You know a hundred real estate agents, even if it’s just through association. Your downstairs neighbor, your aunt’s best friend, your coworker’s son – everyone knows a great broker that you just have to work with. Word-of-mouth is undoubtedly an excellent marketing method. It’s not all you should rely on when hiring an agent, though. Learn the other things you should look for before settling on your real estate agent.
Have You Heard All About ME?
Be wary of real estate agents who talk more about themselves than anything else. (Actually, be wary of anyone who does this.) Your real estate venture is all about you – what you want, what decisions you need to make, your extremely expensive transaction, etc. If a broker is self-involved, either by talking about how great he is or by focusing more on his iPhone than his client, kick him to the curb.
The “What If…” Game
Not only should you find out what the real estate agent’s sold in the past, but you should also ask him how he plans to push your property. Questions like, “What will you do if my house doesn’t sell right away?” will help you figure out how prepared the agent is and if he can think about all aspects of a transaction. A good broker should be able to answer you without a problem. If you get brushed off with, “Don’t worry, it’ll sell,” move on to an agent who’ll take all your concerns into consideration.
Give the Broker a Test
Any agent you’re considering should have brushed up on your market. Test him by mentioning a local home that has recently sold or is up for sale. If he can give you information off the top of his head, it’s a good sign that he’s done his homework. If he can’t think of a thing to say, that’s a good sign that he’s not familiar with the market in your area.
A Few More Tips…
- Ask for the contact information of recent clients. Speaking with people who have worked with the broker will give a good feel for how your experience will go. Pay attention to repeat praise or complaints – odds are that you’ll have a similar experience.
- Check with your state’s licensing board to make sure the agent is licensed. You’ll also be able to see if there have been any actions or complaints taken against the broker.
- Make sure that the agent has listings online. Most buyers start their search on the Internet, so you’ll want to work with an agent who’s well-versed in social media.