How long have you been a full time agent?
With 10,000 new agents in the business in the last 7 years alone, the odds are that an agent you talk to doesn’t have a ton of experience.Experience isn’t everything, but it’s the best indicator of whether or not an agent can perform. If they’ve been in the business for a long time, there’s a much better chance that REALTOR is competent.**
How many seller transactions did you complete last year?
Just because they have a real estate license, doesn’t mean they work that much.The average agent sells only 6 homes per year. It makes sense that most agents represent around 3 sellers per year. A “top producer” will sell around 20 homes per year, and usually around 1 seller transaction per month. However, the top 1% sell at least 50 homes per year. That volume, combined with years in the business, measures true experience.
Can I see a list of references?
There’s a reason that employers ask any candidate for references: They are a real world measurement of performance.
When you’re choosing a listing agent to sell your home, think of yourself as an employer, and the listing agent as an interviewee. It’s a great idea to read reviews of any agent before even choosing whether or not to interview him/her.
Do you require a long term contract?
A common “nightmare” situation for a seller is a long term contract that an agent will NOT let you out of. If a seller wants to end a listing agreement for any reason, a bad agent will often say, “No, you signed this agreement, and we HAVE to list and sell your home until it ends.” A good agent will allow a seller to end the contract at any time, sometimes with reasonable reimbursement. This shows that the agent is confident in their abilities and will continue to prove their value.
How long does it take you to sell homes & how much do you sell them for?
The average time it takes an agent to sell a property, and the percentage of sold to list price are both objective measurements of an agent’s performance.) A good agent will know his/her statistics and will happily share them. While your pricing strategy will affect your time on market & list to sold percentage, a good agent will explain their averages & how your strategy will affect those numbers.
Do you provide home staging & professional photography?
Everyone starts their real estate search online & chooses which property they’ll view based on how good the pictures are. In order for your property to look great online, it has to be staged well & photographed by a professional. Some agents consider themselves adequate photographers and/or stagers, but this DIY attitude isn’t in your best interest. Make sure the agent you hire will bring in a true professional stager & photographer.
How is the market in my area of town?
Just as the real estate market differs in different cities, it can also be very different in different areas of Austin.
It’s very easy for anyone to know how the overall market is in Austin by reading the news. A good real estate professional will know exactly how the market is performing in your area of town, and specifically in your neighborhood. Make sure any agent you’re interviewing has drilled the numbers down to your neighborhood, and sometimes even further!
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