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Real Estate 101: Your First Meeting With Your Agent

Nov 25, 2007
When you meet with a real estate agent for the first time, you might be a bit nervous or even uncomfortable. This is particularly true if you have never sold property before and you are uncertain of what to expect.

In order to relax your nerves, you should come prepared to interview the Realtor on your first meeting. Don't feel awkward about conducting this interview, as the agent expects you to ask plenty of questions so you can determine if you are a good match. Similarly, the real estate agent is likely to ask you plenty of questions in order to learn more about your home and to determine a plan for selling your property.

Questions to Ask

When you meet with the Realtor for the first time, there are several questions you should ask in order to determine if you are good match. These questions include:

- How long have you been in this business?
- What is your list-price-to-sales-price ratio?
- What is your marketing plan?
- Who are your references?
- What separates you from the competition?
- What do you charge?
- What type of guarantees do you offer?

Although it is possible to get good service from a real estate agent that hasn't been in the business for a long time, you are better off dealing with an agent with experience in the business. If you are considering working with a newer Realtor, find out more about that agent's mentor or supervising broker in order to see if he or she has someone with experience to help with the process.

The average list-price-to-sales-price ratio is also an important consideration because you want to choose an agent that will be realistic about the asking price and that will work hard to get you the amount you are asking for. Similarly, you want to learn more about the agent's marketing plan, such as where and how he or she advertises.

The Realtor should be able to provide you with references, and you should be sure to follow up with those references and to ask them questions as well. In addition, the real estate agent should be able to clearly explain to you what he or she can offer that the competition cannot. Finally, the listing agent should charge a reasonable fee while also providing guarantees, such as allowing you to cancel your contract if you are unhappy with the agent's services.

Questions Your Real Estate Agent Will Ask You

In order to best serve your needs, your real agent should ask you several questions as well. For example, the real estate agent will want to know whether are not the property you are trying to sell is currently occupied. If so, the Realtor will need to make special arrangements when showing the house to prospective buyers.

The real estate agent will also want to know if there is anything special about the property that you think should be highlighted while showing it to potential buyers or if there are any problems with the home that need to be repaired. Similarly, the real estate agent might want to know if you are willing to spend any extra money in order to make improvements on the home in order to improve the chances of making a sale.

In all, you should expect your agent to communicate with you effectively and to make an effort to make the entire process as convenient and as profitable for you as possible.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin Real Estate Guide, his South Austin real estate company's website, & his Austin real estate Guide.
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