The old Frisco Pier you see in the photo in the background of my video is one of my favorite places. Actually, what drew me there 20 or so years ago was the question, “Should I interview more than one agent for the job of representing me in my real estate endeavors?”
For the purposes of today’s topic, I’m going to focus on the selling side of real estate transactions. My response to the question is, unequivocally, yes, you should interview more than one agent for the job.
Our industry has changed drastically in the last 20 years that I’ve been practicing, but some agents are still performing the same way they did their first year. The dynamics of marketing and communications have changed. You have to be willing to adapt to that and move on; it’s a skill set we’re constantly developing. Is the agent you’re considering to work for you an avid learner? Are they participating in Realtor skill-development programs? What are they doing to stay on the cutting edge of technology?
I would say that you should interview at least three agents. You need someone who is assertive and always willing to learn. They need to be a full-time professional working in a resort/second-home market. Our industry lends itself to a lot of part-time retirees, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You just have to want to do the job, and that requires a large time commitment.
Ask your agent, “How many transactions did you close last year?” If they answer “three,” I would end there and go to the next interview. If it’s “33 transactions,” I’d say to keep talking to them. If it’s “103 transactions,” you’ve got a great agent who is working full-time with a staff behind them and helping facilitate and negotiate the transaction to a successful close.
Part of our code of ethics is to tell you the truth about the value of your property. That’s not always an easy pill to swallow, but that’s what we as Realtors do. We want to be honest in all occasions.
“You need someone who is assertive and always willing to learn.”
That said, if you were interviewing me today, I want to let you know some answers to the questions that would be likely come up.
Suppose you asked me, “What are you hoping to accomplish in our meeting today?” To that, I’d say one of three things can happen: You’ll decide to list your home with me, you’ll decide not to list your home at all, or I’ll decide not to take your listing. Why wouldn’t I take your listing? If we don’t have a viable marketing opportunity after we get done with our discussions today, it just may not be best for both of us to move forward in marketing the sale of your home.
In a perfect world, I’d ask you, “What date would you like to have this done by?” What is your time frame for this transaction? Two, three, six, nine months?
I’d also ask, “What happened to make you want to sell this home? When you were looking at homes initially and you bought this one, what really excited you about the purchase?” Those are the difficult questions that a professional should ask. We want to know your motivation; you bought this home for a reason, so it will be helpful to know what it is that drew you here.
Finally, I’d ask you, “On a scale of one to ten, what is your motivation to sell? What would it take to get it to a nine or ten if it isn’t already?” When I ask this, I’m looking to see what the real motivation is to sell this property in the shortest amount of time and to net you the most money in your pocket. A listing that sits out there for two or three years is probably not going to get you the most money.
These are just a few of the points of conversation that are likely to come up, but I actually have numerous pages of questions that I like to hit on in the interview process. Many people have different standards for what they look for in an agent, but sometimes, in order to get what you want, you have to ask yourself if you want a professional who really cares that they can net you the most for your home.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, please keep me in mind. I’d love to help you reach your goals in the time frame you desire.