Hiring a real estate agent is a big decision.
We’ve talked before about why you need a real estate agent and given you plenty of advice about how to choose the right agent, when to sell/buy, and what the Charlotte market is like. Once you pick an agent, though, what should you discuss? Here are 14 things you should always, always tell your real estate agent whether you’re a seller or a buyer.
- Be upfront about whether or not you’re planning to update any aspect of your home. Adding a porch? Fixing the gutters? Having the fireplace serviced next week? Tell your Realtor.
- Tell your Realtor why you want to buy or sell. Need more space? Downsizing after the kids left the nest? They need to know these things to serve you well.
- Are you just starting to look for homes or have you been looking for a while? How many houses have you been shown…and are you under contract with another Realtor?
- Likewise, sellers should disclose whether or not the home’s been listed recently (as in, anytime in the last year) and what happened. If you couldn’t get any interest, say so.
- Tell your agent your concerns about the area. Are you worried about the new middle school going in, or have you noticed neighbors’ homes selling for less than usual?
- Your agent should know about your past experience with Realtors. If you prefer to work with a team rather than a single agent, say so. If you’ve only had negative Realtor experiences, tell them why.
- Along the same vein, tell your agent if you have a preferred method of communication. Hate checking voicemails but read your email constantly? Let them know how best to get in touch with you.
- Similarly, be upfront about how often you want to stay in communication. Some clients like weekly check-ins…some prefer only to be bothered when there’s news to share.
- Talk to your agent about your dealbreakers, buying or selling. As a seller, do you have a bottom-line price? As a buyer, would you never consider a single-story home or a house with a pool?
- Your agent should know what you expect from them. If you chose them because you liked the way they marketed listings via Facebook, tell them that’s important to you.
- Be honest about marketing hurdles they may face. If you’re absolutely opposed to having an open house be upfront about it. If your neighborhood has outlawed For Sale signs they need to know that, too.
- Tell them what your #1 priority is when it comes to your transaction. Do you need to be in a new house within the month? Or is it imperative you get a certain price for your home to satisfy your mortgage debt? Knowing where they have wiggle room gives agents room to work for you.
- Be clear about whether you’re interviewing other Realtors, and also talk about how you plan to make your decision.
- Talk to your agent about mortgage issues you’re facing. If you’ve been denied pre-approval, they should know that (and they also may have some resources available to help you navigate the current problems.)
All real estate agents are not created equal. Every great client/Realtor relationship begins with dialogue and it’s as important for you to be as upfront and honest as you expect your agent to be. Good agents will use your honesty to more effectively, efficiently market your home.
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