After the rush of Spring Breakers have bought all the Padre Island trucker hats, cleared the convenient stores of canned beer, and left their vacation rental beds unmade, March is a popular month for both buyers and sellers to get a SPRING in their step. We love our tourists…but we really love our permanent residents. If you’re considering purchasing or listing your home this season, you’ve likely started looking for the right agent to represent you. But, with all there is on the World Wide Web, friend of friend’s referrals, Facebook reviews, etc. you may have found yourself dizzied with choices. It can be difficult to know whom to trust with one of the most complex financial decisions of your life. It’s completely normal to interview several agents. Here are some crucial questions to ask so your real estate agent can meet your expectations in terms of pricing, timing, and overall experience.
- What is their marketing strategy? All agents should be able to answer this question immediately. Do they host open houses, do they create custom flyers, do they provide feedback and advice? Find the agent whose vision matches yours.
- What is their listing “prep” look like? Do they offer advice on staging, de-clutter, creating curb appeal, do a walk-through with you to discuss how to get it ready to sell?
- Can they provide references? There’s nothing more comforting than a long list of past clients who would speak highly of them.
- What method do they use to price a listing? This sounds like an obvious suggestion, but an overpriced home may not sell as quickly as one that is priced right. A well-priced home is more likely to move, get multiple offers, and get the sales price both seller and buyer desire.
- What is their fee, what does it involve, and what is their success rate? Just because they list a home doesn’t mean they sell it. And although agents cannot create buyers out of thin air, the more an agent does to honor their marketing plan, the higher the success rate.
- Do they provide comparable market analysis for you to consider a proper offer price?
- What is their schedule and what kind of availability do they have? If you can only schedule showings after work, is your agent able to show after 5 pm? Do they work on the weekends?
- Which neighborhood do they specialize in? Even here in the Coastal Bend, each area is different in terms of both buying/selling trends and also required contract documents.
- How many clients are you representing right now? There isn’t a magic number for this – But you probably want an agent who’s busy but not too Anyone juggling much more than 10-12 active clients might be too busy to provide you with high-quality, one-on-one service most buyers will want.
- How many homes did you help buyers close in the past year? This question is specific, because you want someone who successfully helps people buy homes.
And finally, a question for either. “How will you keep in contact with me during the buying and selling process, and how often?” Clients deserve the utmost of customer service, and ensuring you hear from your agent when you want and as often as you want is critical. Everyone communicates differently, and your agent should be comfortable with whatever your preference is. Remember, they work for YOU.