When I first became a Realtor, I rarely found myself in competitive listing situations. However, it has become more and more common for sellers to interview multiple agents before choosing one to list there home, and I think this is smart. Realtor.com offers the following questions to get you started when interviewing agents.
10 Crucial Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home
By Cathie Ericson | Jun 5, 2017
If you're looking to sell your home, you'll want to hire an amazing listing agent to help—and there are certain questions to ask a real estate agent to pinpoint the right professional for you. And it's smart to be picky! A great Realtor® can help sell your home fast and for more money. Pick wrong, and your listing might languish, then the low-balling bargain hunters come circling—it's not pretty.
Not sure where to get started? You can search for agents in your area with online tools where you can also read real estate agent reviews from previous clients. From there, you'll want to call or meet with a few you like and probe further.
Here are some questions to ask a real estate agent when selling your home.
1. What are your credentials?
At the least, your agent should have a state license and belong to the local real estate trade association, because this means your agent will access to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, and can list your home far and wide. But you might want to look further and find someone who's a member of the National Association of Realtors®, which requires additional training and adherence to a code of ethics.
2. How many sales did you close last year?
While an agent's past performance doesn’t guarantee a quick sale, a track record of success can at least give you the assurance that this professional knows what she's doing. Also inquire about the price range for the homes the agent has sold, because you ideally want someone who knows what features will be valued by buyers in your income bracket.
3. Do you specialize in this neighborhood?
Having a local expert can be an advantage because she'll know about any upcoming developments, plus plans for stores or other amenities that might affect the value of your home.
4. How do you arrive at the listing price?
Few things are as important to a seller as the money conversation, and your agent’s ability to land on a listing price that is appropriate for the market. A home that is priced too high will languish, eventually turning off potential buyers; but a home priced too low might leave money on the table. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the market and what other similar homes have recently sold for to help you arrive at the right price.
5. Whom will I be working with?
You want to find out if you will be working with one specific real estate agent or a member of the agent’s team. There are pros and cons for each.
6. How much will selling my home cost?
Know upfront about the costs you’ll be paying such as broker’s commission, closing fees and anything else so you can plan accordingly—and compare from one agent to the next.
7. What is your sales plan?
An agent should have a written plan that identifies where and how she will market your home, from listing services to open houses to social media.
8. What should I do to get my house ready?
See what their advice is for necessary repairs or upgrades or what hacks they might suggest for budget-friendly but impactful improvements. Find out if they suggest staging services or just a good cleaning and declutter.
9. How will we communicate?
If you’re a texter and your agent prefers lengthy phone calls, that could be a problem. Likewise, you might prefer the personal touch of a call over an email. Knowing the method and frequency of communication can be important.
10. How long will the process take?
While no agent can guarantee how fast the sale itself will go, they should be able to give a ballpark range on how long it will take to sell your house. The national average is 65 days, but it depends greatly on where you live.