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Key Questions to Ask Potential Real Estate Sales Associates

June 30 2008

1. How long have you been selling real estate in my neighborhood? 

Ideally, your agent will have a few years of experience selling homes in your neighborhood and have a good grasp of current market conditions.

2. Is your sales associate working individually or as part of a team? 

It is quite common for agents today to work in teams as a way of offering clients a more complete customer service package. If a listing agent has a team working on your account, make sure you understand the experience and the person who will be your day-to-day contact.

3. How – and how often – will you communicate?

Ideally, you’ll be able to connect with your sales associate as often as needed. Buyers should decide whether they want each day’s MLS listings to be emailed to their home or office and the time of day they would like to receive them. Sellers should indicate when and how they want to be contacted.

4. How long is your listing agreement for?

A typical listing agreement will be for a minimum of six months. Anything longer should be an option at your discretion.

5. What’s an appropriate listing price?

An experienced sales associate with a good working knowledge of local markets conditions will be able to give you an informed opinion of the approximate value of your property. The listing price strategy is multi-faceted, but will be driven by factors such as desired closing date, listings in your neighborhood, recent selling prices and seasonality, to name a few.

6. How will you market my property?

Ads in newspapers and magazines – especially community ones – have long been a staple in the real estate industry. These days, however, it’s important to know what the online marketing plan will consist of. Will your home be featured on a company Web site, agent Web site, multiple listing services, or a national listing aggregator, or all of the above? Ask about your agent’s marketing and selling techniques, as some might be more suited to your property type than others.

7. What do past clients have to say about you?

When choosing a sales associate, keep your eyes and ears open to what other people have to say about their experiences with a particular agent. Ask for references and be sure to interview several associates to determine the one you feel most comfortable with.