Whether you are buying or selling Vancouver Westside real estate, if you are planning on hiring a professional, having a great agent can make all the difference in the world. After all, it can mean selling your old house for top dollar or losing the home of your dreams and ending up with the bottom scraps. To help you differentiate between the top-dogs and the floundering beginners, we have compiled five questions for you to ask when looking for your superstar agent.
Question 1: May I see your resume?
Look for evidence of advanced training and designations. Recognitions and awards can be excellent indicators of their abilities to navigate the local market. If your agent is listed as a member in professional organizations, it is a sign that they are taking the profession seriously, and would in turn take you, the customer, seriously.
Question 2: What are your plans for marketing my home?
Organized agents will have a battle plan ready within the week of being contracted by you. They will be able to tell you specifically the steps to take to draw the attention of potential buyers as well as answer any questions you may have for your local market. If they show signs of impatience and dodge questions/or answer them with sparse details, it is likely that they do not value you as a client and therefore would not do you much good. Finally, remember to ask for additional advertisement venues such as online ads.
Question 3: How well do you know the area?
Excellent agents will have years of experience surveying the local market. Ideally, they will also already have an active business in your target neighborhoods and know the area well. Inquire about the number of homes they have helped buy or sell in the recent years as well as the number of active listings they have now. Because they specialize in the communities you are interested in, be sure to take advantage of their expertise and inquire about things such as safety stats, schools, groceries, median income and educational level of the neighborhood residents, as well as commute routes.
Question 4: What is your commission?
Conventionally speaking, 7% is charged to the first $100,000 of the purchase price, and around 3.5% on the remaining balance. However, this is not set in stone, and the commission can be – and should be – negotiated between you and the real-estate agent. Good agents will be willing to work around your budget, as long as you are reasonable. Remember that it is tough in the local market, and many agents have to work extra hard to sell properties. If you are able to reach an agreeable rate, your agent will be much more motivated to sell your property or find you that perfect home faster.
Question 5: What separates you from rest of your competition?
Top-notch agents will not hesitate to answer this question and will be ready to offer you tons of qualities that make them best suited for your needs. Do not just settle for someone who promises you show you listings and advertise to sell your place – this is what an agent does, after all! – but press for specific details on why they received the awards/professional recognitions listed on their resumes. Great agents will not only have your interests at heart, but usually will go the extra mile for their clients too.
There are many more questions you can ask to help you find a superstar agent, but it all boils down to your specific needs. If you have questions and would like an expert opinion, remember that your friendly-neighborhood agent, Marty Pospischil, is always available to cater to your Vancouver Westside real estate needs. Feel free to contact us today with any real estate related questions.