Real NEastate: Seven questions for your agent

Q: I am selling my home in Bell’s Corner myself, and I had an open house. I did not sell the house, but a couple realtors came through and offered their services. If I decide to hire one of them, what services can I expect to receive?

A: It depends on the realtor. There is not an across-the-board system of handling the marketing and sale of your home that every agent follows. Everyone has their own approach, and some are more effective than others.

You would be wise to interview a couple agents and proceed from there. Here are seven questions you should remember to ask on the interview:

1. “How long have you been in real estate, and is it your full-time job?” You need to find someone dedicated and with some time invested in the business. A part-time agent may not have the time to follow up properly.

2. “How will you keep me informed about the progress of the sale?” Are you going to want weekly updates, or do you prefer not to be bothered until there’s an offer? The biggest complaint from sellers is that their agents did not communicate with them.

3. “How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year?” It matters what company he/she is associated with. You can get a good idea of experience and success.

4. “How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices?” This is one indication of marketing skill. Of course, the real estate market plays the main role here.

5.  “What marketing approach will you use?” You don’t want someone who’s just going to put up a For Sale sign. Buyers are looking online. Find someone who knows how to market your home thoroughly on the Internet. Not every agent knows how to do it right.

6. “What type of support does your brokerage office provide?” Having resources such as support staff and access to innovative technology can help an agent sell your home.

7.  “What’s your business philosophy?” This is a tricky one and will have some agents stumped, but the response will help you assess what’s most important to the agent. You can determine how closely the agent’s goals meet your own.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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