9 Vital Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home
Knowing which questions to ask your chosen realtor during your first meeting is crucial if you’re looking to sell your home soon. In fact, it may even be a determining factor whether or not your agent can sell your home effectively!
How come, you ask?
Well, because the right realtor will not only be able to sell your home quickly and for more money, but he should also be able to make the whole process less stressful for you! On the other hand, choosing the wrong person can give you a completely different turnout!
So, how will you know if you’re hiring the right realtor? Asking the right questions is the key! Here are nine vital questions to ask your real estate agent when selling your home.
How did you arrive at your suggested home price?
Every real estate agent will tell you what they think you should list your home for, and it’s vital that sellers learn to ask “how?” Setting the right price is key to maximizing your listing offer price and selling it quickly. The listing price also sets the initial tone for the whole selling experience.
You’ll want to ask a real estate agent this question before hiring them to ensure two things; they have the knowledge to justify this price when negotiating, and they’re not suggesting an inflated price to secure your business. Realtors who cannot justify their suggested price will usually keep their analysis vague. You’ll want to see a breakdown of how your house compares to each recently sold home. If their answer and analysis include real estate data that justifies their price, they’ll make the same argument when negotiating for you.
Will you also represent the buyer?
The answer to this question can tell a lot about your realtor’s integrity. Most states allow real estate agents to represent both buyers and sellers, but it doesn’t mean they should. Your realtor will play a significant role in how much money you make. Negotiating is a big part of it. The right realtor can literally net you thousands more by knowing which questions to ask the buyer’s agent and when. However, if they choose to represent the buyer, they cannot negotiate for you.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents are willing to risk their integrity to double their commission. Usually, sellers end up with a lower selling price by tens of thousands of dollars. So, the immediate answer you want to hear is that they will not represent the buyer. Anything other is a red flag.
What are your marketing plans?
Any realtor knows that marketing is key to selling a house. Buying a property is most often an emotional decision, and the right realtor will incorporate emotions into their marketing plan. Ask your prospective agent how they’re going to market your home. Ask them what your home’s selling features are and what kind of buyer is perfect for your house.
Once they lay their cards, you’ll know and hear about their specific approach and how they’re going to get the word out. Then, you can decide if you want to hire them for your listing.
What do I need to get my home ready for listing?
Your home’s overall appeal will inevitably affect how fast and how much you can sell your home. However, a common mistake is spending too much time and money on things that don’t matter. Remember, the goal is to spend the least amount and only on aspects that will bring a return on your investment.
Your realtor’s answer to this question will determine how experienced and savvy he is. He should know what should be done to make your home more appealing to buyers. He should also be able to walk around your home and immediately provide you with a list of what you need to do to get your home ready to sell.
What are the costs?
Every seller will want to know how much money they’ll walk away with. So, in turn, your realtor should be able to provide you with a breakdown of all the costs involved in selling your home. Asking the realtor about the costs during your first meeting will allow you to compare their services and fees to those of other realtors you might interview. Take note that commissions are negotiable.
However, some listing agents who charge a lower fee are usually the ones who won’t go up to bat for you. If you negotiate their commission and they don’t put up a fight, it may mean that they can’t defend their financial interests and won’t know how to defend yours when the time comes.
How many homes have you sold?
Asking this question will ensure that you’re working with someone who has experience. A novice realtor may drastically reduce your chances of making the most money from your property, and you’ll want to work with someone who knows the ins and outs of real estate to maximize your chances of a successful sale.
Ask to see their portfolio of homes sold and when– the more recent, the better. You should aim to work with someone who doesn’t just have the experience but one who also has numerous sales over the last several years.
What percentage of your listings have fallen through?
If your agent answers you with a number higher than usual may mean he doesn’t do a great job vetting a buyer.
While a transaction can fall apart for many reasons, a realtor who has a track record of not having to put their listings back on the market knows how to make sure the sale closes. In any case, anything over 5% is concerning. The more homes they’ve sold, the better this number will represent how well they do their job.
Am I able to cancel our agreement?
This is another question that tells you about your realtor’s integrity.
When you decide which real estate agent you’re going to sell with, you’ll sign an agreement with them, a contract of exclusivity between you and your agent, which runs for 6+ months. It means that you cannot fire your agent or hire another one during this period and that your realtor gets paid, whether you’re pleased with their services or otherwise if your house sells. Due to this, many realtors will overpromise during your first meeting with them. When this happens, the listing becomes “stale,” and buyers wonder what’s wrong with the property. The result? The final selling price will be much lower than what it should have been if it was priced right in the beginning.
If you want to avoid this situation, your realtor’s answer to this question should be “yes.”
How often will we communicate?
Any real estate process is a journey in itself. Aside from knowing who will be your main point of contact, you’ll also want to know how often you’ll be communicating. Remember, not all transactions are smooth-sailing, so you’ll want a real estate agent who has no problem discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t hesitate to get their commitment on how often they’ll be in touch. You’ll need it no matter how good, or bad the process is going.