Monday, February 14, 2011

Questions to ask realtors you are interviewing:

Came across this article online last week and these are MY answers:

1. How long have you been a real-estate agent? As with any profession, experience matters. The more seasoned the agent, the better representation you're likely to get. Kisha: I’ve been a realtor since June of 2003, so almost eight years.

2. Do you sell homes part or full time? The real estate industry has its share of part-timers hoping to stumble onto a few home sales a year. If you're considering hiring a part-time real-estate agent, ask yourself: Am I confident this agent has tracked local activity closely enough to understand today's unpredictable market? Will he or she be able to give my home sale the time and attention it requires? Kisha: I am and always was a full time agent dedicating all my business time to real estate.

3. What training do you have? Has the agent earned industry designations or completed specialized training in areas like negotiation or working with first-time buyers? If not, think hard about whether the agent is dedicated enough to the profession to acquire and develop the skills necessary to succeed. Kisha: I am constantly and consistently continuing my education as a realtor. I not only take the mandated 12 hours required by the Real Estate Board of Commission but also have received the following designations by completing and passing courses as well as maintaining a level of production.
CRS Council of Residential Specialist
GRI Graduate of the Realtor Institute
SRS Seller Representative Specialist
ABR Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Certified in Green Real Estate Education

4. How many homes have you sold in the past month, quarter and year? Sales statistics are a quick way to gauge real-estate agents' competence. "I asked three agents for sales statistics from the last six months, because I didn't think the last month or quarter were fair to evaluate in this economy and my home's market," says Gordon. "The agent I chose sent me a spreadsheet showing his statistics and his company's, compared to others within the last two years." Kisha: I have statistics available upon request.

5. What's the average "days on market" for your listings? The best real-estate agents know their clients and market so well that they sell homes faster than their competitors. Ask agents for data that compares the average time it takes them to sell homes with the average time it takes all other agents in the local market. Kisha: I have statistics available upon request, tailored to your area since I service all of Acadiana, market conditions vary by area.

6. What will you do to market my home? There's a debate among real-estate agents over the value of traditional marketing tools like open houses and newspaper advertising versus website advertising and virtual tours. "I was looking for a well-rounded plan with print and website ads and Internet virtual tours, along with information on how agents would follow up based on what their web statistics told them," says Gordon. If you're not sure which marketing tools are best, ask agents which tools they think will sell your home, and why. Kisha: In the age of technology and internet, we are able to exposed our listings on a much broader range than print ads ever could. Therefore, we spend most of our time and money generating leads and interest through our website, affiliate websites, facebook and craiglist. Although our listings are still present in local print ads.

7. How will you keep me informed? A common complaint among consumers is that after they've hired a real-estate agent, there's radio silence. "That was my biggest problem," says Gordon. "I had to call the agent to call to find out information. This time, I specifically asked agents, 'How am I going to know what's going on?' The agent I chose told me he'd send me market statistics every week. I also told him I wanted to chat every six weeks to see what was selling in my home's market."
Gordon knows that she asked a lot of her real-estate agent, but she offers no apologies. "I probably drove this real-estate agent nuts," she says. "But I've been very active this second time around." Kisha: Radim does weekly reports for sellers that include number of showings, inquiries, website hits, new competing listings and sold comparables. This helps our seller stay on top of the market as it constantly changes. When we receive feedback from showings, he also sends the feedback. Everything is done electronically for fast convenient service.

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