Most of us think homes and finances are the two most important factors when buying or selling a house. But there is a third, vital part of this picture.
Finding the perfect realtor is one of the smartest ways to help you get one step closer to that dream home. There is no shortage of choice. And there is a way to sift through the options and find the right realtor services.
Whether you're buying or selling, in this article, we'll share 13 essential questions to ask a prospective realtor. Use this list to help you find the perfect match, and you'll be one step ahead in your real estate journey.
1. What Experience and Expertise Do You Offer?
One of the most essential qualities in any realtor is their professional experience and expertise. You don't want someone who has only started in this industry.
You need someone who can hit the ground running, giving you an advantage. Ask about their experience and look for detailed replies outlining their industry knowledge.
Talk about whether they specialise in specific areas such as property types.
Check that they have the relevant licencing, too, as well as professional certifications. It will offer a glimpse into their commitment as a realtor to learn and evolve continually.
2. Are You Full-Time or Part-Time?
Don't hesitate to ask a realtor if they work full or part-time. It will impact your experience throughout your buying or selling journey.
A full-time realtor will be more immersed in the day-to-day work, and that's important. It means that they are available five days a week to do property showings, and they'll be quick to respond to problems or questions.
However, depending on your goals, a part-time realtor might better fit your circumstances. For example, you might encounter someone who works evenings, matching the timescales you need.
Always think about availability and your property deadlines when choosing a realtor. Their working hours are relevant to you, so ask the question upfront.
3. What's Your Marketing Strategy?
Get any potential realtor to talk in-depth about their marketing strategy. It will be a crucial aspect of what you need from realtor services if you sell a house.
Ensure they discuss online listings, professional photography, home staging, open houses and direct mail campaigns. Ask how they target the right audience online and in person.
Find out if they use modern marketing methods like social media and convenient online booking methods for prospective buyers. A tailored strategy shows they have plenty of flexibility and dedication to get a successful result.
4. Can You Provide References?
References are the best way to get a feel for how reliable and effective a realtor will be in helping you buy or sell a home. They'll tell you whether that person is professional, helpful and goes the extra mile.
A reference will shed light on whether their experience matches what they claim and their effectiveness with essential realtor skills like negotiation.
They'll also provide helpful insights into the realtor's strengths and weaknesses. This will help you find one that's a good fit for your preferences.
Remember that each client's experience is unique and won't necessarily match yours. But by looking at patterns, you'll get a good feel for the service you'll receive from that realtor.
5. What's Your Local Market Knowledge?
Whether buying or selling, you'll gain an advantage if you have a realtor who knows the local area.
They will have helpful background information on local property values and whether a house is set at the right asking price. They will know the community, amenities, and whether it's an up-and-coming neighbourhood.
They'll also be able to provide practical information on things like local property laws (for example, development regulations). A realtor well-versed in local market trends will help you put together winning offers or an effective negotiation technique.
6. How Many Clients Do You Have Currently?
An in-demand realtor is good because it shows they are effective.
However, you don't want to choose someone with limited capacity and who is available because they are busy with other clients. So it's an important question to ask right at the start.
If they have high client numbers, you might start to see issues like delayed replies to your calls or emails, which could be a problem. If you're concerned about their availability, ask if they feel they can handle your account.
If you're connecting with a business, ask whether they have plenty of realtors on the team so you aren't left waiting for answers or action.
7. How Will You Communicate With Me?
Communication sits at the heart of all successful realtor-client relationships. Ask how the realtor will communicate with you and ensure you stay updated.
There's no correct answer here; it's best to find one that is a good fit for you. Perhaps you prefer digesting lengthier updates via email. Or maybe you'd like a prompt but swift phone call instead.
Use this opportunity to tell the realtor what you prefer and whether they can meet your expectations.
Good communication that works for both parties will help you progress faster, whether buying or selling a property. You're less likely to run into problems when you're both aligned and well-informed.
8. What Are Your Fees?
By discussing fees upfront, you'll avoid surprises down the line. Realtor fees vary based on the services provided, so always get a breakdown of their prices to understand what you get for that money.
Some realtors charge a fixed percentage, while others offer a sliding scale. Ensure you're clear about what this means to you in the long term, and ensure you factor that fee into your house move.
Ask whether you must pay additional fees for extras like photography, online listings or legal support.
9. Can You Explain Current Real Estate Market Conditions?
Dramatic real estate market changes could make or break your house move.
When talking to prospective realtors, make sure they understand broader economic conditions and how they impact the local real estate market. They will help you navigate any choppy waters.
Ensure they can talk confidently about house prices, interest rates and inventory levels. Understanding whether you're in a buyer's or seller's market greatly influences your negotiating tactics, so always stay in the know.
10. What's Your Negotiation Strategy?
A skilled negotiator is a valuable asset in any real estate deal. Ask the prospective realtor to outline their negotiation strategies. Get them to talk in detail about what steps they will take to secure the best price for you.
This could include multiple offers, counter offers or requests for repairs. Their response will shed light on their ability to advocate on your behalf.
You should also ensure they have plenty of experience in this, and that's where references can help. But the best negotiators can potentially save you thousands, so it's worth taking the time to find one with this skill.
11. What's Your Success Rate?
When you delve into the details of a realtor's experience, one question will give you more information than any other. That question is the success rate for that realtor.
Specifically, ask them to share their track record of closing transactions. You want to know how many deals they've closed and the timeframe.
You also want a percentage of successfully closed deals compared to unsuccessful ones. This will help manage your expectations and give you objective data when comparing realtors.
12. How Do You Handle Multiple Offers?
Multiple offers can feel like a complex situation. Thus, knowing how your realtor will deal with this situation is helpful if it crops up. Their handling could have a significant impact on the outcome of your deal.
Ask about their approach and what strategies they use for multiple offers. You'll want them to talk about issues such as fairness, how to prioritise proposals, and what communication they use during the process.
The answer will provide a helpful insight into their integrity, problem-solving and communication skills. And most importantly, it will tell you about their negotiation style.
13. Who Will Be My Primary Contact?
It's always better to have a named point of contact, even when dealing with a larger real estate company. Ask for the name of the person you'll connect with during your transaction.
If more than one person is involved, set up a primary contact and ensure you're clear on how the team divides responsibilities between them. This will help you avoid contacting the wrong person when you have a question.
A personalised service from a single contact is appealing. But don't forget that a team can offer a broader range of skills and expertise.
Find the Best Realtor Services Here
Arming yourself with probing questions is paramount to finding the best realtor services. Keep these 13 questions handy for those initial conversations, and you'll soon find a realtor who ticks all those boxes.
Getting those boxes ticked could be easier than you think when you discover what Bermont Realty has to offer. To start that initial conversation, reach out to us today. Let's discuss your real estate needs and how we can help you reach those goals.