Whether you’re buying or selling, it can be a serious benefit to have a Realtor® by your side. But if you don’t choose correctly, the mistake can cost you time and money. To decide who to partner with when searching for St. Louis real estate
, here are tips for interviewing a St. Louis Realtor®.
Gauge their expertise
A good question to ask for gauging expertise is how long they’ve been a Realtor®. Although the number of years they’ve worked isn’t a straightforward indication of their expertise, a Realtor® who’s been in the profession for a while is likely to have established strategies and skills. Although newer agents may be knowledgeable about the process, they may lack the real-life experience to provide the best help. Newer agents may have a substantial support network to augment their lack of experience, but you won’t know unless you ask.
Also, ask how familiar they are with the area. If you’re a buyer searching for St. Louis City homes for sale, a Realtor® will know about certain neighborhoods that match your needs, shopping areas, restaurants, and entertainment centers are located, and what properties you may be interested in that are exclusive or not yet listed. As a seller, a Realtor® will understand what local buyers are looking for in your neighborhood, and how to connect with buyers to view your property.
A Realtor® should also know about local real estate market trends and their influences. They’ll know whether it’s a buyers’ or sellers’ market and other economic data that impacts the area. Also, ask a Realtor® about their list-price-to-sales-price ratio
. Often the ability to buy low and sell high will demonstrate an agent’s ability to negotiate on your behalf and implement effective strategies. For the scope of their overall success, ask them about how many transactions they closed in the last year, and how many of those transactions represented buyers or sellers.
Know how they get their work done
Once you know about a Realtor®’s general experience, ask them questions to better understand how they get their work done. Some Realtors work alone, and others work in a team, so knowing who you’ll be in contact with is important to maintaining clear communication. Also knowing if your Realtor® has a manager, assistant, or marketing director, will help you avoid surprises when selling or buying a St. Louis home.
Before you end the interview, make sure you have the proper information to contact the Realtor® again. Record their name and contact information, whether that be via phone, Zoom, or email. If they work on a team, get the information of other people you’re likely to be in contact with and their roles. And, ask when it’s okay to reach out or if they have any specific hours of business.
Be clear on communication
Once you partner with a Realtor® to help you with St. Louis homes for sale
, you’ll have to communicate a lot. Ask questions about their accessibility and availability, such as if they’re working with other clients that may take up their time, and if they have somebody to assist with their communication.
Also, ask what their primary mode of communication is. Usually, Realtors® like to email and text clients when working, which is important to keep in mind if you prefer phone calls or in-person communication. Overall, an interview with a Realtor® is the time to gauge what their communication style is like and if you think it’s compatible with your own.
Ask about their strategy and network
A good Realtor® will already have marketing strategies in place, and asking about them can help you understand if they’re the best fit. As a buyer, a Realtor® should know how they’ll search for homes that meet your needs, and what to do once you do find the one. As a seller, a Realtor® will have clear steps to marketing your home, online and offline. They’ll know how to list a home to attract the most buyers, and what changes or repairs to make to secure more offers.
They’ll also have networks of professionals who provide services their clients need. Some of the professionals a Realtor® will have connections with are contractors, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, and title companies. Ask them why they’ve chosen the people they have to gauge if they’re reliable.
Hear from references
One of the best ways to see if a real estate agent is the best fit is to ask for a list of references. This can be helpful to do if you’re working with a newer agent, who may not have online reviews available for you to read. Search for clients with a similar situation as yours, and ask if you would be able to call them if you want to hear from them personally.
Understand their fees and guarantees
By the end of an interview, you should have a good feel for the Realtor®. If you want to work with them, then the next step is to ask about fees and guarantees. Realtor® fees are usually negotiable, and they typically ask for anywhere between 3-7% commission depending on the work involved and services being provided. This price includes services like home pricing, marketing your home to buyers, negotiating offers and best deals, coordinating other vendors, and general agent fees.
Also, be careful of the types of guarantees a Realtor® offers. For example, if they guarantee they’ll find or sell a home for you within a certain number of days, then that may be a signal to look somewhere else. However, if you realize after partnering that you need to cancel the agreement, it’s important to know the contract you signed off on.
Ready to work with a St. Louis Realtor®?
There’s a lot to keep in mind when interviewing a Realtor®, but with these tips, you’re well equipped to make a smart decision. When you’re ready to work with a St. Louis Realtor®, contact trusted local agent team Dillon Gray LeFan
to guide you through the process. Missy Dillon
, Brandon Gray
, and Jessica LeFan
are the agents you need on your side.