HIRING An Atlanta Real Estate Professional? Questions You Should Ask Before You Commit

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Questions You Should Ask Before You Commit – 

Before you turn over what may be the largest financial asset in your portfolio to a stranger, you will want to do a little research.  It has taken a lifetime to create the equity you have in your home, so why not take a few minutes and educate yourself about the real estate professional that will have authority to market and sell your home? Hiring an Atlanta Real Estate Professional is a big deal – economically, emotionally and socially.

In order to help you avoid some of the usual pitfalls, we suggest you hold an informational interview.  An interview will allow you to get some important information before you have to choose one real estate professional, and will hopefully lead to a pleasant and productive working relationship.Here are a few questions below that might help you make an informed decision.

EXPERIENCE – You don’t want to board an airplane and find out this is the first time your pilot has ever flown a plane.  Likewise, you don’t want to put a home – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity – in the hands of an inexperienced real estate professional.  We recommend you get to know a real estate agent candidate by starting with a few questions about their experience. Here are questions to ask before hiring an Atlanta Real Estate Professional:

  • How many years have you been a licensed sales agent?
  • How many years have you been licensed in Atlanta, Georgia?
  • Are you a member of the DeKalb Board of Realtors? 

Education is a sign of a real estate professional’s commitment to excellence.  

Ask your candidate what special designations they hold.  Two of the most advanced designations are GRI (Graduate Realtors Institute) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist).  Both of these designations require a candidate to complete hours of coursework and have a certain amount of sales and experience under their belt.


Just like handicapping stocks and horses, track records are important in selecting a real estate professional.  If you are listing a home for sale, you will want to find out what you can about how well a candidate has been performing on the market:

  • How many homes did you sell last year?
  • What was the average sales price of the listings you sold last year?
  • What was the average number of days on the market for those listings?

If you want to convert the “market ” price given to you by your agent prospect to actual net cash from the sale of your home, ask the real estate professional “What was the ratio of list price to actual selling price for listings you sold last year?”  This will help you to avoid sales persons who inflate the listing price of your home just to get your listing.  Disappointed sellers can often find out much too late what their home is really worth.

Marketing is more than just sticking a sign in the front yard, putting an ad in the paper, and listing the home in the MLS.  If these are the only steps your real estate professional takes to market a home, you will also want to add another step – pray that it sells. 

Today’s complex housing market is best approached with a systematic marketing plan.  Ask your real estate professional if they have a written marketing plan for your home; read the plan and make sure it is followed. ADVERTISING

Atlanta Real Estate ProfessionalAn ad in the Sunday paper was the very best advertising available when I first started in the real estate business in the early 80’s.  Today, an ad in the paper is just a waste of money. To get top dollar for your home you should ask your real estate professional how they integrate the advertising of your home across all media types:


  • Will you advertise my home on the internet?
  • Do you advertise listings through direct mail?
  • Do you use print media?
  • Do you have a network of relationships among real estate professionals?
  • Do you list homes for sale in both the First Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service?” 


The most effective form of advertising can be to market properties directly to other real estate professionals.  Cooperative sales between real estate brokers account for the vast majority of sales, so many savvy real estate professionals direct their advertising and marketing efforts towards their fellow real estate professionals.  You will want to make sure your candidate is one of these savvy professionnals.

WEBSITES – Atlanta Real Estate ProfessionalAll websites, and thus all internet advertising options, are not created equal.  Because of the arrangement between the National Association of Realtors and the national internet database, most listings that appear in the First Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service will appear on  So, most real estate professionals can tell you – and be honest in doing so – that your home will be advertised on the internet.

What real estate professionals do not always make clear is that the exposure of your home on the internet varies widely, dependent on the professional’s individual preferences.   Real estate professionals have to pay a fee to to get your home the best national exposure. But, to make sure more than a handful of visitors find your home on this website in a given week, the property needs to appear on multiple internet websites.  While all of these options are useful for getting the word out, my greatest success has come from a stand-alone website that prominently displays my listings as featured homes,

Information about our website is integrated throughout all forms of our advertising and marketing so that potential buyers immediately know how to find homes listed by the English Team.


As you would with anyone who might be coming to work for you or work on your home, you will want to check your candidate’s references.  Simply ask,

Do you have any past clients I can talk to about your performance as a real estate professional?”

 If you don’t get an answer to this question, get moving to the next real estate professional on your list of folks to interview.


Once you have thoroughly checked out a real estate professional’s credentials, track record, and their plan for selling your home, ask yourself a very important question:

“Am I compatible with this real estate professional?” 

The two of you will be working very closely together as you market and sell your home.  Make sure you don’t commit to a sales person before you determine whether or not the two of you have compatible personalities.  A face-to-face interview is about the only way to sort out this kind of credential.

Once you’ve taken the time to ask a few questions and do a little research, we hope you will find it easier to narrow the field of real estate professionals to one that will work best for you.

This information provided by Sally English and The English Team, Atlanta Georgia real estate agents specializing in homes and neighborhoods convenient to Emory University and The CDC.

Call Sally English now at 404-229-2995 to get started.