Who Should Sell My Home? How To Find A Qualified NJ Real Estate Agent By Asking 22 Key Questions.
How to identify a qualified NJ Real Estate Agent to sell your New Jersey home is something every seller should know. Asking smart questions when interviewing a potential NJ Realtor is critical to your home sale success. Many consumers think that all NJ Real Estate Agents offer the same services when selling a home- this is FALSE.
The “traditional ratio for most businesses is that 80% of the sales are done by 20% of the salespeople. I have read that the ratio in Real Estate is 94% of sales made by 6% of salespeople! That is an incredible statistic.
So how do you go about picking the right Realtor to work with?
Ask uncomfortable Real Estate interview questions. These questions will make an unskilled Realtor very uncomfortable yet will be absorbed and answered by a skilled agent.
There is no better recommendation than a track record of success.
Work with an agent that performs on a consistent basis and has had high results. Your paying the fee you should demand excellence and demand working with an exceptional agent rather than an inferior agent who doesn’t do much real estate business.
Some questions to ask:
- How many homes did you sell last year as a seller’s agent? As a buyer’s agent?
Experience is very helpful but doesn’t necessarily mean that a newer agent couldn’t be a rising superstar. My list can be seen here.
- Are you a full time agent or a part time agent?
I am full time –available 7 days a week! A Part time agent with distractions such as another job simply cannot handle the influx of calls from both buyers and other Realtors with all the questions they will have. If you are listing your home with a part time agent then ask that they partner with a full time agent to assist during the day. Buyer Realtors are not going to wait until after 5 pm to return their phone calls and emails.
- As a seller’s agent, what was the average number of days on market and list to sales price ratio?
Just like Baseball Players and Football Players, Realtors have statistics. Demand to see results that can be easily obtained by the local Multiple Listing Service. Don’t get caught with a Realtor that gives you an inflated value of your home just to get your business. “Buying a listing” is a very common tactic that agents do when competing with other Realtors. Ask for my updated stats when we meet.
- What kind of market share do you and your company have?
This is not necessarily as critical but you should at least be working with someone who has some working knowledge of the town and has had many sales. The more sales an agency has the better chance a seller has of their home being properly marketed. I am fortunate to be affiliated with the largest agency in the area.
Personal Service and Testimonials
- Do you have an administrator or personal assistant?
Yes and I could never live without my full time administrator! Busy Realtors can have a hard time doing everything well on their own. When a Realtor has a personal assistant you know they care about personal service. A Realtor can’t be in two places at once. A helping hand and a great team and “back office” makes a skilled agents job seamless. In addition I also have a complete full time support staff of individuals who oversee transactions, monitor internet advertising and who generate leads to your listing!
- Can you provide me with at least three recent references?
Online Marketing and Advertising
- The Internet is a critical tool for selling homes. How will you market my property online?
I spend at least 2 hours per day doing my own online marketing not to mention we have full time people at the office who contribute daily. This is probably one of the most important interview questions you ask the Realtor! You want to align yourself with an agent that has a strong understanding of both online and social media marketing. More than 90% of all buyers find their home online. The brokerage you choose should be marketing your home EVERYWHERE!
- Do you have your own personal Real Estate website for marketing homes and if so does it come up in competitive Real Estate searches such as State, City and the words NJ Real Estate or NJ Realtor?
You bet I do. http://SellTodayWithRay.Com This is a very important consideration when hiring a Realtor. A top Real Estate agent will invest in having a fantastic website that not only looks outstanding but more importantly attracts buyers for local Real Estate searches. You want your home in the spotlight which can be achieved when the agent you select understands (SEO) search engine optimization and achieves the 1st page of Google rankings for keyword searches buyers most often use.
- Do you have a Real Estate blog to market your clients? Do you use your blog as a marketing tool.
You are reading it right now. Its domain is http://realtorraynj.com Like a website, Real Estate blogs are great avenues for promotion.
- Do you use social media marketing in your business such as Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more to reach other Realtors and potential clients?
My information and our listings are promoted on the top social media sites with updates daily. Please click on the links above to go to each one. I have enhanced Facebook and Twitter advertising and both of these sites are becoming incredible tools for a Realtor to use to cast a wider net to reach potential home buyers.
- Will you be using video or virtual tours to market my home created by a professional ?
Yes. I hire a professional photographer to take high quality HD photos of your home and have a virtual tour created from the shoot. Here is an example http://jumpvisualtours.com/222760 This shows not only that the Realtor is willing to diversify their real estate marketing but that they are willing invest money in the sale of your property.
- Will my home be “enhanced” on the most visited Real Estate websites such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com?
Yes. Always. This is included and part of what you pay for. Agents must pay these portals to enhance a listing and drive it to the “top of a search”. There are over 50 sites to advertise on. Real Estate marketing is all about presentation and it is not enough just to be included in only the 3 most well know Real Estate sites. The Realtor you choose should be presenting your home with 20-25 HD professionally shot photos, detailed descriptions highlighting your homes best attributes, and an embedding a virtual tour. You need your listing to stand out above the rest. Most agents and agencies simply cannot afford this. A top producer or top agency can.
- Do you have a good camera?
This is a trick question folks. Like I said earlier I do not use camera. I use and hire a professional photographer. What do I know about photography? Nothing. Therefore I should not be doing it when it’s one of the most important aspects of selling your house. Again this is a service that a top producing agent will provide and pay for out of his or her pocket.
Preparing and Staging a Home for Sale
- Can you show me how to make my home more marketable?
Yes. Any good Realtor should be able to give you some simple advice on how to make your home as presentable as possible. Things like whether or not it would be worthwhile to make an improvement or properly staging a home for sale.
Feedback and Communication throughout the Home Sale Process
- When a buyer calls on my home will you be the one they communicate with?
When a buyer clicks “contact me with more information” on one of the 50 plus websites your home is advertised on I get a phone call with that buyer’s information in under one minute.
- How will you communicate with me regarding your efforts?
I use phone, email, or text or any combination of all three: It is up to you. An agent should be responsive and flexible and should communicate in the manner the client desires. Not the other way around. Above all else there should be regular communication.
- Do you have a feedback system and if so, how does it work?
Yes and it’s amazing technology! Within one hour of a showing the buyer’s Realtor receives an email requesting the feedback from them and their client. We know when they left the property because they put the key back into the lock box and the system automatically sends the feedback request. We make it as simple as possible for the other agent because we realize this is not mandatory for them to comply with our request for feedback but important to our success.
- How readily accessible will you be? Do you have a cell phone that I can reach you on when I need to?
I am available to my home seller’s and landlords 24/7. You will be given a mobile phone number where you can reach me directly anytime of the day or night and any day of the week including holidays.
- Once the offer is accepted will you be attending all the inspections on my home?
A full service Realtor should offer to be at the home inspection, bank appraisal, etc. However sometimes the buyer would rather do their due diligence without the seller representative looking over their shoulder. This is on a case by case basis but I never miss an appraisal.
- How will you verify that the buyer is qualified to purchase my home?
I check that the buyer is qualified by making sure that there is a legitimate pre-approval letter accompanying the offer and speaking with the buyers’ lender if the approval doesn’t “look right”. This is another example of where experience plays a huge role. After looking at hundreds of pre-approvals you learn which one are not worth the paper they printed on and which are legitimate.
- What are the fees associated to sell my home and why?
Pay peanuts and get monkeys. You absolutely must spend money to make money. There are no short cuts to getting great service with great internet exposure, pro-pictures, a great support staff, and a Real Estate Agent who will negotiate in your best interest and not his or hers. However, it is possible to save money when selling but you as a seller must understand the negatives that are inherently associated with a lower commission rate and how it will affect the sale of your home. If your Realtor can not explain this in detail to allow you to make an educated decision, do not use him/her because they do not understand the most important aspect of the sale.
- As far as production goes if I called the president/owner of your company would they tell me you were one of the top producing agents in the company or a middle of the road agent?
They would say I am in the top 5% percent of the company. He would also tell you that when he sells his own properties and wishes to remain anonymous that he hires me to be his Realtor. In life you get what you pay for. Why not hire the best agent if it doesn’t cost you more.
Here are his exact words about a recent transaction.
“I trusted the sale of my valuable investment to Ray Ciampaglia and the BHGRE Coccia Realty Lyndhurst office, knowing that they would provide me with the same superior service and outstanding marketing the company provides all its seller clients. Ray and the team exceeded my expectations – which is not easy to do!” Jan Kwapniewski-President BHGRE Coccia Realty
There are some truly great Realtors out there. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time and effort to find them. Don’t settle for any Realtor that walks just through your door or who is a family member or a friend of a friend because you will most likely end up disappointed. Well thought out Real Estate interview questions should be something every home seller does. I hope this helps you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Raymond Ciampaglia is New Jersey State Licensed Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Coccia Realty
Thinking of buying or selling a home? Contact me for a free Real Estate consultation. My information is below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Raymond Ciampaglia, Realtor®
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Coccia Realty
424 Valley Brook Ave | Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Office: (201)939-8900 | Fax: (201)939-8910
#BeBetter #BHGRE #NJRealEstate #NJRealtor