Sometimes you get lucky and have a recommendation from a family member or friend for a great real estate agent. If you move to a new city, however, you may need to work a little harder to hire a Realtor. Talk to a few agents on the phone, but plan on asking the harder questions when you meet in person for the first time. Not sure what to ask? Try these questions.
How Many Years Have You Been Licensed?
Your goal here is to figure out how many years of real estate problem solving they have under their belt. You want to hire an experienced agent.
How Many Listings Have You Taken in the Last Month? Year?
While you don't have to work with the biggest agent on the biggest real estate team, but you don't want to be someone's only listing either. If they have only sold 7 houses and it's already October, you may not be talking to the right agent.
What is Your Average D.O.M. ?
D.O.M., or days on market, is real estate speak for how long their current listings have been up for sale. While slow market conditions can drive up the DOM, this is also a reflection on the agent. Houses need to sell and they should be proactive about it.
What is Percentage of List Price Do You Sell for on Average?
A house has a 'list price' and a 'sold price'. Ideally, they'd be the same number, but buyers and sellers usually negotiating a price that works for both of them and is slightly less than list price. The difference between the to is what you are interested in. For example, if a house is listed at 100k and sells for 93k, it sold for 93% of list price. The reason you are asking this is to gauge how well this agent prices his or her listings. If the average percentage of list price is lower than 95%, you might want to interview other agents. Don't let a Realtor tell you that they don't know this number either. They know all their stats.
How Many People Are on Your Team?
This question gives you an idea of how big the agent is and how busy they are. If they have 27 listings and are running solo, they may be overworked and not have time for you or your needs. At the very least, you want an agent with an assistant or transaction coordinator working with them. That person can concentrate on all the nitty-gritty details of paperwork, while your agent is out there doing what they do best: selling.
Interviewing someone is never easy, but neither is selling a house. Take your time and choose the person that is right for the job.