Choosing an Associate
You’ve made the decision to buy or sell a home, but don’t know where to begin! Selecting an Associate to help you through the entire process from start to finish is going to be critical. The best thing you can do when selecting your Associate, is to choose someone who has a personality that fits with your own. You will be spending a lot of time with your Associate, so liking them is a benefit! Consider asking the following questions when interviewing an Associate to sell your home:
Are you a REALTOR®?
There is a difference between a Real Estate Licensee and a REALTOR®. A licensee who is a member of the National Association of REALTOR®s, is bound by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice associated with the industry, and may be disciplined for violating it. They have a duty to treat all parties honestly and fairly, and have a fiduciary duty to their clients.
What is the process of selling my home? Buying a new home?
Your Associate should be able to explain the process of listing and marketing your property or searching for a new home. Negotiating offers on the property, the inspection process, the closing process and more should be explained. Also inquire about what your responsibilities are during the transaction.
Can you assist in determining price?
An Associate should know the comparable sales data, and be able to give you the information you need regarding current listings, pending sales, and recent sales. After a thorough review of the data, and some advice from your Associate, you should be able to come up with a price. Your Associate should not be the one to make the final decision about your listing pricing strategy.
Do you have training and education?
Most states have strict laws regarding licensing and continuing education. Your Associate should be able to give you up to date information, should be committed to continuing education and should always act with professionalism. Ask if your Associate has any designations indicating a specialty in any areas, such as Buyer Representation, Seller Representation, Relocation Specialist, Senior Real Estate Specialist, or other.
Can you give me any references?
Be certain that your Associate is willing to give you references, or let you contact past clients.
What can I expect as far as communication?
You will want an Associate who listens to your goals, explains and identifies problems, and answers all of your questions. Communication is key, so ask your potential Associate how he or she plans on informing you of issues or concerns throughout the transaction as well as timelines and deadlines.
How do you get paid?
Inquire about the fee structure and representation. Associates generally earn a commission and are paid by the Seller out of funds at the closing. Ask your Associate to explain the process so you have a better understanding of how it works. Your Associate is a licensed professional and is there to help and protect your best interests by explaining compensation in detail.
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