Six key questions before picking an agent
Published: Aug 12, 2013
If you are planning to sell your home, condo or parcel of land, there are some very important questions you should ask your real estate agent before you make a decision to hire him/her to market and sell your property. This may be one of the most important transactions you will ever make in your life, and you want to make sure the sales process is left in very capable hands.
1. The first question you should ask your prospective agent: Are you a member of the Bahamas Real Estate Association and is your license current?
The Bahamas Real Estate Association requires high standards from its members and provides yearly marketing seminars as it encourages agents to continuously further their careers.
2. Are you a member of the Multiple Listing Service or MLS?
This service is available to all BREA agents and is a very important marketing tool. An agent who is a member of the MLS will be able to give your property maximum exposure by sharing the listing information amongst the 200-plus agents who are currently members of the Bahamas MLS. Giving access to the information on your property to as many agents as possible can be key to a quick sale.
3. Are you a full-time or part-time agent?
This is an important question. Make sure your agent is a full-time real estate agent with current knowledge of today’s market. You don’t want an inexperienced part-time agent to be in charge of your money and future.
4. Do you work on holidays, afternoons and weekends?
If the answer to this question is no, you need to keep looking for another real estate agent to represent you. The real estate profession is a 24/7 job and not a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job.
5. Will you show my house to, and share your commission with, other real estate agents?
If your agent is not willing to share the listing information with other agents because of his/her unwillingness to share the commission, which is generally a 50-50 split, you shouldn’t walk but run away from placing your property in the hands of such a person. An agent who is unwilling to share his commission is looking after his own pocket and not your best interest.
6. Are you familiar with my neighborhood and has your company sold any properties in the area?
Knowledge is power. An agent who has done business in the area may know clients they met showing previous listings, and these clients may still be waiting for a suitable home in your area. Agents usually build a database of prospective buyers from previous listings and these buyers are usually looking to purchase in a particular neighborhood and they should be the first ones to be contacted as soon as your property hits the market.
Be sure to ask the right questions before you commit to listing your property with an agent; by doing so you will avoid potential problems, headaches or misunderstandings.
• Carmen Massoni is president of Bahama Islands Realty and has 18 years of experience in the real estate profession in The Bahamas. She has been the recipient of many international awards recognizing her as a top producer amongst her peers. If you have any questions or need real estate advice, call 322-7770; or email Carmen@BahamaIslandsRealty.com.