Why Should I Use A Realtor?

 
Questions to ask your realtor about selling your home:
 
Are you a full-time professional real estate agent?
 
Knowing whether or not your agent practices full-time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts.
 
How long have you worked full-time in real estate?
 
The number of years a person has been in business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect from him/her, but this question is a good starting point for your discussion.
 
What professional designations do you have?
 
Just like length of time in business, designations do not determine level of service, but can help you determine how committed a person is to his/her career.
 
Do you have a personal assistant, team, or staff to handle different parts of the transaction?
 
It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them. As their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more people. You may want to know which team member(s) will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with an agent.
 
Do you have a website that will list my home?
 
Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because the internet is available 24 hours a day and can be accessed at home. Make sure your home will be listed online either on an agent's personal site or on his/her company site. By searching your agent's website, you can get a clear idea of what is available online.
 
How will you keep in contact with me and how often?
 
Some agents fax and call while others prefer email. Some choose to communicate daily; others keep in touch weekly. Asking this question can help you reconcile your needs with your agent's system.
 
What will you do — compared to other agents — to ensure that I receive top dollar for my home?
 
Sometimes a real estate professional's unique marketing method can make all the difference in whether or not a home sells quickly.
 
Will you give me the names of past clients as referrals?
 
Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to learn how a realtor works, and whether or not his/her style is compatible with your own.
 
Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?
 
In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee, but that does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect.
 
How will you get paid, how is the payment structured, and will I receive these details in writing?
 
In many cases, the seller pays all agent commissions. However, sometimes there may be fees — like administrative or special service fees — that are not paid by the seller. These will be charged to the client. Be aware of these charges before signing any agreement. Before finalizing your agreement with an agent, ask for an estimate of costs.
 
How will you develop pricing strategies for my home?
 
Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Access to current property information is essential and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent how he/she created the market analysis and whether "For Sale by Owner," foreclosed, and bank-owned homes were included.
 
What will you do to sell my home? Who will determine where and when my home is promoted? Who pays for the advertising?
 
Your real estate agent should present you with a clear plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. The plan may include internet/website postings, magazine ads, open houses, and more. If there are other forms of marketing available, but not specified in the plan, ask who pays for those. You can also request samples or case studies of the marketing strategies your agent proposes.

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