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Key questions to ask a listing agent during an interview

For those who plan to be on the market in the New Year, interviewing an agent is a great way to learn what they bring to the table in order to sell your home or find the perfect place for you. Here are a few key questions that can help educate you on the process and your prospective agent’s approach:

How long have you been in residential real estate sales?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but a good guideline is to select an agent with at least five years of experience selling in your area.

How many homes have you sold in my area in the past year? Are you knowledgeable about my area?

There’s no perfect answer to this question either, but you probably want someone who has done a few transactions in an area that has hundreds of listings every year. There’s no issue with people learning, but probably not at your expense.

How do you plan on marketing my home?

This is an extremely important question. You don’t want someone who will just put up a for-sale sign in the yard or on the curb. A good Realtor will have a solid portfolio of tactics that they will use to market your home. Some of the tactics that agents will use include putting your home on the MLS listing, advertising and hosting open houses, print advertising, flyers, and placing your home on their personal or brokerage website. Well-connected listing agents will also be able to work their network to find potential buyers pre-MLS. At UpNest, which is owned by parent company, you can rest assured that all our agents have extensive experience in marketing homes of all sizes and price points. Also, we’ll promote your property on our blogs and social networks to hundreds of buyer agents in the area. Check out one of many listings we’ve featured.

What is your online marketing strategy?

This is a question that is one click down from the previous one. A savvy listing agent will have a very crisp plan to market your property online. They know that the vast majority of buyers use the internet to look for homes, and a good agent will know how to capture a buyer’s attention online. Ask to see their website, samples of virtual tours, web pages, and a list of portals where your home will be listed.

What other professionals do you typically partner with to help me sell my home?

A good agent will not be doing everything on their own. They are well-connected, and have a team of other professionals, like a preferred mortgage broker or someone to help with staging, but you should never feel pressured to use their recommendation. On top of that, it’s illegal for an agent to force you to use their lender or another service provider.

What method do you use and how frequently will I be informed?

There’s no right answer, and this all comes down to personal preference. However, if you prefer to communicate over email promptly, but they prefer to use the phone or are not responsive, then they will not be a good fit for you. At UpNest, all of our partner agents are tech-savvy and will respond to your requests on time.

Are you on Zillow and Trulia? Do you have your website? Why not?

This question can be used to assess how marketing-savvy an agent is. If they don’t have their website or are listed on popular sites like Zillow and Trulia, then how can you expect them to market your property? Online presence is extremely important, and it is also a great way to view an agent’s past reviews from buyers and sellers. At UpNest, all of our partner agents’ profiles can be viewed online. You can easily view their biography, local expertise, and even check out their Yelp reviews.

What are the drawbacks of my home?

This is a great question to ask, not only to assess if the agent has the experience and a keen eye, but also whether they are honest. A good agent will be able to pick out credible flaws in your property, which you will have to overcome to effectively sell your property. They may provide you great tips on remodeling or other general home-selling tips to maximize your sale price. On the other hand, a bad agent may not point out any flaws that you know yourself to be there, putting in question both their judgment and their dedication to selling your home.

What makes you different from other listing agents?

A lot can be gleaned from an agent’s answer to this question. Their answer to this question can truly set them apart. It’s a great way to see what they specialize in. At UpNest, our network agents will give you personalized voice introductions, and specify what sets them apart from other agents.

This story was originally published by UpNest.

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