Dear Future Home Seller,
If you’re in the market to sell your home, there’s something you should know. Real Estate Agents Are NOT All The Same!
Your decision to place your home for sale involves more than simply putting a sign in the yard, putting it in the MLS and waiting for the sales proceeds check.
Hiring the wrong agent can mean the difference between making or losing money… Being a Seller or a Sitter… Selling quickly or taking a long time… A happy, successful trouble-free experience or a living nightmare!
Real Estate is constantly changing, so unless you have experience interviewing people (and real estate agents in particular), perhaps you won’t always know what relevant questions to ask. Further, you won’t always know what answer will best suit your needs for choosing the best agent to list your home.
So here’s a list of 14 important and insightful questions you should ask ANY Real estate agent BEFORE you sign anything.
Question #1: How Long Have You Been Practicing Real Estate? +
This question will reveal more than just years practicing. You want to delve down into the number of transactions, average price range, specialized areas and types of homes they’ve purchased or sold. You also want to know how productive they’ve been in each year in practice.
You don’t want to know just how many years they have been in the business, but how successful have they been in the current market year. Ask how many houses have they sold last year and the year before. You want to know what kind of experience they have that will apply directly to your real estate situation. You don’t want anyone practicing on you! Make sure you hire some who has successfully helped sellers over and over again.
Question #2: What Qualifications Do You Have To Sell Real Estate? +
This question looks for their overall commitment and dedication to building his/her personal skills. If they’re not willing to commit to improving themselves, they may not commit to your needs and satisfaction either.
First, look at their overall education. How often do they invest in improving their skills and keeping up with technology and other industry trends?
Experience should also carry over to negotiating and financial skills. And don’t forget the ancillary experience required for real estate.
Question #3: Tell Me About Your Personal Real Estate Operation? +
This is an open-ended question designed to get a Realtor talking about his or her St. Louis business. You want to know how much they’ve invested into their business as it relates to giving you competent and quality service. Do they have a team or are they a single agent trying to do everything by themselves? Do they specialist in listings or are they busy driving buyers around all week and don’t have the proper time to focus on your listing? Do they have team members to answer your call when they are not in the office? How can they be reached? How often will they communicate with you?
Here’s what you’re looking for: The more an agent invests into his or her own success, office, and systems, the more he/she will be able to commit to you.
Question #4: Can You Give Me A List Of Happy Clients? +An agent who doesn’t accumulate a list of testimonials of Happy Clients either doesn’t do much business, or isn’t providing the kind of service or follow-through you need. An agent with a book of satisfied client’s year-after-year is an agent that is successful in getting their sellers successfully and happily from the listing phase to the closed phase and has the repeat happy clients and their testimonials to back it up their proven results.
Question #5: Do You Have A Formal And Written Marketing Plan For Selling Homes? +
Your agent’s marketing plan needs to be extensive – not entering your home on MLS, on a couple of websites and hoping it sells.
The key to selling a home is CONSISTENCY. Your home must be consistently marketed to those people capable of buying. This cannot be accomplished if an agent doesn’t have a diversified arsenal of marketing strategies. Look for a tech savvy agent that knows the web and knows how to get you seen and advertised on hundreds and hundreds of sites! Look for consistency and persistence in his or her marketing plan. Look for an agent that does more than place a sign in the yard and then disappear waiting for a contract. Look for an agent with an excellent reputation in the St. Louis marketplace and that has lots of connections. You need someone that works it!
Question #6: What Systems Do You Have For Tracking My Home Listing On A Regular Basis? +
If you’re a seller, you want to price your home correctly. Look for an agent that knows the market and can recommend pricing that will get you sold. What is the agent’s follow up system? How often will they communicate with you? How will they get back to you on feedback and how often and via what method? Can they tell you how many calls, how many website hits you got on your home this week? What marketing strategies did they use? How often will they update the market analysis to see what else is selling and how it compares to yours?
If an agent does not have specific systems for measuring and reporting these items, perhaps you should consider someone else.
Question #7: What extra services do You Provide For Me? +
Agents that have a successful real estate practice, invest their own money back in their listings. If an agent has a small practice, make sure they aren’t short-changing you by not investing over and above in your and your listing or doing things on the cheap. Will they provide 1 hour of free staging to help you get your home ready for the market? What extra steps do they take on internet marketing besides the MLS? Do they use QR Codes? Do they offer a personalized property website just about your home with all the relevant details available 24.7 on the web? Who takes the real estate photos? What do the marketing materials look like that will be placed in your home?
You want an agent that goes above and beyond and gives you the most professional, the highest quality service and products to get your home sold the fastest.
Question #8: Can You Refer Me To A Reputable Mortgage Lender, Banker, Appraiser or Real Estate Lawyer? +
This question reveals how active the agent is, and how well connected they are professionally. At some point in the buying or selling process, you will need the services of a reputable, competent lender, appraiser, title company, building inspector, handyman, painter, flooring person, electrician, plumber, etc. If your agent is active, committed, and diligent with their practice, he or she will be able to give you their preferred vendors that they know who do a great job at a great price and they are willing to share those gems with you.
Question #9: What Percentage Of Your Business Comes By Referral? +
Here’s the “$64,000 question!” Competent, well-known agents get a large part of their business from satisfied past clients and members of their sphere of influence.
If an agent gets less than 25% of new business through referrals, it may be because: 1) The quality of service they offer is not up to standard (hence, people don’t feel compelled to refer to them after a transaction); 2) They lack the marketing experience or skills required to market for referrals (which means they may not bring strong skills to your transaction); or 3) They don’t cultivate contacts in their business (which means they won’t have many people to speak with about your home).
Clearly, the best way past clients show their gratitude for outstanding service is by referring their family, friends, and associates. Ask, what percentage of your business comes from Past Clients?
Question #10: How Many People Do You Speak With Each Day About Real Estate? +This question will tell you how connected an agent is, and how active they’ll “talk-up” your home to buyers, or find a home for you by talking to other agents. Your agent should be well connected and well known in the industry. If not, they may not be very active. You are looking to make sure you have hired a full-time professional that is working this market day in and day and has resources to get your home sold!
Question #11: Do You Personally Spend Money Advertising Your Services Or Homes For Sale? +You want to know if your agent puts their money where their mouth is? How much does it cost them personally to get your listing on the market? If an agent is not as busy, you want to learn their commitment to “put their money where their mouth is” when it comes to marketing your home.
Question #12: What training do you have in Negotiation Skills and Will You Personally Handle Contract Negotiations For Us? +Surprisingly, many agents simply submit or receive offers, and act as a conduit between you and the buyer (or seller). That’s not representation. That’s an order taker and that’s not good enough. You want an agent who has great negotiation skills. You want an agent who’s committed to your interests. You want an agent that has had extensive training in negotiation and even a passion for it! Successfully putting a contract together and keeping it together is all about negotiation skills and problem solving. If an agent isn’t great at that, move on. More than anything, you need an agent that is resourceful and that’s seeks solutions. There are myriad of issues that arise from start to finish of each transaction. That’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s when you’ll see your Realtor either really earn or screw up your home sale, so that’s when you will need a powerful and resourceful problem solver in your court. Choose wisely.
Question #13: What is your response time on phone calls, texts or emails? +A great agent will be extremely fast on phone calls, texts and emails because they are working this business day in and day out. They are a true professional and they are reachable. They are responsive. They have their phone glued to their hip. Real Estate moves fast and you need an agent that is responsive and fast in responding to your needs, to offers, questions and concerns.
Question #14: Do You Have an Easy Exit Guarantee? +
Some agents will give you a blank stare at this question. If they do, you might want to consider taking your business elsewhere. Why? You need to know if your interests are aligned. Is your agent willing to stake his or her successful outcome with yours? Do they believe in themselves, in your listing and all the wonderful things you just heard about in their listing presentation? Bet on someone that bets on herself!
Confident, smart agents will offer an easy exit guarantee on their services because they are confident they can perform for you. They have the experience and results in the industry. They are committed to you and your success and they have a high sense of integrity and a great personal work ethic. Agents on the cutting edge of marketing believe in their ability and guarantee their services.
There Are “Real Estate Agents”… And Then There Are Committed Professionals. Which One Do YOU Want Representing Your Interests?
The answers to the above questions should give you a good feel for the commitment and competency of the Realtor you are thinking about using. Remember, all agents are not the same!
If you are ready to make your move, Choose Anne!
Anne is a dedicated Listing Specialist and the Team Leader for The Anne Dunajcik Group. Anne is one of the Top Real Estate Agents in St. Louis. She stands ready to answer all of the above questions and show you how she can successfully, confidently and happily get your home sold!
This is not Anne’s 1st rodeo. If you were hiring a person to do Lasik surgery on your eyes, would you hire someone who just does a couple of operations a year or someone who does this day in and day out for over 27 years with great results? The answer is clear. Choose a true professional. Choose Anne!
Anne has been successfully helping St. Louisians place that sold sign in their yard. Anne will help you smoothly navigate the real estate waters and bring you safely and successfully to the closing table. Choose Anne!
There’s a difference between agents who simply sell real estate, and those who commit to whatever it takes to serve clients beyond their expectations. The Anne Dunajcik Group has an awesome team that knows every aspect of the process and guides you safely to the closing table. You will work exclusively with Anne, but have no fear there is full-time, full service team to back both you and Anne. The entire team is 1st rate and they’re there to make sure you get service above and beyond. Anne has a full-time Marketing Internet Specialist, Full-time Buyer’s Specialists, Graphic Designer, Courier, Contract to Close Specialist, Professional Photographer, Professional Stager and more! Anne specializes only in you – the Seller. She is a Listing Specialist and works full-time and exclusively with Sellers. Anne goes the extra mile for her clients and delivers top notch personalized attention, quick service and raving fan satisfied results!