Tips On Choosing An Agent

When deciding if it is time to buy or sell your NJ home, one of the first steps you will take is finding a Real Estate Agent/REALTOR® to work with.

If you are selling your home in NJ…

Whether you are upsizing or downsizing, possibly moving out of state, there are many things to consider when choosing a real estate agent to work with.  You typically sign a contract with the agent and brokerage firm for a term that is normally 6 months.  So, I would ensure that the agent that you interview and choose, your personalities mesh and that you feel comfortable working with this agent and brokerage firm and that you’ve done your due diligence.  If they are part of a team and will not handle all elements of your listing, make sure you know so you can choose wisely.  There are many agents that are widely known and have many listings, ask them questions you have such as the quantity of time and attention and marketing dollars as well as marketing shared space.

Now, when interviewing agents, me personally if I were listing my home, I would ask them questions such as the following.  If I see agents with more than a specific number that I feel I am comfortable with in sharing their time and attention, I would hone in on some more specific questions but some sample questions I would have:

  • How often and by what method will I hear from you?
  • What is your marketing plan? If you have a lot of listings, where does my home fall in your list of priority? Do you rotate the schedule and shared space? How does this work?
  • There are only 20 slots on a newspaper ad for example, will my home be showcased and besides you, I assume you have a rotation between the other agents in your office?
  • How often will you hold an open house.  Will it be you or another agent hosting it?  Who is it if is not you?
  • You are listing this in the MLS, so it will be indexed to the mainstream sites, but besides that, will you market my home on social media sites? Again, if you have x amount of  listings, how much attention and what schedule will my home be showcased if at all?
  • Will you be taking video, virtual tour footage, additional pictures?
  • Will you be the agent all buyers agents contact and answer questions on and provides me with feedback or another member within your team?  If that is the case and it is not you, I want to know when I can meet with the team member and they will be touring my home?
  • What marketing experience do you have?
  • What real estate experience do you have?

All the above to me are important, because if I were a seller, I want to sell my home fast.  So I want it marketed as much as possible and in all outlets and then some.  Yes, it’s very important to be on realtor.com and homes.com and zillow.com, however, once the listing is submitted to the MLS, it automatically will show there.  So I want in a listing agent, more effort and work than just the bare minimum, and this is me personally speaking if I were listing my home.

 

If you are buying a home in NJ…

If you are a buyer, remember, you are embarking on a journey together.  Your family, and this real estate agent.  So for this journey, I recommend, you ask some questions and get some research on the agent as well:

  • Ensure you have communication that is direct and the real estate agent is easy to get a hold of.
  • Feel at ease discussing important thoughts so that the process goes smoothly and you don’t feel any buyer’s remorse
  • What is their availability? Full time/ part time?  Ensure you don’t choose an agent who only has Saturday & Sunday available, but you work those days for example.  You need to be shown houses, so you will need to have a schedule that coincides.
  • Does your personalities mesh?
  • Is the agent local?  For example, a new home comes on the market Monday morning, if they aren’t in the surrounding areas, they might not to drive to the house and take an hour in driving for 1 house depending on their schedule.
  • Also is the agent local?  You are moving to a new house, and possibly town- you might have questions or the agent might not show you the proper houses for your wish list if they aren’t familiar with the area. Example: you want to be close to a park- there is a park(ing lot) in the area they show you because they’ve never been to the house/town!
  • Are the knowledgeable about the current market in that area?
  • What is their experience?

Remember, your home is your largest investment!  Ensure you choose wisely because this is a huge step.  You don’t want to get through some steps and wish you went a different way.  Uncle Bob’s 3rd cousin Suzy, might not be a great fit!

Happy Shopping!  As always, I’m here to help.  Anything you need- reach out at anytime!