So, you are ready to move, but you’re a nervous wreck. That is totally NORMAL!  Buying or selling a house is a HUGE undertaking and totally life changing so it is normal to be a little freaked out.

The best way to ease your anxiety is to make sure you hire the right agent for you. Their job is to point you in the right direction and act in your best interest.  

Buyers and sellers today don’t need to use an agent, you can look up properties using any real estate search engine.  You can find homes for sale on Zillow and even list your house for FREE, but that doesn’t mean you’re saving money although that’s what the “less expensive” options lead you to believe.  A great agent is what will help your transaction go as smoothly as possible and can help make sure you make a wise investment. 

Did you list it at the right price?

Are you over paying?

Did you really negotiate the best price?

Is it really the right time to buy or sell in this area?

I know nothing about the stock market. If I were to invest in stocks I would hire a stock broker and pay them a fee, because I need their knowledge so I don’t lose my shirt on my investment.  I could easily use some online site for FREE and make trades that I think are good, but the truth is I have no idea what I’m doing.  I need a professional and their expertise to make the right decisions.  

These are the worst questions to ask a Real Estate Agent.

To get the best experience with your agent, you need to interview them and knowing the right questions to ask an agent is the first step to finding the right agent for you. Before I tell you what questions to ask an agent, let me give you two you should not ask them.

Why am I showing you the worst questions to ask an agent?

Because for some reason people think these are the questions people think they should ask, but really do nothing to qualify the agent they are hiring. Most sgents are prepared for these questions so you can count on rehearsed answers most of the time that mean nothing.

  1. What company do you work for?

This is definitely the worst question to ask an agent because it really doesn’t matter.  Prior to the evolution of the MLS and most of the online real estate search sites, the company a Realtor worked for was a big deal.

However, in today’s market nothing could be further from the truth. Most real estate agencies offer the same product as their competitors.  Just like shopping for a mortgage, most banks will offer you the same rates so it just comes down to who provides a better level of service.

Just because an agent is associated with the biggest company in town does not make them any more qualified than the agent at a very small office. Lots of amazing Realtors work for small companies. If your real estate agent constantly talks about how big their office is and how many sales their agency has had, they may lack their own personal experience and have to leverage their company’s statistics.

It’s the agent who will make the difference in a making a wise financial decision, not the company on their business card.

2. How Long Have You Been in The Business?

Coming in at a close second place for the worst questions to ask an agent is the classic, “How long you been in the business”.

Just because an agent has been in the business 25 years does not make them any more qualified to handle your transaction.  What if they only do 4 transactions a year?  What if they refuse to use more advanced digital resources because that’s not what they learned in school?  Age does not necessarily equal experience, especially in the quickly changing world of real estate.

You also need to consider that the most important skill to look for in a listing agent is their marketing skills.  The real estate industry has gone online and the skills a good agent had 20 years ago are totally different from those of a great agent today.

A younger, more digitally savvy agent, would have better success in exposing your home to thousands of potential buyers through in depth marketing strategies as opposed to the 70 year old agent who has no idea how to use social media.

What about some of the best questions to ask when looking at an agent.

What do you do other than list a house on the MLS and put a sign in my yard?

If this is all you expect from your agent, then go for a flat fee service route and list yourself and save the money because you will be getting the same thing.  Asking this question will force the agent you interview to discuss the value of their service and how they market the homes they list to get the most interest. 

What is the true market value of my house?

Many Realtors do not want to tell you the truth because it can hurt.  Lots of people seem to think their house is worth more than what it really is, so look for someone who is going to tell you the truth and not what you want to hear.  Sure the house next door sold for $300,000 but remember they have an extra bathroom, a new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and a perfectly landscaped backyard.  Lose your emotions, this is business.

What do we do if our initial list price does not get enough traction?

A good agent will have a back up plan.  You should always have a back up plan in any business decision you make. This is no different. We call this a repositioning strategy.