These 10 Questions Can Set You On The Path To Finding A Pro With Your Best Interests At Heart

Dated: 04/12/2019

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  1.   How long have you been a real estate agent? Real estate is a tough business. It takes perseverance to survive the lean times—and discipline to thrive when the market’s strong. You can trust an agent with four or more years of experience to know what it takes to super-serve you, no matter the market conditions.

  2.   How many homes do you sell each year? To sell your home for top dollar in the least amount of time, partner with a high-octane agentwho is in the top 10% of agents in your area. It takes hard work and a good reputation to get that kind of business.

  3.  What is your average list-to-sale ratio?  This number can help you predict how accurately your agent prices the homes they list. The closer an agent’s list-to-sale ratio is to 100%, the more accurate their pricing. A ratio over 100% means an agent consistently gets above asking price on homes they sell.

  4.  On average, how long does it take you to sell a listing? This isn’t a guarantee that your home will sell within the agent’s average time frame. But it can help you gauge how hard your agent works to get homes sold. Compare your agent’s average to the standard in your area to see how their performance stacks up.

  5. How well do you know my area? Obviously, an agent who’s sold a lot of homes in your area has proven expertise. But don’t limit your view to neighborhood sales. Even a pro with personal ties to your community shows they have the inside track on what makes your particular corner of the world special.

  6. How will you market my home? It takes a creative mix of traditional and digital tools to reach today’s buyers and their agents. An agent should outline their plan and tell you how each step will attract buyers. If an important component is missing, ask about that too. A true pro will explain why certain strategies may not work in your market.

  7. Will you tell me what I need to hear? It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting your agent to tell you what you want to hear. But they don’t get paid to puff up your ego. Look for a pro who can be blunt in the nicest way possible,whether it’s advising you on home improvements or sharing buyer feedback after a showing.

  8.   How do you deal with issues that come up? Let the pro handle.

  9. What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? Be wary of agents who lock you into a lengthy listing contract that they can get out of but you can't. Ask your agent if you can cancel your contract without penalty if you'renot satisfied with the service provided. Some agents charge a termination fee to cover out-of-pocket marketing expenses.

  10. Who can I contact for a reference? Want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly? Nothing beats talking to a former client.

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Kim Maxwell

Kimberly Maxwell, a fourth generation in Walton County, knows the community and its wonderful lifestyle firsthand. Although she was born in NYC, moved to NC in her high school and college years, her m....

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