Quality Real Estate Investment Tips
9 Interview Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent
What have you sold recently?
This will enable you to not only see their success rate, but also the kinds of homes they’re selling. For example, if you’re selling your two bedroom house, you won’t want an agent that has predominantly been selling units.
Do you have any references from previous clients?
A good real estate agent will happily provide you with a list of previous clients that you can speak with. If not, then you know that something might be amiss.
Can you show me your licence and registration?
Sounds like something an American cop would say in a tacky TV show right? Only ask this if you’re unable to find their licence details online with your relevant state authority. All real estate agents must go through a stringent licensing process before they are legally allowed to practice – the penalties for working without one are worse than being caught operating a car without a drivers licence.
How would you sell my house and why?
There are several ways to sell a home, and all have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the local market. Asking this question is a good way to gauge the agent’s knowledge of the property market, with your area in particular.
What advertising do you recommend?
Most of the time, the marketing of your home comes out of your pocket, so you want to be clear on what you’re actually paying for. Discuss the different options available, how they would like to advertise your proprety and how much this will cost.
How much do you think my home is worth?
This is probably the question you’re most interested in! Be wary of agents that give you an unrealistic price – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask what their opinion of market value is based on, as well as some examples of similar homes that have sold.
How long do you think it will be on the market?
This will give you an idea of the agent’s expectations. You can compare it to the current average market time in your area to gain a better understanding.
What’s your commission?
Find out how much the agent will charge you for their services, and then ask them to justify their fees – especially if they’re more expensive than other agents. Remember that you’re not looking for the cheapest, but the one who will offer you the most for their costs.
What makes you different?
With this question, you leave it to the agents to seal the deal and sell themselves. They’ll be able to tell you why they’re better than their competition, both as an agent and agency.
Ways to Prepare your Home to Sell
Make a good first impression: jazz up your front door with a fresh coat of paint.
Do a clean-out – after all, less stuff means more space! Hire a skip bin for those items beyond rescue and drop the rest of at charity shops.
Pick up some functional storage solutions to avoid clutter; Howards Storage World has some fantastic products for every room of the house.
Rummage through op shop bargain bins or your own kitchen cupboards for some china or porcelain plates. Pick up some plate hangers at craft stores and, hey presto, you have an attractive new wall-hanging.
Pick up some mismatched photo frames from op shops and fill them with your favourite photos. If you prefer to co-ordinate their look, paint them all the same colour.
Put up new curtains – an instant makeover that will brighten the space. Try a quirky style, perhaps a fruit print, to remind people which room they’re in!
A new colour scheme will give your tired-looking bathroom a whole new look. A deep, rich colour will make the room cosy – perfect for those cold morning trips to the shower.
While retiling your entire bathroom is an expensive and time-consuming activity, a good clean works wonders and saves you the trouble. Get rid of any lime scale build-up with an energetic scrub and refresh dirty grout with touch-up paint.
Throw out all your old and almost empty beauty product bottles. Replace them with the attractive ones you receive in gift boxes – bubble bath, bath salts and the like. To avoid clutter, pick up some storage solutions to keep other necessities in order.
Pick up some bamboo fire sticks and garden lanterns for summer barbecues or alfresco entertaining. Strings of fairy lights create a magical ambience while Chinese lanterns will add an exotic touch.
To maximise backyard privacy, use a trellis as an extra wall and plant fast-growing vines at its base.
When purchasing big items, such as furniture, don’t be afraid to ask shop assistants for their best price; in times like these, they want to sell their product just as much as you want to buy it!