Interview a Realtor

by Washington Federal Team on August 23, 2011

Working with a qualified real estate agent is an essential part of both purchasing and selling a home. Before you decide on a particular agent, talk to neighbors or friends who have recently moved for recommendations and advice. Once you have narrowed down your choices, it’s always a good idea to interview potential realtors to find out if they are the right fit for you.

Here are six questions to ask realtors before partnering with them for the home buying process:

1. Are you a full-time or part-time real estate agent? Although some part-time agents are very experienced, full-time agents tend to have more time to dedicate to you and your home buying or selling needs.

2. How much experience do you have? Since there is a high turnover rate in the real estate industry, you need to be sure that you’re working with a professional agent with the qualifications that will meet your needs, whether you’re purchasing or selling a home.

3. What licenses and education do you have? Real estate agents are required to attend classes to maintain the licenses but some go above and beyond to achieve a REALTOR® designation by passing a series of exams.

4. How long do your listed homes typically stay on the market? Although real estate agents don’t have total control over how quickly a home sells, experienced agents can compare their average listing sell times to their competitors.

5. What price do you think my home will sell for? Your agent should use comparable home prices, your home’s features, and current market data to give you an appropriate price for your home. It is important that the homes chosen will give you an apples-to-apples comparison, not just list sales in your neighborhood.

6. What is your marketing plan for my home? By reviewing samples (such as online listings and open house announcements) you can evaluate your agent’s marketing aptitude. Marketing materials should contain several photos of the home and be displayed in an array of media outlets to reach a variety of buyers.

Choosing an experienced and dedicated real estate agent is the first step to a successful home sale or purchase. By asking the right questions before beginning the process, you can be confident that you are working with a knowledgeable professional. Learning about an agent’s experience, licenses, and marketing plan can help you find a real estate agent that will keep your needs in mind and guide you through the process.

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