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10 Questions to Ask Every Agent : Jen Hudson’s Blog
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10 Questions to Ask Every Agent

Posted By Jen Hudson

1) What is your average list price to sales ratio?

Every agent should know their list price to sales price ratio.  If you are a seller, you want your listing agent to have a ratio as close to 100% as possible.  This reflects their experience in the local market and accuracy of pricing.  If you are a buyer, you want your selling agent to have a ratio below 99%.  Any competent agent should know these numbers, as they directly reflect their ability to negotiate on your behalf.

As a Listing Agent (working for the seller) my average list price to sales price ratio is 98.8% with most residential sales less than 90 days.  As a Selling Agent (working for the buyer) my average list price to sales price ratio is 96.2%.  As the market continues to fluctuate, so do the ratios.  It is important your agent is aware of their current standings.

2) What is your marketing plan or strategy for my needs?

As a seller, you will want to know “how will you sell my home?” Ask what is your marketing plan?  Where and how often do you advertise?  Do you have a sample flyer or direct mail marketing piece to show me?  Where and how do you market online?  How is your marketing different to reflect my home?

My marketing plan is highly involved, aggressive and utilizes unorthodox approaches at times.  I not only target buyers for your home, but also other agents who are working with potential buyers.  During my presentation I will discuss in detail my marketing plan showing some areas that I market in and discuss the unique steps I will take to advertise your home to its highest potential and how I create value.  My advertising is balanced between print media, online, direct mail marketing, and networking within the community, depending on the target audience.

3) How do you separate yourself from the competition?

 A good agent won’t hesitate to answer this question and will be ready to list why they are best suited for the job. 

Everyone has their own standards, but I believe that the top of the list should include honesty, trustworthiness, excellent negotiation skills, education, easily available by phone, email or text, open communication, and the ability to maintain a sense of humor under trying circumstances.  Of course, my professional quality and unorthodox marketing approach also sets me apart. 

4) Can I review the documents prior to signing?

A truly professional agent will make forms available for you to review prior to signing.  Ask to see the agency disclosure, a listing agreement or purchase and sale agreement (or all of the above!), and a seller’s disclosure statement.

I want you to see the documents ahead of time so there are not any surprises.  You should only sign something once you feel comfortable and understand what it means.  I am more than happy to provide you with a copy of all documents and go over them line by line if necessary.  Just ask!

5) How will you help me find other professionals?

Allow the real estate agent to explain who they work with and why.  They should have a list of professionals, such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, title companies, and even contractors.

I work with a wide variety of professionals, and chose only those people I feel can provide the same high quality service that I strive for.  If you need help preparing your home for market, I can also provide you with a list of cleaning crews, landscapers, handyman and more!

6) How much do you charge?

Ask how much your agent charges in commission and why. 

While it is true all commissions are negotiable, I know that my level of personalized professional service and attention to detail exceeds many of my competitors.  Plus, I work on a contingency basis and do not get paid until you have the money in your hand.  Really, the question comes down to service.

7) Do you have a guarantee?

What happens if you sign a listing or buyers agreement with an agent and you’re unhappy?  Will they let you cancel?  Has anyone ever canceled an agreement with them before?

I want my relationship with you to be a pleasant one.  If you find yourself unhappy with my service, I will gladly allow you to seek other options and will even provide a list of trusted agents in the area for you.  Of course, I haven’t disappointed anyone yet and I certainly don’t plan to start with you!  I am proud of the level of service I offer and that is one of the things that sets me apart from the competition.

8) What importance do you place on education in your industry?

You want an agent who not only is experienced, but also strives to stay ahead of the curve by taking the initiative to educate themselves in their business.

I am highly active in continually pursuing higher education, for your benefit and for mine!  I strive to stay ahead of the curve and have achieved the GRI (Graduate of Realtor® Institute) designation, completed the ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) courses and am currently working on my Associate Broker License and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) Designation.  These achievements set me apart from the majority of other agents out there.

I stay active by pursuing additional legal requirements, negotiating techniques, business management courses, land uses, geology and bluff stability, and tax issues and advantages.  And, I am a REALTOR®, which means that I hold myself to a higher set of ethical standards in addition to the classes that further my education through the association.

9) How are you involved in the community?

An agent who is active in the community has a wider network of people who they associate with.  In the long run, this not only helps find a potential buyer for your home, but also any contacts that you may need in the future to help you succeed with your goals.

I am an active member in many organizations throughout the community. I believe that building relationships is the most beneficial way to stay in touch with the area and what is going on. By being active in the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce, Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® and other local organizations, I am able to keep you informed about local issues and upcoming events. 

I am serving as President for the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce in 2008.  I have assisted in developing the Chamber Education Committee; our goal is to help small businesses grow.  There are many events throughout the year that I am involved in, such as the Stanwood Chamber’s annual Golf Classic, Chamber Loose on the Lanes, Old Fashioned Christmas and up and coming Soap Box Derby.  I regularly volunteer my time for many annual events with the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, Camano Island Senior and Community Center, Stanwood-Camano Food Bank and more.  I am also involved in my home owner’s community.

My deep involvement means I have a wider network of people with whom I work, in order to get you the best advice and information that I can.  I believe that if you are informed, you will be able to make a more informed decision about what is important to you, and I take it seriously.

I am also a proud member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Washington Realtors and Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors. What does this mean to you? It means that I hold myself to a higher set of ethical standards than other real estate agents who are not members of these organizations. I consistently go above and beyond the state required educational classes, so that I can serve you to the best of my abilities. If I am are more informed about the current real estate issues and trends, then you will be as well.

10) What else should I know that I didn’t ask you?

There is always something else you need to know.  Pay close attention to how your agent answers this question.

I take the time to make sure you feel comfortable and secure with my knowledge and experience.  Taking the time to listen, counsel you, and ask the right questions to determine your needs is a key component to a successful transaction.

 

Mar 14th, 2008

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