Buying a property can be one of, if not, the biggest investment of your life. It’s therefore important not to leave anything to chance, and that includes hiring a real estate agent. Real estate agents play a critical role in helping you minimize the risks and maximize profits. However, not all of them are created equal, so, only a few good ones can help you realize your dreams of owning a home.
But how do you identify an excellent real estate agent from the many options available in the market?
Finding the right luxury real estate agent isn’t rocket science. You only need to master a few, but very critical questions that you will ask your potential agents. You’ll then use the answers they give you as a guide to narrow down the available options. Here are some of these questions:
How long have you been in business?
As with any other business, an agent who has been around for a long time has acquired plenty of industry experience. However, that’s not to mean that new agents aren’t good, quite the contrary. Some freshly licensed agents have gone through excellent training and have access to competent mentors. So, ideally, you want to find an agent who has completed more sales.
What’s your average sale-to-list ratio?
A good buyer’s agent should be able to bargain for a lower sales price than the list price. A competent seller’s agent should negotiate sales prices that are very close to the list prices. Your ideal agent is one who has higher ratios (close the 100%) for listing and lower ratios (below 99%) for buying. But don’t forget to inquire about the locations of these homes and whether the agent in question is familiar with where your ideal property is situated.
What’s your marketing plan for my needs?
It’s important to know how the real estate agent will find your new home and the number of homes they think you’ll visit before finding the one that you’d love to buy. Are you going to be competing against other prospects? How does the agent deal with multiple offers?
If you are selling your home, you want to find out how the agent plans to sell the property – whether its through direct mail campaign, website, online ads and so on. Inquire about the kind of photography they offer as well as the steps they take to prepare the home for sale.
Can I talk to your previous clients?
Never underestimate the power of reference. Past clients will give you more insights regarding the agent based on their previous experience. You can also go through their customer testimonials (often on their website) or online reviews (from third party sites that are not affiliated to the agent).
What are your biggest differentiators?
With so many options in the market, it is worth noting the thing that makes one agent better than the rest. Instead of trying to figure it all by yourself, let it come from the horse’s mouth – the agent. Different people have different standards, but a majority of consumers say they want agents who say they are trustworthy, honest, assertive and good at negotiating.