There are many real estate professionals in the industry today. In fact, you likely know a couple of realtors from within your family or friends. When it comes to selling your home, it’s vital to know what to ask a realtor when selling a house. For this reason, it’s likely a good idea to reach outside your social circle when hiring an agent to represent you. You need to feel comfortable having a direct, business oriented conversation, and it may be more difficult to do that with a good friend you’re planning to have over for cookouts or Christmas parties.
If home buyers or sellers have a good experience with their realtor, they’re likely to recommend that person to you. The thing you want to keep in mind is you’re looking for someone who matches your personality and with whom you feel comfortable handling this very important move in your life. As you begin your search, here are seven questions to ask a realtor before hiring them to sell your home.
How do you plan to market my home?
A knowledgeable real estate agent knows each home must be marketed in a unique way. Your high rise condo that overlooks Center City will not sell to a growing family who wants a spacious yard and a quiet neighborhood. Ask your potential agent what their marketing plan is for your property. Listen for details in the plan that specifically pertain to the unique features of your home – don’t hear any? It’s probably time to move on. Protect yourself with a sale guarantee see our 90 day guarantee here.
On average, for what percentage of the list price do your listings sell?
You want your home to sell for the highest price possible. Although an agent may tell you they have sold numerous homes over the past six to 12 months, you want to know how many of those homes sold for list price, or close to it. It’s not enough to simply close on your home; you need an agent who will work diligently to market your home to bring in the best offers. Get an idea of fair market value for your home within seconds by using our property valuation tool.
Can you provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) for my home?
Ask any real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, and they should be more than willing and able to provide one. A CMA is a report that compares your home to similar, recently sold homes within the same area. Agents will use a CMA to help you price your home accurately to bring in the most potential buyers. The report should show homes of a similar size, year built and condition to help you understand what to expect in terms of price and time it may take to sell your home. If the CMA provided to you is lacking in the details, it may be a sign your real estate agent isn’t familiar with the market for your area.
Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent?
According to the National Association of Realtors, 23% of realtors work on a part-time basis. It’s important to know if your real estate agent will work to sell your home as their full-time job, or if they will only be able to offer a limited number of hours each week. You may decide that you’re comfortable working with a part-time real estate agent, but if you need to sell your home fast, or you expect aggressive marketing and showing of your home, it’s probably best you sign on with a full-time agent.
Can you provide a list of references?
Your real estate agent should have a list of clients for whom they have recently sold property available for you to call. Ask to see a list of properties that was sold for the references and their phone numbers so you can get an idea of what to expect from your real estate agent.
What percentage of your listings sold last year, and how many did you sell?
Ask your real estate agent how many homes they sold over the past 12 months. While that question can seem a bit forward, you need to get an idea of the agent’s experience representing a seller. For an even better grasp of the agent’s success rate, ask what percentage of all listings the agent accepted were sold in the last year and on average how long did it take from putting the home on the market to signing the closing documents. These inquiries will give you direct insight on a timeline for how long it should take to sell your home.
Will you potentially represent the buyer and seller?
Some real estate agents will only represent the buyer or the seller, some however, have potential to represent both. That’s not to imply hiring an agent who works for both sides is wrong, but it can be a potentially sticky situation if you discover halfway through the selling process that your agent is also obligated to have the best interest of the buyer in mind. So, having this information up front, allows you to make the decision as to whether that’s an avenue you’d like to travel.