Hiring a Realtor Checklist
- REALTOR STATUS: First and foremost, the most important question to ask when hiring a real estate professional is to make sure they are actually a Realtor. Some real estate agents choose not to affiliate with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), therefore they do not have Realtor status, which is a trademarked name. it is important to hire an actual Realtor because we are bound by a very strict code of ethics, ensuring the utmost professionalism. Additionally, we have access to technology and marketing that are exclusive to Realtors affiliated with NAR and our local Realtor board.
- EXPERIENCE: Make sure your Realtor has enough experience to be able to successfully market your property if it’s a listing, negotiate the terms of a contract when working with buyers and sellers, and represent your best interest all the way to closing. I would recommend asking for references, online reviews, or to view a portfolio of sales.
- AVAILABILITY: Do not overlook the fact that you also need to make sure the Realtor isn’t too busy to take on new clients. If a Realtor has too large a client load, it is difficult to successfully provide you with full Realtor services and communicate effectively. If a Realtor knows his/her limit they can maintain a fair balance of their time with each of their clients. However, if your Realtor is too busy, they have to prioritize and unfortunately, not everyone can be top priority. You are looking for balance; a Realtor with plenty of experience to give you the highest level of representation but not so busy that they are inaccessible. Also make sure your Realtor will be available when you are to look at property, for instance in the evenings and weekends.
- INTERNET DATA EXCHANGE (IDX): If you are listing your property, make sure your Realtor is an IDX subscriber. IDX subscribers feed their listings to all local broker real estate websites. Therefore, regardless of which site a buyer searches, your home appears in the search engine. This means that your home is on all of the Realtor’s competitor websites, with the main purpose being to ensure your home has full internet exposure.
- SOCIAL MEDIA PACKAGES: It is important to hire a Realtor that understands how effective social media marketing is when listing your property. Make sure the Realtor uses several top social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Over 96% of buyers are online looking for their dream home, so we want to make sure no stone is left unturned when it comes to showcasing your property.
- SYNDICATED HUB FEED: When listing your property, it is important to make sure that no matter which website a buyer uses, nationwide or worldwide, your home is there. During the interview, ask the Realtor what resource they use to send the listing to third party syndicated websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Homes.com, to name a few. ListHub is a popular choice where the Realtor has the option of feeding your listing to dozens of additional websites. Custom Select Realty also subscribes to ListHub International, making sure we capture an international audience. Economic and job growth in the Louisville area is leading to increasing domestic and international relocation to the River City.
- PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO: When conducting Realtor interviews, you should always ask to see photography and video from their listings. Some Realtors take their own photographs and do a good job, but some do not. Many Realtors will outsource still photos, video, aerial drone photography, square footage measuring, etc. Some of the best listings in the area that really shine are the ones where the Realtor outsourced to other professionals.
- FULL OR LIMITED SERVICES: Know up front what kind of Realtor you are dealing with and ask a series of questions about representation during the initial interview. Do you want to take phone calls from prospective buyers, schedule showings and hold open houses, or do you want your Realtor to do those tasks? If you want full service, hire a Realtor that is eager to do open houses, update web feeds, and communicate effectively with both parties. When you list with Custom Select Realty we contractually agree to fulfill all of our marketing duties.
- TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: Find a Realtor that can post your property online within 24 hours of the initial paperwork. When it comes to marketing, negotiating, presenting offers, and showing property, it is imperative to hire a Realtor that is accessible to your needs. Oftentimes when you receive a contract on your home, the buyer’s agent will have the contract expiring that night. Be sure your Realtor will be available and accessible regardless of the day or time. Buying and selling a home is often the biggest financial decisions a person makes and you need to be sure your interests are represented in a timely manner.
- GO WITH YOUR GUT: Once you find an agent that has the experience, is going to be there for you when needed, has the best intentions of representing your best interest, and is dedicated to your marketing plans, go with your gut and hire the agent that you feel connected with. If you do 2-5 interviews you will probably find a variety of different personalities; in the end, hire a true professional that you also feel comfortable having a relationship with over the next several months.
If you are in the market to buy or sell residential or commercial property this year, we would appreciate the opportunity to be added to your interview schedule. We provide full Realtor services, a free market analysis of your home, innovative marketing, and a no obligation consultation.
We also offer a Menu of Marketing Services, where you select the marketing and your commission rate. Call or private message me when you’re ready to set up an appointmemt.
Rob Sightler, Custom Select Realty (502) 693-5289