To choose the right broker, you need to ask the right questions.
Whether you plan to buy a house someday or already have one (in which case, congrats!), real estate is typically one of the most valuable things one may have. Choosing the appropriate agent might be the difference between a frustrating, sloppy experience and the professional, high-quality service that will bring you the desired results.
Consider the last time you bought, sold, or rented a home or other property. In other words, how long ago was this? I inquire because I need to know how you intend to select your real estate agent.
Many people’s last real estate transaction occurred many years ago. Their former contact is out of business, and you’ve been inundated with mailings from other local realtors. Since the typical homeowner lacks the knowledge and experience to vet real estate agents properly, here are some red flags to look out for, as not every agent is the same.
To help you choose the best agent, here are the questions you should ask them…
Question 1: Why did you list our house for so much more than other brokers?
It is common practice for brokers to promise sellers a price higher than the current market to entice them to hire them. This is a simple pitfall to slip into. Can you explain how you’re being HURT by this?
All brokers use the exact data for recent comparable sales, raising the question of whether or not they have your best interests at heart. The real estate agent is powerless to inflate prices artificially. When dealing with sums of money, honesty, and trustworthiness are paramount. They should expect to ask for multiple price reductions because they know the listing time is six months. Do you want the broker to keep harping on the price when it doesn’t sell?
Since the property has been empty for some time, b) are you willing to accept a lower price? Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: prospective purchasers frequently inquire as to how long a home has been on the market, and if it’s been sitting empty for longer than typical (as is the case with pricey dwellings), they may conclude that there’s something “wrong” with the property and make less generous offers. And are you interested in keeping the house clean for those extra months? You could assume I don’t care if you haven’t sold yet, but after two weeks, most of my sellers have kids and are having trouble keeping the house in museum condition for showings.
Do you want to lose out on qualified potential purchasers? Indicating to brokers and buyers that you are not a severe seller by setting a high asking price. Most of the time (since price thresholds and threshold ranges generate searches), they won’t even SHOW your home.
In short, you need a professional broker who will set a reasonable price for your home immediately.
Two, who are your associates in the company? How often do you work as an agent?
For most brokers, getting the other broker to return their calls is the hardest part. This is not a job for night owls or weekend warriors. Imagine a scenario in which a qualified buyer calls while the broker is out of town. In many cases, brokers operate alone, meaning they may be too busy to reply to your calls or emails or, worse, refuse to show your home unless it works into their timetable. Imagine getting a call from a potential buyer whose broker told you they couldn’t make a deal. Why put in the effort and expense of advertising and planning if you’re going to prevent people from getting to the property? This is a common occurrence. Having an assistant or team to help you makes it much easier to get things done, like swiftly returning phone calls and emails and scheduling meetings.
Thirdly, in what part of the world do you specialize?
Did you know that the purchase process varies from county to county? From dealing in real estate myself, I can attest to this to be true. Countries have running closing costs, terms, contracts, and other factors. Buying or selling a coop or condominium differs significantly from purchasing a house. Appraisers, mortgage brokers, and lawyers should all specialize in their respective fields. Why take a chance to lose thousands by hiring someone who is only partially qualified?
Four, describe your marketing strategy.
Ensure the agent is well aware of their objectives and next steps. Guarantee their work in an understandable checklist and ensure they stand behind it. Who suffers the consequences if they lack the means to advertise your property? Have they shown success with their marketing strategy? Verify their experience and track record by inquiring about their most recent results. Your home’s less obvious features can be highlighted and sold with the help of a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Have they been to similar listings and gained an understanding of the market’s typical buyer?
In conclusion, working with a licensed broker with a tried-and-true strategy for promoting listings is in your best interest.
5-Have you recently bought, leased, or sold any property you owned? How about a home of your own?
If your advisor had never bought, sold, or leased a home, how would you feel taking their advice? They lack the insider knowledge required to execute an excellent job since they lack the personal experience to comprehend how you think and what you need. They don’t know that the seller can save tens of thousands of dollars in stress and relocation costs by including a lease back in the home’s sale (to prevent moving again).
Ultimately, it’s best to work with a broker who has experience in your field and can help you avoid common pitfalls.
Six, how many years have they been operating? Do you want an up-and-coming agent or one with years of experience?
Although it may appear simple at first glance, anyone who has ever bought or sold a home knows better. A less seasoned agent may be more proactive, but they won’t say enough about the deal to ask the correct questions or provide you with an accurate picture of what to anticipate from the process. They aren’t even sure what to expect! Also, the other agents know that the new agent is vulnerable and will exploit their inexperience. Do you want to put thousands of dollars at risk in negotiations because your agent lacks experience?
In short, you need a broker who has been in the business for a while, has seen it all, and can confidently assist you through the process.
Now that you know what to look for, you can confidently evaluate the brokers you interview. You and your loved ones deserve the finest, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
To the LDM Team, with compliments to Laura Denise Milkowski
We have over nine years of experience as real estate investors in NYC and Brooklyn. Need to employ us or get some answers?