Are you a REALTOR®?
There is a difference between a real estate licensee and a REALTOR®. A licensee who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is bound by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice associated with the industry and may be disciplined for violating it. They have a duty to treat all parties honestly and fairly and have a fiduciary duty to their clients.
How does the home-selling process work?
Your agent should be able to explain the process of listing and marketing your property, negotiating offers on the property, the inspection process, the closing process and more. However, you should also inquire about what your responsibilities are during the transaction so that you can be fully informed and prepared for the selling process.
Can you assist in determining my listing price?
An agent should know the comparable sales data and be able to give you the information you need regarding current listings, pending sales and recent sales. After a thorough review of the data along with some advice from your agent, you should be able to come up with a listing price. Although they can assist, it is not the responsibility of your agent to be the one to make the final decision about your listing price.
Do you have training and education?
Most states have strict laws regarding licensing and continuing education for agents. Your agent should be able to give you up-to-date information, be committed to continuing education and always act with professionalism. Ask your agent if he or she has any designations indicating a specialty in any area, such as buyer representation.
Can you give me any references?
Be certain that your agent is willing to give you references or let you contact past clients. This will allow you to ensure that your agent has a solid reputation both with previous clients and within the real estate community.
What can I expect as far as communication?
You will want an agent who listens to your goals, explains and identifies problems and answers all of your questions. Communication is key, so ask your potential agent how he or she plans on informing you of issues or concerns throughout the transaction as well as timelines and deadlines.
How do you get paid?
You should also inquire about the fee structure and representation. Listing agents earn a commission and are paid by the seller out of funds at the close of escrow. Ask your agent to explain the process so you have a better understanding of how it works. Your agent is a licensed professional and is there to help and protect your best interests.