Saturday, 23 February 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Don't Forget to Ask Your Realtor These 3 Questions

Written by Posted On Monday, 11 February 2019 11:59

For most of us, buying and selling a home are among two of the most significant financial transactions we’ll ever make in our lives. Unfortunately, many first-time buyers and sellers don’t have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from when purchasing a home. For this reason, it’s important to choose your realtor carefully. While there are many questions you should ask a potential realtor to determine whether they are a good fit, here are three of the most important questions you may not have considered.

1. Do you have references that I can contact directly?

Despite living in the era of social media and advanced communication technology, in the real estate business, word of mouth is still one of the best ways to vet agents. Be sure to garner references from past clients unrelated to the agent. Note: a reference list of friends and family is probably not reliable. Request at least two to three contacts you can call and interview about the experience they had with the realtor.

2. What is your marketing strategy for selling my house?

Getting a detailed breakdown of your realtor’s assessment of your goals and objectives and how they fit into the targeted housing market(s) in which you are seeking to buy and sell is critical to determining whether the agent is a good fit. What kind of staging and photography services does the realtor offer, if any? How will the home be advertised? What media outlets will be used and to what extent? What will be involved in preparing your home to be sold? How many homes does the realtor believe will need to be seen before the purchase is possible?

 3. What needs to be done to improve my chances of selling?

Many sellers have an unrealistic assumption of their home’s value. A seller’s assessment of their house is typically based on the emotional and financial investment they’ve put into it over the years rather than in the actual market value of the home. A good real estate agent will not sugarcoat the truth about what needs to happen to give your home the best chance of selling. You’ll want an agent with a seasoned and keen eye who can see beyond a fresh coat of paint and newly installed appliances to the less obvious but still significant issues that need addressing in order to sell the house at a number closer to the preferred amount.

A good real estate agent knows that it’s ultimately in the best interest of the client to have the truth, no matter how unpleasant, so that they can go into the selling process armed with accurate information and not be taken by surprise. Additionally, you can flip this question around and encourage a seasoned realtor to help you utilize a more critical eye in the buying process and help prevent you from becoming “house poor” in your new home.

In the lead-up to selling or purchasing a new home, you will spend countless hours researching and considering all the implications of your choices. There will be lengthy discussions about critical decisions and an astounding amount of time and energy invested in the process. Determining who your realtor is going to be is a critical part of that process and should not be underestimated.

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Kealia Reynolds

Kealia is a writer for House Method, a home and garden site, and covers a variety of topics including real estate, interior design, and home wellness.
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