Updated 01/01/2012 12:40 PM
A Good Broker Must Do More Than Give A High Listing Price
Property sellers need to ask particular questions to real estate brokers, because they will be working very closely with a broker for quite some time. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
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A property owner who is about to hire a broker to sell a home may have a list of candidates and may need to see which one is the right fit. Many sellers choose the broker who suggests the highest asking price, but Teri Rogers, founder of the website BrickUnderground.com, says that is a mistake.
"When people go to interview a broker they often don’t know the right questions to ask and it's really important to keep the big picture in mind and not focus just on the listing price," says Rogers.
If owners just go by the number and not the quality of the broker, they could be setting themselves up for a long process with multiple price drops. So find out an agent’s style and track record.
"Find out how many listings they have. If they have a lot of listings, do they have enough infrastructure to service those listings? If they have no listings, are they a bad broker or did they just close three deals last month?" says Rogers. "Also, look into where are the listings? If they are all in the Bronx and you are in the West Village, that might be cause for concern."
Also, ask how long they have been a broker. Do they work part-time or full-time? Do they have the time and resources to handing the listing?
What if they are not available for showings? Is there an assistant or another agent who can show the home?
"Ask the broker about their philosophy about co-broking, sharing the commission with another broker who brings a buyer in. If you don’t hear a 100 percent enthusiastic response, that’s a red flag, because they could be limiting the pool of potential buyers who would see your apartment," says Rogers.
Figure out their strategy and marketing plans for the home and what sort of updates can be expected. Also, just like any candidate for a job, ask for references.
"Ask for three references at least. Talk to former clients. How fast did they return emails or phone calls?" says Rogers. "How did they like working with this broker? Were they are partner or a yes man, or were they really an advisor in this transaction?"
Rogers says owners should go with their gut. They will be working very closely with a broker for quite some time, so the broker should be compatible personally, as well as professionally.