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8 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is about more than simply buying or selling a house. Your home is your sanctuary it is an expression of who you are.

You need a real estate agent who will take the time to understand your needs and focus on properties that are a potentially good fit, or help prospective buyers understand the value of your home's special features.

There are so many things to consider when entrusting your home current or future to a real estate agent. Before hiring, we suggest asking the following questions:

1. How long have you been selling real estate?

Experience is incredibly important in this business. It takes time to build knowledge, develop negotiation skills, and establish a network.

Our team is proud to have the reputation and experience of Sotheby's International Realty behind us, as well as a unique local history that lends credibility to our position as a long-time leader in the Seacoast luxury real estate market.

2. What is your area of expertise?

Presumably, your agent will have some sort of specialty, whether a geographical area or a niche property type they have dealt with more regularly. Find out what that expertise is and whether it will serve your needs.

If you're looking to buy or sell in a unique market, make sure the agent you choose is well-acquainted with that area and has worked with homeowners there previously. Similarly, if an agent is not experienced with helping clients purchase luxury homes, they may not have the skills to help you find what you're looking for.

3. How do you communicate with clients?

Find out how the agent communicates with clients, and how often. If you are generally prone to email or prefer phone calls, you should ensure that your agent is comfortable with that and will be in touch as often as you'd like them to be.

4. Can you provide a few references?

As with any hiring, always ask for references. See if the agent can put you in touch with previous buyers or sellers he or she has worked with so that you can learn about their experience and style from a third party. And make sure they aren't simply friends and family, you want truly unbiased references.

5. How involved will you be in the sale or purchase of my home?

Some agents work alone, some with a team. Whatever their business situation, make sure to ask how personally involved that agent will be in the process of buying or selling your home. Is he a full-time sales associate or simply part-time? Does she work with assistants or other agents who will make appointments and take calls when she isn't available? Your home is a priority for you and it should be for your agent as well.

6. How will you market or find my home?

When hiring a real estate agent, be sure to ask what sort of ideas or plans they have for you whether searching for your dream home or selling your current one. Find out if he or she has an online marketing network and strategy. If your prospective agent can't think of anything past list it or Google search, you may want to find someone slightly more creative.

7. Will you offer advice for staging my home?

When you're looking to sell a home, you want to find out ifthe agent will offer staging advice. You may be perfectly comfortable with your agent coming in and out of your home, but what if the agent plans to have someone else handle the staging? Someone youve never met? Just make sure that you know what to expect.

8. Can you provide me with a CMA?

A competitive market analysis, or CMA, will provide you with all the information you need before listing your home. It should include the selling price, detailed information about your home, and comparable properties. Some agents may include brief statements on the most compelling features and benefits of your home. In short, its a way to ensure thatyour home is priced at the correct level.

At Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty, we pride ourselves on our ability to market your home with creativity and innovation. We offer the reach of a global company, but also have strong local ties that help us expertly match sellers and buyers in the NH and Southern Maine Seacoast area.

Speak to our team of professionals today to learn how we can put our experience to work for you.

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