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12 questions to help select the perfect real estate agent

Century 21 Advantage Plus Principal Broker Michelle LeBlanc shares her best advice when searching for an agent

Century 21 Advantage Plus, established in 1978, currently has four associate brokers and five Realtor®s. 

One of those brokers, Michelle LeBlanc, has been in the industry since 2015 and has worked with many buyers and sellers. She’s sold residential and commercial properties as well as vacant land — pretty much everything — mostly in Sault Ste. Marie and Chippewa County.

There is a lot to consider when looking for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home or property.

Here are LeBlanc’s 12 tips for choosing the agent for your needs. 

  1. First and foremost, you want to be pre-approved before contacting a Realtor®.
  2. Secondly, if you’re going to interview agents, come with a list of questions.
    “There's not one agent that fits everybody. You’ve got to have personalities that work well together. Look for a Realtor® who communicates effectively and will be there for you every step of the way.”
  3. Ask them about their knowledge of the area and about current market conditions. 
    She said you should find out the agent's specific knowledge base. If the agent is from out of town, they may misjudge the value of a property. If you’re a seller, this may mean the value is too high, and you don’t sell it. If you’re a buyer, you may pay too much.

    “We’re licensed for the whole state of Michigan, but that doesn't mean I know the ins and outs of the housing market in Detroit, for example. If you're working with an out-of-area Realtor®, they just don't have the same knowledge of the area as local Realtors® do.”
  4. If you’re selling, ask your agent how many properties they currently have listed for sale and how many they like to have. 
    “For example, one agent might say they are only comfortable with 15 listings. If they go over that amount, and their workload is too much, then they can't give people the attention they deserve.”
  5. Ask the agent what they will charge for commission and closing costs. 
  6. Ask them what their marketing strategy is going to be. 
  7. Find out how often you should expect to hear from them and the best way to communicate.
    “Some people are texters. Some people like face-to-face, some people like phone conversations.”
  8. Does the agent work full-time or part-time?
    This may be an indication of how available they’re going to be.
  9. Ask how long they have been selling real estate.
  10. Depending on your needs, find out if your agent will stage your home or if they work with a stager — and, if so, who pays for that. 
  11. If you want to be extra thorough, ask for the names and numbers of past clients for a reference check. 
  12. Lastly, remember to ask why you should hire them.
    “Each real estate transaction has many moving parts and can be challenging without the right support. Century 21 sales associates work to deliver extraordinary experiences for their clients.”

LeBlanc said she asks her clients some of these questions, too. 

“How do I best effectively communicate with you? I try to go over and above wherever I can. Each real estate transaction is so unique that you have to tailor your work style to suit each specific situation.”

An advantage of selling with Century 21 is that your listing will reach over 500 websites globally. And buyers have access to a massive selection.

“Century 21 agents provide professional representation and expertise throughout the process of selling or buying. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools to best serve you. At Century 21, we give it ‘121 percent.’ It's about going above and beyond to ensure that clients are taken care of and happy.”

To meet your next agent, contact Century 21 Advantage Plus at 906-632-6868 or visit their website.