Whether you are buying or selling, finding the right real estate agent is critical. Here are our top 10 tips for questions to ask potential real estate agents to make sure you make the right decision.
- How experienced are you?
It is important to ask the agent how many years they have been in the industry to get an idea of how experienced they are. Of course, experience does not necessarily translate into skills and expertise, and less experienced agents can also have a lot to offer. However, experience is definitely be an asset.
- What licenses to you have?
As a first step, check that the agent has the necessary licenses and certifications.
- What is your sales track record?
This will depend on the current real estate market, so it is important to compare sales records with other agents you are considering. The agent’s sales record is one of the strongest indicators of their skills as a salesperson. You should also ask what percentage of sales are through auction, compared to prior to auction and general sales.
- What’s your office’s auction clearance rate?
It is important to know how effective the agency in general is at selling at auction, and this question will give you can idea of this.
- What is the industry average days on the market in the area?
This is important information to have also, as this will help you to interpret the agent’s own average days on the market, as well as get a picture of how the market is performing at present. The best way to get a picture which is as accurate as possible is to ask this question to multiple agents and compare responses.
- How many days are your properties on the market?
Another strong indicator of an agent’s skill is the number of days their properties stay on the market. Of course every property is different so this will not necessarily be the same case for yours, but it is worth knowing the average number of days their properties stay on the market.
- What is the industry auction clearance rate? Equally, it is important to know what the average auction clearance rate currently is across the industry, as this can vary significantly depending on market conditions. Having this information will not only give you an idea of an agent’s success compared to the average, but also whether it is a good time to take your property to auction.
- Are You Able to Provide References?
It is very common to ask for references from previous clients in order to talk to them and ask them about their experience. Ask for the agents most recent three vendors, to make sure you get up to date reference information. If you are looking to sell your property at auction, it may be a good idea to specifically ask for references from auction vendors.
- Can You Tell Me About the Auctioneer?
Most agents will hire an auctioneer to carry out the auction. It is a good idea to get information on the auctioneer they are planning to use and if possible attend one of their auctions before you make a final decision to see the quality of their performance.
- What Do You Offer That Other Agents Don’t?
Ask them what they can give you which other agents cannot. A good agent should be able to tell you why you should hire them over another agent.