Selling your home involves many critical and personal decisions. However, one of the most important decisions is the first decision you need to make, a decision that impacts your entire home sale.
Which real estate agent should you work with?
Start by asking your friends and family for the names of agents they know. Look around your neighborhood for the signs, ads and marketing materials of active agents in the neighborhood. Once you’ve compiled a list of several names, use this guide to help you determine which agent is best for you.
“Could you send me some information about yourself?”
You can often get a good idea of which agents are most professional and most committed by looking at their personal marketing materials—brochures, direct mail, listing presentation book, etc. Call each name on your list and ask them to send out any information they can before you actually meet with them for a listing presentation. When you get the personal brochure or other materials, look them over and determine your initial impression of this person.
“How do you approach your work?”
What you should be looking for, first and foremost, is an honest and
knowledgeable individual, who works full-time, represents a solid and reputable real estate agency, and will treat your best interests as paramount. Length of time in the business, track record of success, previous experience, expertise in and knowledge of the local real estate market—all of these are factors to consider.
“How many homes have you listed in the past six months?”
Look for an broker who is active in your area and has experience dealing with homes and situations like yours. This is especially critical if your home or transaction has special features or terms that may make it more challenging than the typical home sale.
“How many homes have you sold in the last six months?”
Beware of agents who simply gather listings and let them sit and wait for someone else to sell them. Your agent should have a good track record getting homes sold, which is, after all, your ultimate goal.
“How long have you been in the business?”
Look for an seasoned agent, you need to find someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the legal ins and outs of the business as well as the characteristics of the local market, and has demonstrated competence and professionalism in getting homes sold.
“What marketing approach will you use for my home?”
Despite having the same basic marketing tools at their disposal—Multiple Listing Service, company tours, Board of Realtors® tours, fliers and brochures, for sale signs, MLS lock boxes, public open houses, advertising, direct mail and personal networking—every real estate professional has a different marketing strategy. Learn each agent’s marketing philosophy, and determine what will work for you.
“What is your advertising plan for my home?”
Ask the agent how often he or she will run ads and ask to see samples of what the ads will look like. Again, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Would these ads appeal to you? And how does advertising fit into the agent’s overall marketing mix?
Agents on the cutting edge often use a variety of creative advertising methods apart from the traditional house advertisements.
Many of them now use internet and text marketing that give potential buyers 24-hour access to information about your home.
“What listing price do you recommend for my home and what is that price based on?”
Pricing your home is the most critical step to selling it, and you should choose a Realtor® who has the knowledge to price your home wisely. Be realistic. A good Realtor® will be honest with you about the value of your home and have the cold, hard facts to justify that value—both to you and to prospective buyers.
“What disclosure laws or special zones apply to me and what do I need to provide?”
You and your agent will both need to provide specific disclosure forms regarding your transaction and your property.
“How will you determine the qualification of potential buyers?”
Ask what procedures the agent will use to make sure that you don’t waste any time dealing with dead-end offers or escrows that can’t be closed.
The best agent is one who makes it easy for you to communicate your satisfaction as well as the things you would like to see changed about the way he or she is handling your transaction.
For more than 26 years, Bob Harder has been serving the needs of home sellers and buyers. Bob has maintained his status by providing not only the finest service, but also providing the most vital component of any successful real estate transaction—information.
These are just a sample of the question you should ask a Realtor before you list, for the complete report, check the box not to…
“29 Critical Questions to Ask a Realtor Before You List”