When you sell your home, one of your most important decisions is to choose the right real estate agent to list your property.
After all, the right agent can sell your home faster and for a higher price. Conversely, choosing the wrong agent can result in your home going cold on the market until the lowballers come calling for a cheap price.
So how do you choose the right real estate agent?
It all comes down to asking the right questions and getting the information you need to make a wise choice.
Read on as we detail the four most important questions to ask a realtor before hiring an agent to list your home.
How Many Homes Did You Sell Last Year?
We like this question more than asking how long he or she has been a real estate agent, which can sometimes be misleading. Many agents have had their license for years, but may have only worked part-time. Other agents may have worked with only a few select clients over several years.
Asking for a realtor’s recent closing numbers should give you a good indication of how active the agent is in the marketplace.
A good follow-up question is to ask about the price range the homes sold for. Ideally, you want to choose an agent with a proven record selling property near the price range you’re seeking for your home.
How Would You Plan on Marketing My Home?
Your home represents a substantial commission for the agent who successfully sells your home. Knowing this, any agent worth their salt should present you with an aggressive and professional marketing plan.
Of course, the agent will make sure your home is listed on all the major real estate websites. Trust us when we say that is no great accomplishment. Any realtor will list your home in the multiple listings service (MLS), which is then automatically distributed to sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow.
A solid agent should show you examples of marketing materials used in the sales of their previous listings. These materials should give you a good idea of the level of quality you can expect.
Make sure to ask if the agent will have professional photographs taken for your home and will that come with additional out-of-pocket fees for you?
How Do You Arrive at a Listing Price?
No agent can tell you how much your home will sell for. Ultimately, you will have the final say on the price and the market response will tell you if your price is too high or too low.
But that’s not to say the listing price isn’t important. On the contrary, your initial asking price is very significant. Price your home too high and your home may languish on the market for months. Price it too low and you may be leaving money on the table.
Ask a potential agent to show you the sales prices for recent sales and also for pending sales in your area. Inquire about the local housing market climate and pricing trends in your neighborhood. Finally, ask if your agent has good advice for improving your home’s value for appraisal.
A good agent should be able to provide you with a price range with a $10,000 spread between the low and high ends of the price scale. The right agent will be able to back up their suggested price with evidence supporting their suggestion.
How Much Will It Cost to Sell My Home?
Buyers don’t have to worry about paying commissions (read more about common questions for a buying agent).
But sellers have expenses to pay and the last thing you need when you are selling your homes is last minute surprises. This is especially true when it comes to the cost of selling your home.
Be sure to ask about commissions, closing fees, marketing costs and any other expenses involved in the sale of your home. This information will help you compare agents.
The Final Word on Questions to Ask a Realtor
Knowing the right questions to ask a realtor is key to determining who is best for the job of selling your home. The questions above are important, but you should ask any as many questions as you can. The more information you gather, the more confidently you can decide who is the best agent for you.
Once you have your agent and you’re ready to list, get ready to make a good first impression with potential buyers. Click here for insights on staging your home for a quick sale now.