Buying or selling a home is a huge undertaking! In some cases it can even feel like a full-time job. Plus, you’re either making one of the biggest investments of your life or trying to sell the biggest investment of your life. It’s vital to make sure you have the right Realtor to guide you through the process. A good Realtor will take the bulk of the work off your shoulders and end up getting you a better deal than you might get on your own.
It’s completely acceptable and even advised to interview more than one Realtor before signing any contracts. At Powell Real Estate Group, we’re more than happy to meet with you and go over any questions you may have before making the decision to use one of our agents. To help, we’ve come up with a list of questions to ask any Realtor you might interview.
Before we start, let’s clarify the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. Did you know there’s a difference?
Realtors are trained and held to a higher standard in order to have the title. All of our brokers at Powell Real Estate Group are Realtors.
8 Questions to ask your Realtor in Tri-Cities Washington
1. What’s your schedule and availability?
In a hot market like the Tri-Cities, it’s vital to view homes and submit offers fast. In a lot of cases a home will go on the market and sell the same day. You’ll want to make sure your Realtor has a flexible schedule that will allow them to show a home and write up a contract in a matter of hours. Is real estate their full-time job? Homes in the Tri-Cities, Washington go fast – can your Realtor work faster?
2. Do you work independently or as part of a team?
You’ll want to know if you’ll be working with the same Realtor throughout your transaction or if someone else will be answering the phone every time you call. Some agents have a support staff doing clerical work behind the scenes, some agents work as a duo and share the work evenly, and still others work as a team of agents with different responsibilities throughout the transaction. At Powell Real Estate Group, you’ll typically work with the agent you hired 100% of the time.
3. How long does it typically take buyers you worked with to find and close on a home?
Of course there are several factors that come into play when answering this question, such as how the local market is, the homebuyer’s budget, and the list of expectations for a home that the buyer has. That being said, if it’s a seller’s market and homes in your price range are selling fast, you’ll want to make sure your agent has the proper negotiating skills to get your offer front, center, and accepted.
4. How many clients are you currently working with?
You’ll want to make sure your Realtor doesn’t have too much on their plate. Especially in a market like the Tri-Cities, things move fast and your Realtor needs to move faster. If you’re listing a home, you might receive multiple offers on the same day. If you’re buying a home, you might be the person making one of several offers on a home. Make sure you have a Realtor that has the capacity to make you a priority and prioritize your needs.
5. How will you communicate with me during the buying/selling process? How often?
Do you prefer texting, emailing, or talking on the phone? Every client and every agent has their preferences, and it’s okay to let your agent know which one you prefer and which one drives you nuts. A professional broker will adapt to your communication style.
There’s a lot going on throughout the process of buying or selling a home. Negotiations, inspections, loan updates, title searches and sometimes other hiccups require a broker to touch base with their client frequently. It can be an anxiety-filled time waiting to find out if your offer was accepted. Let your broker know when and how you’d like to be contacted with those updates.
6. Can I have a comparative market analysis (CMA)?
A comparative market analysis (CMA) not only helps a seller know what price point to list their home at, it helps a buyer know if they’re making a solid offer on the home they’re looking to buy.
A CMA (usually called “comps” on all the TV shows we love to watch) will take a look at similar homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood or area and show you what they sold for. Beyond looking at price, as a seller you’ll get an idea of what features and updates are popular and what buyers might be expecting. As a buyer, you can feel confident you’re not overpaying.
7. How will you market my home?
The days of newspaper ads are over. Marketing is an entirely different world than it was 30 years ago!
The most important marketing technique is listing your home on the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). At Powell Real Estate Group, we list all of our homes on the Pacific Regional Multiple Listing Service (PACMLS). PACMLS is a “Realtor-owned collaborative effort that endeavors to provide services to Realtor Real Estate professionals across the Northwest…current founding member Realtor Associations include Tr-City, Lower Yakima Valley, and Whitman County.
What does this mean? Thousands of eyes on your home. Not only does it put you into the local MLS system for Realtors to see, but most real estate brokerages have special plug-ins on their website that automatically grab listings from the local MLS and feed into their site. It also (almost) instantly uploads the listing onto powerhouse websites like Zillow and Realtor.com. The MLS essentially plasters your home across the Internet for people on the hunt for a new home located in your area.
In addition to listing your home on PACMLS, at Powell Real Estate Group we use social media such as Facebook and Instagram to further advertise your home and get it in front of potential buyers, thus increasing the chance of a quick sale.
We’ll also put a sign in your yard, provide fliers, and do an open house the first weekend after your home hits the market.
8. What experience do you have?
Experience in the real estate industry is essential. You’ll want someone that has developed relationships with brokers in the area as well as the other professionals that come into play during a real estate transaction. Keep in mind that rookie real estate agents can be advantageous as well. They’re anxious to do well and will work hard to get the job done right. And as long as they’re working for a well established brokerage, you can rest assured they have a managing broker guiding their work.
Tri-Cities Realtors Ready to Serve You
At Powell Real Estate Group, we have a fantastic team of brokers with a combined 30 years of experience to help you with your real estate needs. We have extensive knowledge with buying, selling, short-sales, and property management as well as competitive marketing and negotiating techniques. All of these crucial skills work together to create a fine-tuned method to bring you success in this fast-paced Tri-Cities real estate market.
We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have! Call us today at (509) 563-2224.