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How to Interview Your Real Estate Team

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Thinking of putting your home on the market, or making a move?

Ask your prospective team these 4 questions before shaking hands!

When it comes to seeking professional advice on buying or selling with a Real Estate agent or team, most people will tend to start with who is closest to us.

First of all, we consider if we already have an existing relationship with a Real Estate agent or team. If not, most consumers will seek advice on who they can turn to for their Real Estate needs from their immediate networks of friends, family members, and colleagues. Other times, a social media search or Google search engine look-up may point us in the right direction of someone who is qualified, experienced, and someone that we feel a rapport with!

Whether you’ve found your potential team online or through a friend or family member (or even saw them on a bus bench ad in your neighbourhood!) there are very important questions to ask a realtor when deciding who will represent you in the largest purchase or sale of your life.

If you’re interviewing a buyer’s agent, a simple chat may suffice over coffee, but if you’re selling, a more official listing presentation can be expected. You may have a few questions in mind, but one thing to keep in mind is that good agents are selective about their clients, too. Keep in mind that not all real estate agents will want to be formally  “interviewed”, as they may be accustomed to working primarily off trusted referrals or may feel that their experience speaks for itself. In these cases, it’s suggested to focus on the questions that are most important to you.

However, a caring and trustworthy real estate professional should always make you feel comfortable, and take the time to form a relationship with you – after all, this is possibly one of the biggest transactions you’ll make in a lifetime!

Here’s what you’ll want to ask your prospective agent or team:

1) How long have you been in the business or working as a licensed realtor?

It’s true that experience speaks for itself – especially in a profession like Real Estate! Although experience is certainly an important asset, newly licensed agents can still be wonderful to work with too – it really just depends on the level of their training, their commitment to the profession, and if they have access to a team of experienced mentors and support.

Agents tend to learn the ins and outs of the industry (and the nuances of your local market) on the job – which means that knowledge is mostly accumulated with every sale and simply by having their ‘boots on the ground’.

The benefit of working with a team is that you can draw on the cumulative experience from everyone at the table.

2) Which neighbourhoods do you have experience working in? And what is your average list price to sales ratio?

If your prospective agent typically only works with presale units in the hottest new urban developments – yet you are hoping to list your home on a quiet cul-de-sac in the ‘burbs – this might not be the best fit! Keep in mind though, in communities like the Fraser Valley, you’re likely to find one of each type of dwelling within blocks from one another. Simply find out if they are experienced in working with clients of both attached and detached properties, and if they have specific communities they are well-versed in – this may help sway your final decision.

This average ratio is largely going to depend on the current state of the market, but a great listing agent typically should have a proven track record for helping their sellers achieve very close to list price, and a buyer’s agent should be able to help their buyer negotiate a lower price for their client than asking.

3) What is your suggested marketing strategy for my needs?

This is a very important part of your interview process – you’ll want to find out exactly what kind of value the prospective Real Estate team will be offering you.

If you’re selling, how does the agent plan on getting your home in front of the right audience? It’s true that today’s homeowners rely on digital for their home shopping needs. You’ll need to find a team that incorporates the latest, cutting-edge digital marketing strategies and practices, yet still has a firm grip on traditional marketing methods that are still relevant and effective today. Ideally, your best team will be able to offer you both.

You’ll want to take a close look at the online presence of your prospective agent. Do they use social media professionally and effectively? What kind of photography do they use to market their inventory? This speaks to the pride they take (and the investment they make) in ensuring your home looks its best to potential buyers.This is very important – after all, you can only make a first impression once – and the less time on the market means more money in your pocket! As well, you’ll want to ask how they can help you prepare your home for sale.

As a buyer, you’ll need to know how the agent plans on searching for your new home, and how many they expect you might have to see before you find your dream home. You can ask if you should anticipate and be prepared to head into multiple offers with competing buyers, and how they plan on handling these.

Closing Questions

These are just a few questions to get the conversation going, but you’ll also want to figure out if they have trusted partners (like mortgage brokers, home inspectors, stagers, etc.) they can help line up for you when the time comes. This is putting a Realtor’s connections to work! Plus, we suggest taking a look at their reviews online. You can ask them for their recommendations and testimonials, but chances are that you may not even have to. As well, you’ll want to get an indication of their availability – will you be able to reach them within a time frame that is comfortable for you when you wish to communicate with them, within reason?

With that said – we wish the best in finding the best real estate team for your needs.

Want to learn more about how we help people buy and sell in the Fraser Valley?

Whether it’s for a phone chat, a coffee, or a listing presentation – we’re here to help.

Thanks for reading!

Pontaletta Group Team

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