Whether you're buying or selling a home, picking the right real estate agent to help you through the process can make a world of difference. Before you sign any paperwork, it's generally a good idea to talk to a handful of agents that have been highly recommended by family members and friends. During these discussions, you'll often find plenty of parallels between the agents. For example, they may have the same training, focus on the same part of the city, and work among a team of other agents who can offer when it's needed. It's useful to ask a series of questions that give the agents a chance to explain why they're different from their peers. The answers can help you find the right agent for you. Here are some questions to ask.
How Is Your Marketing Different?
If you're selling your home, the manner in which it will be marketed is highly important. As such, it's useful to ask each agent you speak to about his or her marketing strategies. Asking an agent how his or her marketing differs from other real estate professionals can help you identify someone whose forward-thinking approach can help you to sell your home quickly. For example, one agent might use cutting-edge technology, such as 360-degree cameras, to document each of the rooms inside your home. This will allow prospective buyers to develop a sense of the space before booking a viewing.
How Many Active Clients Do You Have?
In the case of hiring a buying agent, knowing how many active clients the agent has can be advantageous. Initially, you might think that it's best to hire someone who has a significant number of clients. After all, this would indicate that the person is a highly coveted agent. However, there can be a benefit to working with someone with a smaller selection of clients. In this case, the agent might be able to respond more quickly to your desires. For example, if there's a house you want to see within 48 hours, the agent would ideally be able to schedule time for the viewing. A busier agent might not have this luxury.
What Sets You Apart From Your Competitors?
Asking each agent what sets him or her apart from other agents is an open-ended question that can reveal a lot. For example, one agent might tell you that his or her mailing list rivals any other agent in the city; another agent might suggest that the house stager he or she works with is known for getting results for sellers. Don't be afraid to ask for plenty of examples to this question, as you may hear the details that make you decide to hire the agent.