Technology has changed the way consumers do business. The real estate industry is no exception. In fact, a recent study showed that 77 percent of home buyers use the internet during their property search. However, most agree that when it comes to buying or selling a home, a transaction of this magnitude requires the guidance of a professional. In the same study, 90 percent of buyers and 87 percent of sellers use a real estate professional during the process.
Whether you´re buying or selling a home, you may want to interview two or three real estate professionals. To locate a pool of potential candidates:
- Ask family, friends, and business associates for referrals.
- Attend open houses. If the sales professional or broker impresses you, ask for a business card.
- When referred to a company rather than an individual, call and ask to speak with the "sales professional on duty."
- Search local newspaper and real estate publications.
- Call the Prudential office in your area and ask for a referral to an office in the town where you will be moving too.
No you're ready for the interview. Whether you're buying or selling, the sales professional should explain the entire process up front. Sellers can use the "listing presentation" to compare sales professionals on their preparation and professionalism. Ask questions that will display the sales professional's experience, knowledge and motivation to help you. Questions such as:
- Do you work full time or part-time?
- How long have you been selling homes in this area?
- Are you familiar with the areas I'm considering?
- What type of homes do you usually handle?
- What percentage of your business comes from referrals and repeat clients?
- How many sales have you closed?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- How often can I expect to be updated, even if there's nothing to report?
- Will you e-mail new listings to me regularly?
- Do you offer a service guarantee?
It's all about relationships... make sure you find someone you are comfortable with, and will work hard and honestly in your best interests. Make sure they understand your needs.