments and community intel.
- Find out about the agent’s geographic areas and types of properties they handle.
Neighborhood expertise is key, especially here in Napa and Sonoma Valley. Being a long-time resident here gives me access to amazing properties that other agents might not even know about. Plus, I know how to sell properties here. There’s an art to it. You can easily see the communities an agent focuses on just by checking out their website. Social media is becoming more and more popular among agents. I share information and details on my Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and YouTube.
- How does the agent communicate with customers?
You want to choose an agent who responds quickly. A few hours can mean the difference between an accepted offer and a missed opportunity. That’s why communication is key in the real estate industry. Let the agent know what method of communication works best for you: email, text, phone or fax. If you are out of town, communication is even more important..
- How about references?
You can find out so much information by talking to an agent’s recent buyers or sellers. I have a list of past and existing clients to share with potential ones as needed. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask what portion of business comes from referrals or repeat business. If an agent mainly works on referrals or repeat business like I do, that’s a positive indicator that prior clients were satisfied.
- How much will it cost me to sell this property?
While buyers often don’t pay commission directly, most sellers do and the costs can vary from agent to agent or transaction to transaction. A reputable agent should be happy to share with you a breakdown of estimated closing costs. Sellers will also want to know where the property will be listed, including vitally important internet presence.
These questions can help you get a sense of the agent’s process and personality, which is important in any business dealings. Both buyers and sellers should follow their intuition when making their final selection.
Check out a previous blog of mine where I also cover what to ask a Realtor®. If you’re looking to sell in Sonoma or Napa Valley, I would be honored to add your listing to my comprehensive website. If you’re considering buying in the area, I’m happy to arrange tours for you of any of my amazing properties. Call me at 707-953-9456 or contact me via email. I’m always available to answer any questions you might have before you hire a Realtor®.