Ask A Broker – How Do You Vet A Real Estate Agent?

Realtor - VETT a real estate agent blog

When determining how to find a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, asking the right questions could lead to more success. These questions will change slightly depending on if you are selling or buying.

Vetting A Selling Agent

If you plan on selling your home, asking the agent about their past sales, the agency that they work for, their marketing strategies as well as the current market are great starting points.

Past Real Estate Sales

Tenure comes into play with their past sales. Someone may have been in real estate for 20 years giving them a lot of sales while a new agent may only have a few. A new agent can make a seller nervous, but looking into the agency they work for provides better insight on the future. A newer agent working at a stronger agency may provide better results than an agent who has more experience.

Real Estate Agency

When asking about the agency, finding out the reach and sales provides a better insight into how things are run. For example, the Adirondack Premier Properties and Adirondack Realty offices are connected to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network offering more viewership and connection through our brand. Many larger brands have network agents while a smaller more local company will relies on traditional viewership. The office size also helps those selling a home, since more agents means more clients viewing your property from the start.

Marketing Your Home

More eyes on your property generally means a quicker sale. The marketing the agent or company does will help sell your home faster. Begin with some good starter questions to get a better idea of their marketing. Are they running only local ads? Do they have a social media presence? Do they take high quality photos?

If the home is priced right in a hot market, running only local ads could work but generally having multiple outlets of advertisement will lead to better results. These can be national magazines, social media or other digital platforms to reach as many people as possible.

Pictures speak a thousand words. Poor quality photos can ruin your listing and scare potential buyers away. While cell phone photo quality has gotten better nothing beats a DSLR camera with a wide angle lens. If your listing has dark, blurry photos with each room looking messy, many buyers will move on. Presentation is everything so the images should be bright with clean, minimalist, and organized rooms. This helps buyers imagine living in the space.

Understanding The Current Market

Knowledge of the current market leads to a better sale outcome for someone using a real estate agent to sell their home. Selling during a buyers’ market can lead to losing thousands compared to a sellers’ market. This falls under the concept of supply and demand. A buyers’ market is when there are a lot of properties listed with less buyers. This leads to lower home prices because of the options that buyers have. A sellers’ market is when there are only a few listings, with many buyers, creating higher home prices.


Vetting Buying Agent

When determining what buying agent you would like to use to help find a new home, you need to find someone you trust and understands what you are looking for. Also, like a selling agent, you should ask about their past/recent sales, the agency that they work for, and the current market.

Past/Recent Sales

As stated above, tenure comes into play with the number of sales. Someone who has been selling longer will generally have more sales than a newer agent. When looking at past sales, finding out about some recent sales will give you a better idea of the agent. An agent who has been working longer may have only had a few sales in the past year while a new agent may have more with better connections in town. This gives you a leg up on any properties that are coming on to the market or pocket listings in the agency they work for.

Vetting the Real Estate Agency

When asking about the agency, find out about sales, number of agents and reach throughout the communities. More agents equals more opportunities for listings to come on the market. Working with an agent in a larger office can sometimes help you learn about upcoming listing before they go on the MLS.

An office with consistent sales shows that they work well with other agencies as well as in their own office. These connections between agents leads to an easier sale of properties and more knowledge about the market.

Finally, research the agency’s  reach through the community. If the agency is not reaching potential sellers, then you could be missing out on potential properties. While the MLS requires agencies to list within 24 hours of signing, knowledge of possible listings in the offices could help give you the advanced notice to prepare.

Current Market Awareness

Knowledge of the current market will help the right agent determine the best price to sell and buy your home. Purchasing a home is always a big investment, so having the knowledge of the community, local taxes and general market information will only protect you when you are planing to buy real estate in the Adirondacks.

Now that you know more about how to vet a real estate agent, check out available residential properties in the Adirondacks, and give us a call.

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