Key Questions to Help You Choose The Right Realtor
- How long have you been a Realtor? Someone who has been a Real Estate Agent 1 year may be the next best thing but do you want to be the one who finds out? This is possibly the biggest financial decision you will ever make.
- Are you full time? There are many Real Estate Agents in the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors who sell part time. Especially in a market like we have currently. Do you want to miss out on your dream home because your Real Estate Agent is at their other job? Also, if this is their full time job, their attention to the business is probably a little higher than a part-timer.
- How many homes have you sold in the last few years? Louisville is an 8 billion dollar real estate market. There are currently 3,000 listings and 4,000 members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors. Many have as little as 3-4 transactions a year. Good Real Estate Agents will have at least 20 with great Real Estate Agents averaging 50+. Ask for their stats, if they have not done 10 million in real estate transactions or represented 20 sides of a real estate deal I would question how good they are.
- How do you get paid? If you are selling your home assume you are going to pay 6% (on average) commission on the sell price of your home. On average 3% is going to the selling agent and 3 % is going to the buying agent. There is no set rule, commission structures are set by individual offices, but 3:3 is an average.
- Are there fees? Sellers should only have to worry about selling agent and listing agent commission and maybe a listing fee to cover equipment, marketing, pictures, and staffing your listing. Buyers agents should be commission only, no extra.
- Who do you work with for loan, closing and inspection? Agents will have an extensive list of local vendors. Local vendors mean less hiccups. Your agent should be able to pick up the phone and say, “Hey Mr. Loan Officer, WTF? Fix it!” If they do not have a strong relationship with the vertical vendors to real estate deals – good luck.
- Are you a broker? Brokers of a real estate company are the owners. They are the one who makes the decisions. Working with a broker is always best. They are the most knowledgeable, most flexible and most accountable in a transaction.
- Are you local?
Is your Realtor associated with a national big brand or a local agency? Local agencies have an intimate knowledge of the market. Big Brands have a national policy the applies to every market. Louisville is the biggest ‘little town’ in America. Local agencies are the lifeblood, and they understand the trends on a micro level. Big Brands think macro and develop trends and procedures based on markets like California and New York. How does that impact the price of tobacco, bourbon or houses?