Here are 5 questions you might consider asking.
Are you a full-time professional Realtor? How long have you worked full time in real estate? What professional designations do you have?
Knowing whether or not your Realtor practices real estate on a full-time basis can give you a piece of the puzzle in foreseeing scheduling conflicts and, overall, his or her commitment to your transaction. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations.
Do you have a personal assistant, team, or staff to handle different parts of the sales transaction? What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them?
It is not uncommon for high real estate sales producers to hire people to work for them or with them. They typically work on a referral basis, and, as their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more clients. You may want to be clear about who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team overall. If you needed help with a certain part of your condo sale, who should you talk to and how would you communicate?
Do you and/or your company each have a website that will provide me with useful information for research, services, and how you work with buyers?
Many homebuyers prefer to search online for homes and home buying information. There are certain privacy and comfort levels that you might appreciate in starting a preliminary search this way, and often it is just a matter of convenience, having 24-hour access to information. By searching the Realtor's and the company's Web sites, you will get a clear picture of how much work you would be able to accomplish online, and whether or not that suits your preferences.
How will you keep in contact with me during the buying process, and how often?
It's a good idea for you to set your expectations reasonably in accordance with how your Realtor conducts business. Asking this extra question can help you to reconcile your needs with your Realtor's systems, which makes for a far more satisfying relationship.
Can you explain one thing that you do that other agents don't do that ensures I'm getting top dollar for my property? What is your average market time versus other agents' average market time?
Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional's unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a property sells quickly. For example, an agent might research the demographics of your neighborhood and present to you a target market list for direct marketing purposes.