Essential Questions to Ask a REALTOR Before You Sign Anything!
After reviewing these important questions, see our list of pre-screened
real estate consultants at the bottom of the page.
There are over 3,000 Realtors in the Greater Houston area.
Statistics show us that in 5 years, 87% of those Realtors will have
left the business. That is why it is imperative that you put your
trust and money into a Realtor that is proven and committed.
times the best place to find a Realtor is through your mortgage
company. They deal with scores of Realtors every day, and it is
in their vested interest to work with the most professional and
responsive Realtors in their area.
questions will help you qualify the Realtor that you interview for
your real estate transaction.
How many years have you been involved in the real estate business?
Houston Area has about 3000 licensed Realtors at any given time.
Statistics tell us that within 5 years, 87% of them will no longer
be in the business. You will want to engage the services of a Realtor
that is experienced and committed to the industry.
NOTE: Just because they have been in business 20 years,
does not always make them a good candidate! Often times it
is the "experienced veterans" who are reluctant to try
anything new or use cutting edge technology or marketing concepts
that can save you time and money.
Is the company you are affiliated with nationally known?
known companies usually have an excellent referral system and a
good track record of successful home sales in your area. In addition,
statistics show that a full 40% of homes are sold by company name
recognition or agent contact.
company a member of the MLS system?
MLS stands for
the Multiple Listing Service, wherein member companies catalogue
their listed properties for sale so that all agents have immediate
access to the information. This means all of the realty companies
and their Realtors will know your home is on the market, and will
show it to prospective buyers. (Typically, if the agent is a member
of MLS, (s)he is also a member of both the national and local Realtor
a member of the National Association of Realtors?
National Association requires higher standards of ethics for membership,
thus ensuring you are treated fairly.
a member of your local board of Realtors?
The Houston Association
of Realtors requires a clearly outlined standard of ethics and provides
ongoing educational classes and awards for excellence. This creates
local accountability, credibility and influence.
Do you have
Realtor who does have an assistant will have the ability to give
you more time and individualized attention. Their assistant will
be able to help with details and paperwork, so that they can keep
in touch more often and have time to be more aggressive about selling
your home or finding the house of your dreams.
have any professional designations and have you won any awards?
Though the fancy initials behind a Realtors name
may not seem important to you, they chart achievements in doing
for others what you would want your agent to do for you.
get out of the listing if I am not pleased with your services?
It is good to be loyal to an agent who has invested their
time into your home. However, you need to be free to back out if
you feel your home is not being marketed properly, you are not getting
adequate service and support, or if the agent has not made any progress
on getting your home sold after a sufficient time period.
real estate company of good size?
an important question because larger companies have more agents
for more internal exposure of your property.
Are your real estate
signs easily recognizable to the general public?
People will more readily notice that your home is on the
market if the "For Sale" sign is colorful and easily readable,
and if the sign is familiar to them. Statistics show that many homes
are sold to prospective home-buyers responding to a "For Sale"
Will you have a marketing
plan for our house and will it be custom tailored for our specific
It is a good idea to ask for a marketing plan in writing
that you can follow and monitor. You will want to be sure you are
getting maximum exposure to home buyers.
Do you use professional
flyers to give prospective buyers?
It is important to know (and see a sample of) what potential
buyers will be leaving your home with. This is an important marketing
tool that needs to be properly utilized so that your prospective
buyers come away with something professional to remind them of the
benefits of purchasing your home.
How do you
get information about my home out to other Realtors?
most homes are sold through Realtor showings, you need to make sure
other Realtors are well aware of your home being on the market.
This is in addition to the MLS listing.
Do you use
open houses? How effective are they?
open houses are a very valuable tool in terms of getting prospective
buyers into your house, statistically, open houses sell very few
homes; only 1% of homes are sold to someone who bought a property
they saw during an open house. Open houses are very popular because
they can be very beneficial to agents by giving the Realtor prospects
for listing and selling other properties. While an occasional open
house during the listing period--the earlier in the listing period,
the better--would be beneficial, your agents time and the
commission dollar you are paying, is much better spent in other,
more aggressive marketing areas.
give me a comprehensive plan so I can best prepare my home for sale?
are many subtle improvements and arrangements you can make on your
home, that you may not be aware of. It is part of your agents
job to educate you on these preparations, because homes that are
well prepared for sale usually sell quicker and for more money.
Do you use
direct mailings to inform prospective buyers? Who do you mail to?
show that 18% of homes are sold by referrals. That means mailing
information about your home sale to friends, business associates,
and family members can sometimes uncover a buyer who is a part of
your center of influence.
give us your opinion of what the market value of our house is, based
on sold listings that are comparable?
"CMA" is a comparative market analysis based on recent
similar sales in the area of your house. A Realtor should not just
give you their opinion offhand, but should be able to document and
support their price recommendation.
Do you request that all potential buyers be pre-qualified for a
loan before they submit a contract offer?
An agent should always require that any offer submitted
to you be from someone who is already pre-qualified, and preferably
pre-approved, for a loan amount at or above your listing price.
This can save you the potential risk of thinking your home is sold,
and weeks later discovering that your prospective homebuyer cannot
afford, or was denied the mortgage loan for your property.
Do you follow
up on all showings of our home and report the results back to us?
agent should follow up on each and every showing of your home and
get feedback from the showing agent to monitor for comments and
possible leads. This will make sure any deficiencies in your home
are quickly discovered and possibly remedied.
return all my calls in a timely manner?
lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints in the real
estate industry, it is important that you get the agent to look
you in the eye and assure you they will call you back promptly when
paged or called. Everyone is human, but on average, you should get
rapid responses to your inquiries. Repeated failure to do so is
reason to cancel the listing.
Do you have
a list of personal references and a list of past clients? Can I
call on them?
is a very good way to ensure that you have picked a good Realtor.
If you make sure to call on some of the past clients, you can get
a very clear picture of the service your agent should provide you,
and what standards you should be able to expect. Take notes so that
you can point out to your agent during your real estate process
that you would like this or that service they arranged for their
be present during all contract negotiations for the sale of our
you have enlisted your agent to be your real estate advisor, they
should always be personally present during all contract negotiations.
This will save you large amounts of time, and worry, if a problem
represents some general guidelines in selecting a real estate professional
to market your home. They are not hard and fast rules as some of
the most successful and agressive people in the industry have been
in the business less than 5 years and do not work for large companies.
One of the best ways to find a real estate professional is to ask
neighbors, friends, and family members for recommendations of people
they have enjoyed working with. These people will be in a much better
position to tell you what you can actually expect from the person
you're thinking of engaging to market your home.
a list of Pre-Screened Real Estate Consultants (not salespeople)
in your area who specialize in Helping People rather than selling
simply Click Below...
Real Estate Consultants
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