The following is a guest post from Laura Zanskey. She discusses five important questions that you should be asking your future Realtor in order to know who will be helping you sell or buy a home.
With the home situation like it is, and the house market down, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are asking your realtor all of the right questions. Buying and selling a home can be confusing and it can take a lot out of you, not too mention that you may be moving at the time.
This is why realtors are here – to help us get the most out of our houses. They are here for your benefit and you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of their knowledge as possible. That being said, here are some questions that you should always ask.
How Do Your Fees Work?
Most realtors work on commission. This fee is usually around 6% of the final sale price, so depending on what your home is going for, that may or may not be a pretty hefty number. The good news is that this number is negotiable, and has become more negotiable since the rise of the Internet. This is because the Internet makes selling ones home a lot easier, so you should be aware of this fact when you are talking money with your realtor.
What Are Your Experiences/How Much Experience Do You Have?
This is more than just how long the realtor has been in the game. You need to know exactly what types of properties this realtor has sold and how much he has sold them for. A good way to look at a realtor’s experience is to check out his or her list-price-to-selling-price ratio. You want to know what they originally listed it for as well as what it ended up selling for. There are many variables to this however, and you want to make sure you know all the “Why’s” with this number.
How Will You Keep Me Updated?
You need to know how accessible your realtor is. The more accessible the better. Ask when it is acceptable to call him; is it only during business hours? You need to know what kind of news he’s going to update you on, the frequency of the updates, and how he or she will end up getting a hold of you and telling you about these updates.
What is Limiting My Home?
Ask what problems your home has and what the drawbacks are that is going to trip up the whole selling process. If he or she can lay it on the line for you right away, then you will know that he or she is a seasoned vet, and will probably end up doing a great job for you. Be weary of the realtors that tell you your home has no drawbacks. Knowing your homes limitations will allow you ti fix them, and get a more realistic gauge on the whole process.
How Will My Home be Marketed?
A good agent has many different resources for selling your home. Usually an agent will post your house on the multiple listing service the second after he or she signs with you. The MLS is a system of databases which lists homes for sale and gives your house tons of exposure to many different markets and people. The Internet is by far and away the best resource for marketing, and a good realtor will be set up with a great web site that gets a lot of traffic.
If you ask your realtor these five questions you will be on your way to understanding the process much better. In the end you want to make sure that the realtor you are choosing best fits your needs based on your own custom requirements.