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12 Questions to ask before you hire your next Realtor.
With over 2 million real estate agents active in The United States, finding the right one for your transaction can be challenging. Interviewing potential candidates is the only way to select a Realtor® with the personality, credentials and experience that suits your real estate needs. Here are 12 questions to ask a real estate agent or broker before you hire them to help with your home sale or purchase. We took the liberty of putting in our answers for you in case you are looking for a real estate agent in The Woodlands.
1. How many years of experience do you have?
Check that the agent is used to dealing with properties that mirror yours in terms of size, style and price point. A seasoned agent that sells deluxe golf estates may not be the best agent for selling a production starter home.
• I received my Real Estate License in October of 2004, starting with Prudential Gary Greene Realtor. I made the best move of my career on April 1, 2008, joining Keller Williams-The Woodlands. Vanessa received her license in April of 2012. Since then, our careers have taken off!
2. Do you hold any special accreditation?
All real estate agents should hold a license given by their local state regulatory board. Many real estate agents take their education further and earn advanced designations in specialties such as buyer representation, property management, second-homes and the seniors market.
• Vanessa and I recently completed the Certified Luxury Homes Marketing Specialist training in San Diego. We are Certified and part of the KW Luxury International Group. We have helped over 200 families list and sell homes in and around The Woodlands and Houston area.
3. How Many Homes did you close last year?
An agent who is selling two or three homes a month likely is not going to have time for you. You want a real estate team that has the right person for the right part of your process to guide you through the home selling process.
• Last year, we closed 77 units, ranging from the investor to the new home buyer to the resale home. We also handled the new rental of the homes our investors purchased. We are a full-service real estate group.
4. How many homes did you close in my neighborhood?
Real estate markets are incredibly local. One house may experience a different price point and absorption rates (time on the market), and attract a different type of buyer than a similar house just one street over. A good agent on paper is no use to you if she isn’t doing active business in your local market. Exceptional agents typically specialize in just a handful of communities. That way, they can keep up to date with school rankings, crime rates, zoning policies, employment statistics, and freeway expansions – all the metrics that determine a property’s true value.
• We would be happy to get your local numbers when you tell us your specific neighborhood. We have team members from one side of town to the other that are sure to know your neighborhood. If we don’t, you have our commitment to research any pertinent facts that would apply to the purchase or sale of your home.
5. How many days does it take to sell the average home?
The real estate agent you interview should be able to tell you how long their listings sit on the market.
• On average, our homes are on market 62 days. This average is the team average for the year to date listings.
6. What percentage of homes sell at the full asking price? How close to the initial asking prices were the final sale prices of the homes you sold?
This question establishes how skilled the real estate agent is at pricing homes. Get the price point too high, and the home will be harder to market and sell; too low, and you’ll be out of pocket by many thousands of dollars.
• We sold 33 listings in 2016, and our list price to sold price is 98% of original list price, including any reductions, which we rarely have to do.
7. Will I be working with you directly or passed to a teammate?
Real estate teams are growing in popularity. Done properly, they allow people with different skill-sets to collaborate. A well-structured team frees the sales agent to do what she does best – sell your home – while the administration team shows houses and handles the paperwork. On the other hand, collaboration doesn’t work if the team behind the agent is poor, or you can’t connect with your primary agent. If you’re worried about being passed to an assistant, go with the solo player.
• All of our Listing Clients work with me. Our Buyer Specialist team is made up of 3 agents. Jake, Ryan and Marce are constantly updated with all of the amenities and benefits of your home, so that they are able to share the value with the buyers for your home. Vanessa is our cultural agent who is our ambassador for the community. All of her referrals come back to our team. Once we have a listing or buyer contract, our personal licensed assistant, Linda, handles contract to close.
8. Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent?
Deals can be won or lost in minutes. You deserve an agent who is dedicated full time to your home.
• We are a five Member, Full-time team, that focuses on exceeding our clients expectations.
9. Do you own your home?
Around 85% of real estate professionals are homeowners. An agent that has been through the process is more likely to empathize with your situation and soothe your worries respectfully. An agent who lives locally is more likely to have their finger on the pulse of the local market and can offer first-hand advice about the local community, such as the schools and transport systems.
• We live in The Woodlands and have personally purchased 8 homes in the last 12 years, two as investment properties.
10. How will you market my home?
You don’t want an agent who’s going to put a poor quality photograph of your house on the company website and hope for the best. Good agents have aggressive and multi-pronged marketing strategies that adapt to the buyer’s or a seller’s market.
• We have a 14-point marketing system, which includes professional HDR photography, HD Cinematic video that we use to create marketing materials. These materials are sent to local and regional real estate agents, neighbors, friends, and family. We also have an aggressive Social Media marketing campaing that puts your home in front of a ton of eyeballs. Each listing gets its special postings and our back end support system is just awesome and auto connecting our team to our new buyers searching for properties.
11. How often will I hear from you?
You’re both busy people, so you need an agent whose communication style fits well with yours. Do you prefer an agent to keep in touch through phone calls or e-mail, or text message? Do you expect a call after someone tours your house, even if the viewer is no hot prospect? Would you like twice-weekly updates, or just when there’s something to report?
• We have a weekly call on Mondays to our clients, plus emails as they come up.