What Percentage Of Your Business Is Working With Home Buyers
While most agents help both home buyers and sellers, the very best tend to specialize in one or the other, since the specialities are quite different. To buy a home, you should team up with a buyers agentsomeone who specializes in working with home buyers. A listing agent, by comparison, focuses on working with home sellers. Look for an agent with a buyer-to-seller client ratio of at least 7 to 3, or ideally higher.
What Is Your Experience In The Neighbourhoods Im Interested In
Part of the process of buying a home involves evaluating neighbourhoods and communities and your real estate agent should be the quarterback in that process. Experienced agents can tell you how a neighbourhood is changing, comment on the quality of the schools and know where to find the closest grocery store and park. Better yet: in your initial meeting, they should ask questions about the type of lifestyle you want to live and suggest neighbourhoods you havent yet considered.
Be Clear About Your Expectations And Needs
You are hiring a real estate professional, not a psychic. You cannot expect your Realtor® to immediately understand your needs and your preferences.
The best thing you can do before working with a real estate agent is to determine what you want out of your new home. This means calculating how much house you can afford, what area you want to live in, and what home necessities that you must have.
Stating these goals and explaining which parts you are flexible on can help your Realtor® narrow down their listings to find a few ideal matches. This way you wont have to look all across town at houses that arent right for you.
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Practice Open House Etiquette When Working With A Real Estate Agent
In some instances, open houses are mostly meant for area Realtors®, they are referred to as a brokers open, and it is unexpected for potential buyers to walk in. Generally though, publicly advertised open houses truly are open. Talk to your Realtor®, some Realtors® may not want you to go without them.
If your agent is good with you going to open houses, ask them for a few of their business cards to keep on hand in the event that you visit an open house without them. If you visit a house that you like, hand your Realtors® card to the listing agent. That way, the agent wont try to call you instead.
Also, tell your Realtor® about the house and let them do the researchthey work for you.
How Long Do You Usually Work With Buyers From The First Home You See Together To The Closing Table
Though few buyers find their dream home immediately, your real estate agent can play a huge role in the length of time it takes to find your perfect house. Many things factor into how long it takes to find a home however, you should be wary if your agent habitually works with clients for six months or longer.
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How To Interview A Realtor
First, know that there are different options for interviewing Realtors. You could schedule an interview:
Over the phone In person Virtually via Zoom or Skype
You might aim to interview at least three agents for comparisons sake, though you may choose to interview more or fewer.
Create a list of interview questions beforehand if youre short on time. And it may help to group your questions together so that by the time the interview is over, you understand:
What the agents personality and character are like What kind of services they offer and what experience they bring to the table How much youll pay for their help
Questions To Ask A Realtor When Selling
Many homeowners dont know what to ask a realtor when selling.
So theyll ask a few generic questions and make sure they have a good feeling about them.
While having a good feeling about the real estate agent youre selling with is important, the questions you ask and the answers you get are much more important.
Your real estate agent can literally make or break your sale.
Dont risk hiring the wrong person because you didnt ask the right questions.
And dont skip the interview process just because you know them or think you can trust them.
Here are the best questions to ask a realtor when selling.
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When Is The Best Time To Sell A Home
Early spring and summer, especially June, is a great time to sell a home.
Research shows that home sales in May, June, July, and August account for 40% of total annual sales volume.
Overall, home sales are still pretty good through early fall, so it wouldnât be a bad idea to sell a home during this period, either.
However, home sales drop once winter hits. January is the worst time to sell a home, as market activity is much lower.
Take a look at the number of homes sold per month in 2018 to get a better idea of when to sell your home.
Brass Tacks And Next Steps
What kind of guarantees do I get?
In general, you should watch out for agents who guarantee that theyll place you in a home or sell your home in a specific number of days. An honest agent wont promise what they cant deliver on.
How long do I have to review the documents before I sign anything?
You need to take your time with this decision and your agent should not pressure you into signing anything before youre ready to start.
How much do you charge and how flexible is that?
Real estate agents generally work on commission. The commission pays for your agents assistance in pricing your home, marketing it to the masses, and negotiating with the other parties in order to get you the best possible price and terms, among other services. It covers the listing agent and buyers agent fees .
According to our Agent Commissions Calculator, the national average commission is 5.8%, but theres a ton of variability here. To access commission data specific to your area, consult HomeLights commission calculator and enter your city. You need to end this interview with a clear understanding of the agents cost structure.
This is also the time to bring up your own personal budget. How much are you willing to spend and on what? Both parties need to be clear on the financials to see if theres a fit.
Can you send over some client references?
If I pick you, whats the first thing we need to do to get started?
Questions To Ask The Realtor During Your Interview
Heres our list of the best interview questions to ask realtors in your interview:
- How long have you been working in real estate?
- How familiar are you with the area this home is in?
- Are you an independent realtor or are you a part of an agency?
- Have you sold a property like mine before?
- How many other clients are you working with right now?
- Do you have a specialty?
- What is your plan to market my property?
- Do you have any references or prior clients I can call?
For more tips and advice on what to ask your realtor, check out some of these questions too.
Who Will Be My Primary Point Of Contact
Communication is important, and bad communication is one of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a so-so agent. Who will you be able to contact and when? Home sales happen very quickly and taking three days to respond to a text message or email is unacceptableespecially if youve been led to expect a three-hour response window.
Many top-notch agents have a team that supports them. Just make sure youll have one dedicated person who will answer your questions whenever you have themand make sure you get a guaranteed response time.
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How Long Have You Been A Full
Okay,this isnt the time to give a big break to your buddys cousin who just got his real estate license. Or someone you barely know from a small group. A great agent usually has been working full-time in your market for at least four years. So if the agents response is, Well, real estate is my side job. My day job is selling encyclopedias, then you can politely inform them youre going with someone else.
An agent with four years of experience has learned things you can only learn on the job as a full-time real estate professional. If you find someone whos been working in your market for 10 years or more, thats even better. You know you have someone with a track record of success.
Location is also important. If youre looking to buy a house in Nevada, it does you no good to have an agent who specializes in Wisconsin. This is just common sense. An agent whos established in your home market knows how much houses have been selling for during the past few years, which schools are the best, and all the other quirks.
Ask About Your Point Of Contact
If you choose to work with a high-producing agent who leads a large team or passes tasks off to team members or assistants, you may not always end up speaking to your agent directly. The downside can be the potential for miscommunication, but generally speaking, agents who have lots of listings are probably successful because theyre good at their job.
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Can You Summarize Your Background Bio And The Type Of Real Estate Work You Typically Do
This is standard interview territory, but its important to cover. Here are things to make sure the agent touches on:
Pricing Your Home Correctly
You really only get one shot to price your home right. Prospective agents should provide you a CMA that will justify their opinion of your homes value and why they suggest a certain listing price or range. This is as much art as it is science. Interviewing multiple agents will help you compare this data and the arguments, and make your own very informed decision.
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Realtor Vs Real Estate Agent
Not every real estate agent is a Realtor. Realtors are licensed agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Members pledge to abide by the association’s standards and code of ethics.
All real estate agents must be licensed in the states where they work and abide by national and state laws. Licensure requires agents to complete a certain amount of coursework and pass an exam. Check with your state’s real estate commission website to find out if a particular agent is licensed.
» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers
How To Interview A Realtor When Selling Your Home
Kyle Hiscock | Re/Max Realty Group
Have questions about buying or selling a home?
How to Interview a Realtor When Selling Your Home
When selling your home, choosing the Realtor who will represent your best interests is one of the most important and one of the first steps in the process. Unfortunately, many sellers do not understand how important this is or believe that to be the case. There are specific things that you should expect from your real estate agent when selling your home.
A piece of advice if you are thinking about selling your home, do not hire a Realtor because they are just your friend or because they are a colleagues spouse. Every Realtor is different, period. There are many consumers who believe every Realtor is the same and they all do the same things to sell homes, which is the farthest from the truth! Each Realtor runs their business differently, advertises in different places, and utilizes different sales techniques.
It is very easy to obtain a real estate license, however, being a top producing Realtor is not easy. In many real estate markets, the 80/20 theory is accurate and in others it is not! The 80/20 theory is simply put that 80 percent of the local real estate business is done by 20 percent of the local real estate agents. This may seem shocking, but in some communities, the ratio can actually be closer to 95/5, 95 percent of the real estate sales being done by 5 percent of the local real estate agents!
- Do you utilize social media?
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What Area & Price Range Of Homes Do Your Buyer Clients Tend To Be In
Why are you asking this question?
You will be looking in a certain price range of homes that could be below the median price range, in the median price range, or above the median price range for particular areas.
Each of these price ranges and areas will have different things to consider. This can be that the area or price range is more or less competitive, there may be more or less room to negotiate, who’s paying closing costs in that price range, etc.
You are wanting to make sure the REALTOR you choose is very familiar with the price range and area you are looking at.
An ideal response would be…
Yes, that they are very familiar with your price range of homes and the areas you may be considering.
To follow up on that question you may want to follow with:what do we need to keep in mind or consider in that price range and area?. The REALTORS response will give you some insight into their experience in that price range and in those areas.
How Long Does It Typically Take Buyers Youve Worked With To Find And Purchase A Home
Buying a house takes time. In general it takes an average of 30 to 60 days to shop for a house, and 14 to 60 days to go from contract to closing. However, this number varies widely from area to area, and its crucial that you have a handle on how long itll take you. Yet you also dont want an agent who drags his feet unnecessarily. Translation: If an agent says it typically takes six months to a year to buy a house, thats a red flag you could end up frustrated.
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How Will You Negotiate On Our Behalf
A great question to ask when choosing a Real Estate Agent to represent you is how will you negotiate on our behalf?
Whether your Agent is helping you buy or sell, they will want to have strong negotiating skills. Chances are they have already started negotiating with you since you met them.
Buying and selling real estate involves professionalism and a win-win attitude. If you negotiate to be the only winner you are doing yourself and your client’s a disservice. A win-win situation is different for every buyer and seller… some will be more likely to give, and some will be more likely to take. It’s about reading the situation, analyzing it, and determining the next best move.
Who Do You Think The Buyer For My Home Will Be
This is a great marketing question to ask a real estate agent.
The type of buyer for any given home can be different depending on the area, property type, price range, selling features, etc.
For example, a buyer for a condo in San Francisco is probably going to be different than a buyer for a single-family residence in a suburban neighborhood.
A buyer for a home listed in a retirement community is going to be different than a home for sale in Downtown Austin.
The answer youre looking for is something specific.
Of course, your buyer can be anyone, but every home will appeal to a larger demographic more than others.
A generic answer most likely means the agent doesnt know who theyre selling to.
This doesnt mean you wont get a great offer, but it does mean their marketing plan wont maximize the opportunity.
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Will You Lower Your Commission
This question is putting your potential realtor to the test.
You want to see how the agent responds.
The ideal response is an immediate reply explaining why that realtor is worth the commission.
You want to hear them put up a fight.
The response you dont want to hear is an immediate yes, or a very weak reply.
Id consider this a red flag.
Because if that realtor cant defend their financial interest, they wont know how to defend yours.
How Much Of The Sale Price Do I Get
How much you actually get when selling your home depends on a lot of factors, but in general, expect somewhere between 90â92% of the sale price.
That usually includes 5â6% in realtor commissions and 2â4% in taxes and fees.
If you still owe money on your old mortgage, you will get less.
Youâll also get less if you agreed to pay for any of the buyerâs closing costs.
Buyerâs closing costs can add on another 2â5% of the sale price.
On closing day, your closing agent will distribute the funds to all the necessary parties. Theyâll pay out your profits via a check or wire transfer.