Whether you’re buying, selling, or both, it’s always a good idea to interview real estate agents before choosing the one you want to take control of your transaction.  This is especially important when you’re going through the divorce process as well, because the right real estate agents can make things easier, while the wrong agents can complicate things even more.

Here are some questions you might want to ask any Realtors that you interview:

  • Ask the agent how long he or she has been in the business.  A new agent may lack experience, but also may have more time to focus on your transaction.  With access to a good mentor, a young agent may not be a bad option.  Some experienced agents learn new things each year, while others repeat their first year over and over again.
  • You should ask the agent about the list price to sales price ratio.  Any good agent is able to negotiate a sales price lower than the listing price, so a competent listing agent should keep a track record for negotiating sales prices that are very close to list price.
  • Ask to hear about the agent’s marketing plan and their strategy to sell your home, and see if it matches your needs and expectations.
  • Ask for references, past client reviews, and testimonials, as they are important in the real estate industry.  Even new agents must have a previous employer.

Here are some red flags and situations to avoid:

  • An agent who does not ask you questions in order to learn more about your situation and find out your wants and needs is a red flag.  If they’re not even willing to take the time to talk to you, they may not consider your transaction as important.
  • You shouldn’t choose an agent that agrees with every crazy thing you may ask for.  A Realtor is professional, experienced, and highly educated in their field; they should be the one offering advice and information, and should know how to politely and rationally redirect you towards what your interest and focus should be.
  • You shouldn’t choose to work with a family member as your real estate agent.  We’ve personally seen this end catastrophically!  Those who do this are taking a big risk financially as well as risking the relationship with their family member.
  • Don’t choose the agent who recommended the highest listing price for your house solely for that reason.  The agent with the smartest pricing strategy is not usually the one recommending you list your home above market value.

The real estate agent you choose is the key to whether your home transaction will be successful or not, as well as the level of stress you’ll experience.  Under the guidance and expertise of an experienced and high-performing Realtor, you’re likely to experience a smooth transaction!

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