I've seen a lot of these types of posts floating around my newsfeed so I thought I would take a minute to answer some for myself. Here were some of my favorite I think are important for anyone to ask there real estate agent. I'll break them down into 2 blog posts for you.
Question #1: Is this your full time job?
Sissy: Absolutely! Since I first started in real estate I have always treated this as a full time job and a lifelong career. A lot of agents get in when the market is really good in an attempt to try and make a quick buck. Thats not me and has never been my approach. I started my real estate career in my late twenties because I wanted to help and guide people through the process. A full time, career focused agent tends to be much more knowledgable about local market conditions and contract complexities.
Question #2: How many sales have you handled in my area?
Sissy: 90% of my business is in Metro New Orleans. In a given year, I'll sell between 25-35 homes in Metro New Orleans, from Lakeview to Uptown to The Bywater to Mid-City to Algiers Point. Sometimes finding the perfect home for clients has brought me to Mandeville, Metairie and River Ridge. On average my listing vs buyer sales is 50/50.
Question #3: What services do you offer beyond negotiations and Open Houses for your listings?
Sissy: I am firm believer in a strategic approach to listing a home. It's so important to really think through a marketing plan for each individual house. A huge amount of effort, energy, and resources go into my listings long before we ever hit the market. A few professional pictures is really the minimum you should expect from your real estate agent. I think you've got to work your photographs and online marketing strategy in todays market. My goal is to have the buyer already know they're gonna buy the house before they even walk through the door.
Questions #4: How do you get paid and how much do you charge?
Sissy: In the state of Louisiana the seller generally pays real estate commission. Commissions are always negotiable first and foremost. But let me give you and example of how commission works. Let's say the commission is 6% of sales price on a $350,000 house. The seller would pay a total commission of $21,000. The total commission is then divided among the seller and the buyer's agent. So each agent would bring a $10,500 check back to there office. From there, agents pay there agency fees to their broker, taxes, expenses, ect. It's important to note that no commissions are paid until the property is sold.
Questions #5: Am I obligated to use the lender, inspectors, and other service providers you recommend?
Sissy: Definitely not. You can work with whatever providers you would like. I'd like to say that through my experience I've learned a lot working with a lot of different professionals and I'll always give you my honest opinion about past experiences, so you can decide whats best for you. I've also developed a wonderful network of affiliates over the years and I'm happy to guide you and give you referrals and my recommendations as well.