To begin your search for the right person to represent you in a home sale, ask a colleague or friend for a recommendation, preferably someone who has used the real estate agent's services. You want an agent who is familiar with home sales in your price range and in your neighborhood. It is essential that you feel comfortable with the agent during an interview since comfort level and good communication are very important. During your interview, don't hesitate to ask the agent about the number of homes the agent has listed and actually sold. The length of time the agent has been in business is not necessarily the best yardstick.
Make sure to ask about their commission fees as well. These fees will average 6 percent to 7 percent but may be negotiable. Remember, the agent you choose is going to be one of your main sources of information. A good agent will advise you and guide you in many ways. Look for a representative who is pursuing sales, returning telephone calls, aggressively working in your best interest and whose only job is real estate.
- How often will you promise to call or write me with activity on the home?
- I would like to have a list of your satisfied clients (of comparable properties) as references.
- Describe your history of real estate sales. Most agents sell just 30 percent to 60 percent of their listings before the listings expire. Choose an agent who sells 85 percent.
- What percentage of the asking price, on average, have you received for the homes you've sold during the last year?
- What is the average number of days your listed homes stayed on the market?
- Why should I pick you over all other agents?