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6 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Real Estate Agent

homes0330_1Buying a home is most likely the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime, and selling your home is most likely the largest transaction you’ll ever make.

The real estate agent that you depend on to shepherd you through the process can have a significant impact on the amount of money that you spend or make and – if you’re buying – the place that you will call “home.” Yet, most people don’t think twice when they select a real estate agent, and many do not interview multiple agents.

Here are six key questions to ask when choosing a real estate agent.

1. Is he or she a good listener?

“You want someone who really listens to your wants and needs, to make sure they understand what is important to you,” explains Cheryl Nekota, REALTOR at Prudential Locations. “People often begin the buying or selling process with an end goal in mind. A good agent will listen with clarity and creativity, then help you design a plan to successfully accomplish your goals.”

2. Is he or she knowledgeable and a problem-solver?

“Knowledgeable doesn’t mean they have to know everything, but rather they know to ask the right questions, can find the right answers, and can effectively resolve any challenges that come up,” says Nekota.

The typical home sale today involves more than 20 steps after the initial listing contract is signed, including making appropriate disclosures, conducting inspections, complying with the terms of the purchase contract and closing financing. You want an agent with the knowledge, attention to detail, and resourcefulness to ensure the process goes smoothly and the deal closes.

3. What resources does he or she have to support you?

“Not every agent has the same marketing or administrative resources,” Nekota explains. Some companies provide their agents with unique support services. “For example, we can assure our sellers that a licensed Prudential Locations REALTOR will be in the office seven days a week to immediately answer any phone calls and emails from potential buyers.”

4. How will he or she market you?

“Will your agent present you in the best way possible to buyers, or to sellers and their listing agents if you are buying?” says Tom Presler, a REALTOR colleague of Nekota’s at Prudential Locations.

“If you’re selling, look at their current listings. Did they use professional photos and videos? Did they write a property description that showcases the property, grabs the senses of the buyer and motivates buyers to act – to go see the property or make an offer? What marketing methods do they use to target buyers? For example, will they ensure placement on all the real estate search engines?”

5. Is he or she experienced with multiple offers?

In today’s competitive market, multiple offers are no longer rare. As a buyer, having an experienced agent who can craft the best offer (which is not always the highest price) may make the difference in winning or losing the bid.

As a seller, you want an agent who can bring in and negotiate the best offers.

Presler says, “In today’s market, just about anyone can put a sign in front of a house and sell it, but can your agent price and market your home to attract the most buyers, then negotiate multiple offers to secure the best possible return for you?” Prudential Locations, for example, has a specialized training program for agents in how to handle multiple offer situations for both buyers and sellers.

6. What does your gut say?

Once you have satisfactory answers to the practical questions, at the end of the day, what does your gut say? Presler suggests asking yourself, “Would I be comfortable riding around in a car with them for three hours on a Saturday afternoon? Can I trust them with all my personal information? Do I feel they really care about me and what this purchase or sale means to my long-term plans?”

If you can say yes to this last question, then you’ve found the right REALTOR. To find a Prudential Locations agent, visit PrudentialLocations.com or call (808) 377-4646.

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