Questions to Ask A Lakeland REALTOR
I am sure you know several real estate agents, whether you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, have a friend who is an agent or you are related to a real estate agent. Whether you are selling or buying a Lakeland FL home, you should consider interviewing several real estate agents before deciding on whom you should hire. You would not want to work with just any agent. Let me tell you a secret, I do the same thing….I select my sellers and buyers I want to work with.
FYI: Don’t interview agents from the same company.
A Lakeland Fl agent is vital in the home selling process since they will help you set the right price for your home based on comparable sales in the neighborhood and guide you all the way through closing.
Here are a few important questions to ask a Real Estate Agent
1. What is your Marketing Plan or Strategy?
Your Lakeland Fl agent must be able to show you a written marketing plan which shows where they plan to advertise the listing and how they will help you prepare your Lakeland Fl home for sale. Excluding a sellers’s or a buyer’s market, a good selling agent should be able to negotiate a price close to or at the listing price and a competent buyer’s agent should have a record of selling below list price. If you are a seller, you should ask the following:
- How do you market online?
- Is direct mailing campaign appropriate for my home?
- How will you sell my home?
- Where do you advertise?
As a buyer, you should ask:
- Will you search for homes that meet my criteria?
- Will I compete against other buyers?
- How many homes can I visit before making a decision?
- How do you handle multiple offers?
- Do you handle foreclosures and short sales?
2. How many sales have you made since last year?
An agent with a strong record of closed home sales will give you a higher chance of a successful sale of your Lakeland Fl home.
3. What neighborhoods do you cover?
Your agent should be very knowledgeable in your neighborhood, understand your target market, and have techniques and strategies to sell your home properly.
4. How long have you been in the real estate business?
Hiring a real estate agent with experience does count. There could be situations where it can mean the difference between how to handle sticky situations to ignoring them. An experienced agent should recognize signs of potential problem before the deal falls apart. I would recommend a minimum of at least 3 years.
5. Can you provide me with references?
Every real estate agent should have references, even newer agents should have a referenced perhaps from the previous employer. Ask to see the references and how are they related to the agents. More importantly, ask if you can call the references.
6. How often will you communicate with me?
It is a sad situation when you receive an offer from your agent and it takes a few days the agent finally returns your call. Your agent should be able to give you weekly or daily updates. He or she should reply to you within a short period of time either via phone, email or text if you have questions. It is essential to call the agent’s references and ask about the communication they had with the real estate agent.
7. Is your commission negotiable?
You should know that all real estate commission is negotiable. Generally, real estate agents charge a percentage of 1% – 4% on one side of the transaction – a seller or a buyer. For example, a listing agent may charge 3% for herself and another 3% for the buyer’s agent for a total of 6%.
8. What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m sure agents will fire away and list: Honesty, Trustworthy, Integrity, Negotiation skills, Friendly, Available. But everyone will say the same thing. The best answer for me is repeated record of satisfied customers, assertive – don’t take no for an answer, he or she possess strong communication skills and has great online marketing skills.
9. May I be able to review the documents/agreements?
If you are a seller, ask to see a listing agreement, sample purchase agreement and seller disclosures upfront and ask questions that you don’t understand. For a buyer, ask for the buyer’s broker agreement, a sample purchase agreement and buyer’s disclosure upfront. Make sure the agent let you cancel the agreement and are there any fees associated with a cancellation.
10. What questions haven’t I asked that I need to know?
A good real estate agent should come up with questions you missed because there is always something you need to know. Make sure you are comfortable with the agent, that you feel confident with his or her knowledge, experience and she is able to listen and counsel you. Find out what she needs to know to better serve you.
Choosing the right agent and asking the right questions are important if you want to successfully sell your Lakeland Fl home.