Ask these 10 questions to find the best professional to sell your property

The world is full of people who sell real estate. Some of them are smart, efficient, focused, versatile and willing to go the extra mile. And some of them aren’t.

Finding an agent who will sell your home using a range of marketing tools to get you the best deal possible in a reasonable amount of time, all while charging a fair rate, takes some effort. Interview at least three candidates before you sign a contract.

Here, are 10 questions you really want to ask so you can identify the best real estate agent to sell your property.

1. How much? Ask potential agents how much they think they can sell your home for. If two agents say $275,000 and the third says $325,000, think hard. It’s likely the high bid is an exaggeration to attract your business. In the end, you’ll be the one who pays because the high price will scare away potential buyers.

2. How will you market it? Running a few classified ads in the local paper, listing it on the Internet and holding an open house shouldn’t be the only answers. The practitioner should have an extensive internet reach.

3. How has your business changed in the last five years? If she doesn’t talk about website tours and smart phones, chances are this is not a highly wired agent. And you may cut yourself off from opportunities.

4. Tell me how your last two deals surprised you? Every agent has a success story, but this question will give you a much better feel for what this practitioner is like as a salesperson.

5. What’s your specialty? If you’re selling a starter home in a community full of young families, hiring an agent who specializes in seniors is probably a bad idea. It doesn’t mean that if he only sells condos that he can’t sell a house, but he may not be geared up to do the best job.

6. How many people are you selling homes for right now and what are you doing for them? It may not be a bad thing that a high-powered agent is juggling 15 homes, but don’t expert her to give you personal service, although her assistant should be attentive. On the other hand, be wary of an agent with no other customers because she may lack experience and contacts.

7. What do you expect of me? A good salesperson will have expectations. He may want you to leave and take the dog when the house is shown, paint the garage, move some furniture around and scrub the tile in the bathroom. It shows that he can think like a buyer and that’s a good thing.

8. What advice would you have for me if I get an offer from a buyer who wants to use an FHA loan? FHA, VA, State and locally managed loan assistance programs can be key to selling a property. Real estate agents shouldn’t be pushing buyers toward their favorite lenders, but they should be able to help them and you wade through complex financing issues.

9. What’s your fee? Discount agents offer discount services. Be sure you get what you pay for.

10. Can I talk to one of your previous clients? You never know.