There are a lot of real estate agents. Some are smart, driven, efficient and honest, and some are not.
Choosing a great listing agent is the first step in the process of selling your home. This person should be a trusted advisor, giving you valuable information long before the sign is placed in the front yard. Interviewing agents can be tedious and somewhat intimidating, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions; a great listing agent welcomes your tough questions.
12 questions to ask a listing agent:
- How long have you been selling real estate?
Experience is important. Trusting one of your most important financial assets to someone new to the business may not be a wise choice.
- How many homes do you sell a year, specifically the last few years?
You will want to select an agent who has been successful in this ever changing
- What is your marketing plan?
An agent must be specific about how the property will be marketed.
- Do you as an agent represent buyers and sellers on the same transaction?
It is impossible for one agent to provide the fullest client services to both buyer and seller at the same time.
- How do you feel about open houses?
Open houses are not right for all houses, many agents will not tell you this.
- If I hire you, do I work with you or your assistant day-to-day?
Very important. You want to work with the person you are hiring. An agent should clearly define how their support staff will be used.
- What is your specialty?
A great listing agent can’t be all things to all people, and will be up front when she/he is not the right person for the job.
- What differentiates you from other real estate agents?
This should be one of the easiest questions an agent will answer. Look for clear and concise examples of what your agent will do to sell your home and bring it to a successful close.
- How do you navigate through this market?
What follow up analysis will your agent provide to ensure this market doesn’t leave you, the seller, behind.
- How do you arrive at the appropriate price?
The agent should be able to show you in black and white the market research and their analysis of this data. Be careful! Listing a house at an over-market price can be detrimental to a sale.
- What will my net proceeds be from the sale of my home?
Consider how the agent you choose will work to protect your equity, relative to incentives, commission and preparation costs.
- What guarantee do you provide to me as a seller? This is a very important question – don’t be afraid to ask.