While pricing is very important, it's not the only aspect you should inquire about. In this week's Angie's List report, questions to ask when buying or selling a house.
"When interviewing real estate agents really dig in with how good they perform in your neighborhood," said Angie's List owner Angie Hicks. "Find out how long houses they sell are typically on the market. Also, how close to the asking price does the house sell and how do they compare in per square foot cost on the sell price."
Ask potential agents what their plan is your marketing your home. At a minimum, a broker should post a property on a multiple listing service and market it aggressively online. A real estate agent that cannot give a specific plan is likely not going to be as successful.
"A prospective seller really should sit down with an agent, go over recent sales data for their area," said Real Estate Agent Tony Markus. "Make sure that agent is comfortable working in that geographic area, look for some industry experience and knowledge there for that particular area and work off of the numbers so they are in tune with what the current market conditions are."
When looking to buy a home, make a list of what you want and don't want. Search for homes online to get some ideas. Comparative shopping is key. In order to get the price you want, you have to arm yourself with information.
"First and foremost, the homeowner should start with the end in mind," said Markus. "So, if they are thinking they want to buy a house that they are going to be in for three years, five years, 10 years of something else, they need to start with that goal in mind, work their way backwards so then they can figure out what the best property is for them."
A good agent should be able to provide information on comparable sales of homes in the neighborhood, schools and other local services.
Angie's List also recommends asking the agent for references of recent buyers he or she has represented.