The 10 Most Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Agent

Question #1 - How Long in the Business?
With the huge influx of new agents coming into the market recently the number of agents serving the Denver area is going up fast! In today’s very hot market, lots of people want to be a real estate agent. Here’s a shocking statistic though. . . almost 80% of the new licensees quit the business during their first year. Of those who stay in business, 80% of them will also quit during their second year. That means only 4% of new agents are still in business by their third year! Make sure the agent you choose is qualified, has experience and will do the best job for you.

Question #2 - What Is Your Marketing Plan?
To get the top price in any market, the top agents will use emotional response marketing. Simply put, marketing that causes potential buyers to have an emotional excitement about your property. Many agents give out all kinds of tiny details about a property but do little to stimulate any excitement and curiosity from potential buyers. Wouldn’t you agree that your home will have more buyers looking at it and have great potential to sell at a high price if the buyers are excited to come see it? Absolutely!
A professional and well thought out emotionally stimulating marketing plan is a must in the real estate business? When interviewing agents, make sure they have a professional, written marketing plan they can give you. Then, hold them accountable to it. Make sure they give you regular, weekly updates outlining what they have done and what the results have been. After all, if the plan is good, shouldn’t they follow it?

Question #3 - How Big Is Your Support Staff?
Throughout time, real estate agents have operated like a one-man shop. They prospect for new clients, list and sell properties, develop marketing materials, handle their own accounting and manage their own advertising. In fact, the list of tasks a typical real estate agent must manage literally has thousands of items on it. As independent contractors, they are their own boss in their own business – even if they are associated with a big company! (ever wonder why so many agents use the title “Sales Associate” or “Broker Associate”?)
What do you think the chances of a single agent being a master at all of the things they must do? Slim at best! That’s why you must select an agent that has a staff of experts helping them take care of their clients like the THE ELSTON GROUP does. That way you get the best advice and service in all aspects of your transaction. Don’t take the chance your transaction may go wrong just because the agent was too busy taking care of something else!

Question #4 - What Modern Technologies Will You Use to Assist Me?
The real estate business has been one of the last industries to endorse new technology. Make sure your agent uses the technologies available that really work such as text on demand systems, property specific websites, IVR Technology (Interactive Voice Response) just to name a few. A full array of 20+ color pictures is a must and HD Photography is a great technology for enhancing pictures to their best. To get the best price possible, doesn’t it just make sense that your agent should use the best technologies available?

Question #5 - Why Is Your Company Better?
Just about every agent and company claims they are better than the competition. But why? Most agents and companies offer almost exactly the same thing. Ask for a written list of exactly why they are better and compare them to the list you get from THE ELSTON GROUP. Don’t just take their word, make sure they really are better!
Keller Williams became the #1 real estate company in North America in 2012 with over 800 offices and 80,000 agents. Keller Williams Preferred Realty is Keller William’s #2 office in Colorado and The Elston Group is in the Top 1% of all Keller Williams agents in the State!

Question #6 - How Close Do Your Listings Sell To Full Price On Average?
This is a tricky question because some agents will try to “buy” a listing by telling the sellers they can get more for their property than is really possible. After all, what seller wouldn’t like to hear they can get $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 more for their property than they hear from other agents? On the other hand, agents who claim to have a very high “list-to-sold” ratio often get them because they recommend a low price that makes it easier to sell.
If it really is possible to get a higher price the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and Total Market Overview (TMO) should indicate so. If all the other similar homes to yours have sold for much less than the price the agent is recommending, be careful! Ask them to explain exactly why they think your house should be priced so high.

Question #7 - How Long Does Your Average Listing Take to Sell?
Similar to the List-to-Sold ratio, the average Days-on-Market (DOM) statistic can indicate several conflicting things. Some agents will say a low DOM indicates they do better than the market. On the other hand, if they price your home low, shouldn’t it sell faster? Afterall, it is priced lower than the competition! Although you do not want to be on the market a lot longer than the average for homes like yours, if getting the highest price is important to you be careful of the agent with an average DOM that is remarkably lower than the market average.

Question #8 - What Percentage of Your Listings Do You Sell Yourself?
To get the highest price possible, it is critical that your agent gets as much exposure to potential buyers as possible. This means, in addition to marketing your property to the public, it is important that your agent markets you property well to other agents as well.
The math is simple. An agent who tries to sell the property themselves can get a handful of potential buyers to come by. On the other hand, by getting the attention of the top agents in the area (the ones working with most of the buyers), each one of whom may be working with 5-10 potential buyers at any given time, your agent can magnify your home’s exposure many times over! Which do you think makes more sense?
Ask all agents how many of their own listings do they sell themselves. If they sell a lot of their own listings be careful – they may be more focused on making all of the commission rather than getting you the highest price!

Question #9 - Why Should I List With You?
Perhaps the most important question. If they cannot convince you why they are the best agent for you, how are they going to convince a buyer that your house is the best for them? Ask the question, then sit back and watch how they handle it. You will quickly be able to tell the real professional from the inexperienced agent.

Question #10 – Do You Have A List of Satisfied Clients I can Contact?
It’s obvious. If they can’t produce a list of satisfied customers, they are either new to the business or haven’t done very well for their clients. Make sure you get a good list!

Should you, or someone you know, have any questions about the process of selling a home, give us a call ( 1-800-355-2696 ext. 3008). Remember to ask for Ron Elston or a member of THE ELSTON GROUP!