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. If your agent is new to the business, who is mentoring and training them? Who is going to be with them every step of the way during your transaction?
- 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 market.
- What is your marketing plan?
An agent must be specific about how the property will be marketed. How do they use social media for your benefit? What is their listing roll-out strategy?
- Do you as an agent represent buyers and sellers on the same transaction?
It is impossible for one agent to provide client services to both buyer and seller at the same time. At Firefly our listing agents never represent both sides of a transaction. We feel this to be an obvious conflict of interest. Beware of the agent who tells you “this will make it easier”.
- 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. Ensure you hire an experienced neighborhood expert. Their expertise can be a huge benefit to you during your entire process.
- 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. What is their approach to encouraging multiple offers? Once received, how are multiple offers used to your benefit – to ensure you capitalize on the market?
- How do you arrive at the appropriate price?
The agent should be able to show you in black and white the market research and the analysis of this data. The agent should be able to walk you through different pricing and timing strategies – giving you enough data that YOU can choose, the price, the timing and the marketing strategies that work best for you. The pricing discussion should include a timing and marketing plan that when used with the price will ensure you top dollar for your home.
- 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.
All agents are not the same. As in every profession there are those that excel and are committed to excellence, and those that are not. The stand-out agents devote endless amounts of time and energy working with buyers and sellers; they are responsive, resourceful, creative, adept problem solvers and highly skilled negotiators. They will do what it takes, do the right thing, and always put you first.
Ask the hard questions and choose a listing agent that has the know-how, the skills and the reputation that gives you peace of mind.