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3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Realtor

Real estate transactions are some of the most important decisions you’ll make in life. It’s crucial to work with the right real estate agent for your needs. It’s best to ask any prospective agent a few questions, almost like an interview, to ensure they’ll be able to meet your needs.

More and more, we’re seeing people — known as “smart consumers” — who understand they have options and are willing to take the time to ask the right questions. It’s worth noting that a good agent will also size up questions to assess whether you’re a good fit for their business too.

When it comes to deciding on a real estate agent, there are three must-ask questions that are particularly helpful.

1. What type of experience do you bring to the table?

This is the first and most important question to ask. You can’t fake experience, local knowledge or specifics. We recommend letting the agent speak at length when possible. This will help flush out who really knows their stuff and who has a basic understanding.

Remember there are no standard exams or real estate schools that teach the ins & outs of real estate transactions. Modern real estate agents learn on the job — so asking about their experience is critical.

Follow this question up with “Are You Willing to Provide References?” Any real deal agent will have plenty of references for you. They’ll even let you call or email them to properly check up.  

2. What’s your “List Price” to “Sale Price” ratio?

Simply put, this is the difference between what a home is listed for and what it’s actually sold for. Expert agents will have recorded multiple transactions at or near the official list price. This requires negotiation skills and extensive knowledge of comps in the area.

This is a black and white metric when it comes to real estate. It’s a quantitative way to rank agents side by side so it can really weed out agents who are personable yet underperform. This is a great question to ask if you’re serious about seeing results.

3. What are key differentiators that separate you from your local competitors?

We recommend asking this question because it’s what the agent is expecting you to ask them. Most agents will have an answer to this question already prepared. If they don’t, it’s a tall tale sign of inexperience.

This question is critical to help determine how, specifically, an agent can assist with your unique real estate needs. Characteristics of top real agents are honesty or trustworthiness, assertiveness, communication, transparency and availability. Also look for signs that they are friendly yet analytical, competent negotiators.

For more on this subject read our recent blog, “Summer 2017 Home Buying Trends in San Diego

Thinking of buying or selling a home in the La Jolla area? As consistent top producers in real estate, Linda Daniels and The Daniels Group are your La Jolla housing specialists. Our team of local experts will ensure that you have a successful real estate transaction. Call us today at (858) 361-5561 or email us anytime by clicking here.