Questions to Ask a Realtor® When Selling Your Home
If you plan to sell your home in 2018, watch this first!
What are your goals for 2018? Do they involve selling your home? If they do, then we want you to be successful! That’s why we are sharing questions to ask a Realtor® when selling your home.
If you plan to sell your home in 2018, then read this first. It's important to understand that the process of selling your home starts long before you go on the market. Your home is your most important investment. It matters who you work with and how your Realtor® answers your questions when selling your home.
Interviewing a Real Estate Agent
If you are planning on selling your home in the next three to six months, now is the time to interview a real estate agent. If you are planning on selling your home sooner, then know that we are in the middle of the best season to sell. The sooner that you can find a realtor you can trust the better.
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It’s our job to make sure you understand every aspect of the real estate transaction. It may be a seller’s market in Orange County right, but a Realtor® with the right answers to your questions sells your house faster. Working with right real estate agent can be the difference between selling your home for top dollar and sitting on the market.
Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home
How many days does it take you to sell a home? How does that compare to others?
The Realtor® you interview should have information about their performance on hand and be able to present market statistics from their local MLS to provide a comparison.
What’s the average variation between your initial listing and final sales price?
This is one indication of a Realtor®’s pricing and negotiating skills.
How will you sell my home? What specific marketing strategies and approaches will you use to sell my home?
Your agent should have an aggressive, innovative plan and understand how to market property online. He or she should be able to communicate this effectively during the listing presentation. If you are less than impressed with the agent’s response during the listing presentation, then you will be less than impressed when he or she puts the plan (or lack thereof) into practice.
What do you do to help get my home ready for sale? Staging? Photography? Inspections? During a listing presentation, a listing agent should go over with you what he or she will do to get your property “show ready.” This can include, but is not limited to, staging advice, cleaning and repair advice, handyman services, window washing and professional photography.
If an agent tells you they have a great camera and can take the photos of the home themselves, you can rest assured that this is not a match made in heaven. Unless the agent was a professional photographer before becoming a Realtor®, there is no reason to enlist a non-professional photographer to take photos of your property. These photos are your home’s first impression, which will be published on the internet and used for other marketing collateral. The Realtor® you hire should pay for these services and invest the listing of your home.
When it comes to how your property is presented to the world, you want your Realtor® to follow the advice of Vidal Sassoon: “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
What sets you apart from your competition/other Realtors®?
Considering it is an agent’s job to sell your property, it should be easy for any agent to sell him or herself. The answer a real estate agent gives can tell you a lot about their personality, work ethic, and skill level as a sales professional.
How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?
The best answer here is a question. A real estate agent who pays attention to the way you prefer to communicate and responds accordingly will make for the smoothest transaction. During a real estate transaction, you may communicate with your Realtor® more than your family. As a client, it is important that you feel like you are receiving timely communication and great customer service is paramount. There are many Realtors® you can choose to work with, but not all are created equal.
How long have you worked as an agent?
Experience is an important factor to consider when you’re interviewing a real estate agent. A listing agent who has worked through many different transactions will be able to help you with everything from setting the right price for your home to navigating multiple offers.
Having said all of that, you have to determine how much weight you want to put on this question. While it is preferred to work with someone that has experience, there is something to be said for working with an agent that doesn’t have SO many years of experience. You want experience, not complacency when it comes to staying up-to-date. You want equal parts experience and equal parts innovation when it comes to marketing trends.
Do you do this full-time?
When it comes to such a critical transaction, chances are you’re not going to want to partner with an agent who is distracted by other obligations. Plus, an agent who is working full-time is more likely to be up-to-date on the state of the market. Not to mention, you want to make sure your agent is available to take your call or text the majority of the day and evening.
For example, if your friend – a full-time police officer – also has his or her real estate license, then you have to be realistic. Have a clear understanding that they may not be available for key showings or important inspections, or have the time necessary to market your home. While they might be giving you a discount on commission, or you might be helping a friend out, always remember that your home is one of your biggest investments. You want to hire someone that is going to work full-time – selling your home in the shortest amount of time, for the highest price possible, with the best possible terms for you.
How many clients are you currently representing?
This is a good question to ask so you understand how much time your Realtor® will be able to devote to your property. Do you want to feel like a number or like his or her only client? The number of clients a Realtor® can work with effectively at a time is dependent upon the systems he or she has in place. Keep in mind, a good Realtor® will make each client feel like they are important. If you don’t feel that way, it might be time to find a new agent to represent you.
Do you have a team?
Some agents work on teams where different team members handle different parts of the listing and closing process. You may want to know how many different people you will work with and how to best communicate with various team members.
What do you charge?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no official commission rate — agent fees are negotiable. As the seller, you’ll typically pay a fee that is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Be sure to ask exactly what the total commission rate is and how it is split.
Are you knowledgeable about my area?
As a home seller, it could help to know whether the agent is familiar with a specific territory. Things like list prices and the average time it takes to sell a home can vary drastically depending on the area. Ask agents how familiar they are with your neighborhood.
How do you handle multiple offers?
This can be a good question to ask so you understand what a Realtor® will do to maximize the profits you reap from your investment. In today’s housing market with low inventory and high demand, how a Realtor® handles multiple offers is more important than ever.
Once the offer is accepted will you be attending all the inspections on my home?
A full-service Realtor® (or a member of his or her team) should be at the home inspection, bank appraisal, etc. You are paying this person a lot of money. Make sure they earn it! They have a fiduciary responsibility to YOU!
Could you share some references?
It never hurts to ask an agent for references. People who have worked with the Realtor® are the absolute best source of information when it comes to finding an agent who fits your needs. If the real estate agent is comfortable with it, contacting references and asking them questions will help you know exactly you’re signing up for.
Previous clients may also be able to explain how the agent handled any challenges in their transaction, which will help you understand how they might overcome the hurdles that will come up in yours.
Love Where You Live, Give Where You Love
We understand that your home is your dream come true. As homeowners, we realize that purchasing a home is probably the most important transaction you will manage. As neighbors, we get that selling a home is perhaps the biggest transition your family will make.
You deserve to love where you live, give where you love, AND when the time comes….sell your home for top dollar with the right Realtor®!
If you need help preparing to sell in 2018 – to schedule a FREE Home Valuation – Contact Us Now!
The Swan Team | OC Real Estate
Love Where You Live | Give Where You Love
“We donate $500 to the school of your choice for every property you buy or sell!”