Usually the first question I get from a potential seller is, “What is your real estate commission?” A good question but not necessarily the best question or questions.
Most people believe all real estate agents are equally qualified. True, they each have met the same minimum requirements to get their license. Let’s take a look at those minimum requirements:
Pass a criminal background check
Pass a 72 hour training course exam
Pay $150 for 72 hour course; Pay $54 for exam fee; Pay $50 every two years for license renewal.
Each license issued is the same – The State does not issue different licenses for various levels of expertise, knowledge and/or experience or education. That’s one reason that the questions “What is your real estate commission?” is not the best question to ask when hiring an agent to sell.
1) How long have you been selling land? – Having an experienced land agent specialist means a higher price, less time to sell, and a minimum amount of hassle to you. (It’s interesting that in the real estate business, agents with many successfully closed transactions usually COSTS THE SAME as agents who are inexperienced.)
2) Is real estate your full-time job? – The agent should be committed to real estate as a career and not as a part-time job or a second job. You should not accept any less from your real estate agent than you would from your doctor, lawyer or insurance agent.
3) How much education have you received? – By law, real estate agents are required to take classes to keep their license in good standing, but you should expect more from your agent. An agent with advance studies and education is worth his weight in gold to you.
4) Will you represent me exclusively? – Some agency listing agreements allow the agent to represent both the seller and buyer. While this is usually legal, it’s important to understand that when this occurs, the agent’s obligations is no longer solely to you.
5) What marketing techniques will you use to sell my land? – The agent should have a creative marketing plan and strategy for your property. Ask to see samples of marketing materials. Compare it to the marketing plan & materials of other agents.
6) Do you have a website? – If so, then visit the website and view it as if you were a buyer. If the agent has a blog, read their posts and comments. You will get enormous insights into the agent’s personality & local expertise, among other things.
7) What aspects of the transaction will you personally handle? – This question should determine the agent’s direct involvement of marketing, advertising, qualifying the buyer, contract negotiations, closing preparation, and closing. Some agents delegate so it’s important to know what your agent is doing and what others are doing.
8) Can I cancel the listing agreement if not pleased? – Know the terms of the contract you are signing. If you do not like what your agent has done to help you sell your land, can you part ways? What are the terms?
The sale of your land could be the most important financial transaction you will ever do. The agent you select can make it a profitable activity or a terrible experience. It’s your Land! The choice of agent is up to you. Make the selection carefully.