3 Questions Before Choosing a Realtor to Sell Investment Property
You have determined that it is time to sell your investment property and that you will use a Realtor to do so. Finding a good Realtor takes effort. You want to find someone who is the best fit for you and for your property. Here are the three main questions you should ask before choosing a Realtor to sell your investment property.
How Long Have You Been a Realtor?
You will want to know how long an individual has been practicing real estate as a profession. Being a Realtor tends to be a transition phase for some people as they float between jobs, while others practice it as a true career.
You should not rule out individuals who have only been Realtors for a few years, just as you should not automatically choose a Realtor because they have been in the business for 20 years. Newbies may have more fire and drive to prove they can be successful, while people who have been in the business for decades could be jaded and just going through the motions of the occupation. On the other hand, decades of experience can be invaluable when trying to get your property sold, while novices can make beginner’s mistakes and potentially cost you a sale.
In addition to the length of time an individual has been a Realtor, you also want to know if they practice it as a full-time or as a part-time occupation. Again, this is a subjective question because some part-time Realtors may be better than some full-time ones and vice-versa. You will have to determine how comfortable you are with the Realtor and their ability to get your property sold.
Are You Licensed?
Most states require real estate agents to be licensed in order to sell or rent real estate for a fee. Each state has different requirements as to what is necessary to receive this license. Most will require a certain number of hours of educational classes as well as successfully passing a written exam. To be licensed as a real estate broker, an individual must have a certain number of years of experience in the real estate industry and must complete a more extensive educational course.
You can usually verify a real estate agent’s license online. Every state has its own real estate board. You are usually able to find this information by typing in the Realtor’s name, real estate license number, and state in which they practice. You should also be able to find out if the agent has any complaints or disciplinary actions against them.
A Realtor must be licensed in the state in which the property is located in order to be able to sell property in that state. Make sure the real estate agent is licensed in the state where your property is located.
How Many Properties Did You List Last Year and How Many Did You Sell?
This is an important question to ask a prospective Realtor. It can give you insight into how successful they are at their job. You do not only want to know how many properties they have sold in the last year because this statistic can be skewed. They might have sold 10 properties, but might have had 100 listings. While those 10 clients may be happy, the other 90 are not as pleased.
It is important to see how many listings the real estate agent has taken on compared to how many they have actually sold. This can give you insight into how dedicated they are when they take on a listing. Maybe the real estate agent sold nine homes last year, but if they only took on ten listings, then those are pretty impressive statistics.
If you can get the Realtor’s results from a few years, it is even better. You want a year by year breakdown, not just a lump sum of sales from the last five years. Selling real estate is very dependent on the economy, so a Realtor may have a down year or two, but it is not for lack of effort or skill.
You will want to look at the location of the sold and unsold listings. Are they in the same geographic area as your property? One town over can be a very different market than the one your property is located in, just as certain parts of the same town could be more desirable than others.
Has the Realtor had success in selling in your property’s part of town or are the majority of unsold properties near your property’s location? Knowledge of the local real estate market is a very important consideration when choosing a Realtor.