What to ask your Realtor before you List
Choosing the right agent to represent your listing will help you sell at the highest price, sell as fast as possible, and enjoy a smooth, stress-free transaction. Every agent operates differently. They have different specialties, different tools, and different abilities depending on the volume of business they do and the brokerage they’re associated with. Some agents are a part of a team, some go at it alone. Each unique situation has its benefits and drawbacks, but you won’t be able to identify these without asking some essential questions.
Here are some questions you can use during your agent interviews, and the reasons why you should ask them:
Q: When and how will we communicate?
R: The #1 reason why people change agents is due to a lack of communication. Some agents will be very open and available right up until you sign with them, and then fall off the earth when you try to touch base afterwards. You want to know that your agent (or team) can answer your questions and correspond in a timely manner. In general, high producing agents and teams have excellent systems in place to be as available as possible for all of their clients.
Q: How many homes have you sold in the past year?
R: Experience is an invaluable asset. Not to say that newer agents are bad choices, in fact what they lack in practical experience they often make up for in impeccable customer service. But while fantastic service can make you feel great, it won’t necessarily sell your home at the price you want, or as quickly as you wish. Experienced agents have a better understanding of price positioning, negotiation, and not to mention a large personal network of both agents and clients to help find a buyer fast.
Q: How will you market my home?
R: Effective marketing means that your home gets more exposure to more potential buyers, allowing you to book more showings and raising the chance that you’ll receive multiple offers. Listing your home online is essential, but passive. Agents should also send announcements to their database and use other tools to connect with buyers interested in similar homes.
Q: Do you use a professional photographer?
R: Real estate is a commodity market, meaning that the price of a home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay, not necessarily what a seller is willing to sell for. Buyers need to perceive value in a listing and the first impression they usually get is through photos. Any home can be photogenic, but it takes the right eye and camera to show it off at its best.
Q: May I see a list of similar homes you’ve sold?
R: Similar homes include those near your price, and others in or around your neighborhood. The more comparable homes they’ve sold, the larger their networks will be in those areas. Agents sometimes build their brand around these types of specialties, but you don’t necessarily need a specialist. Top producing teams cover a wide range of prices and locations and gain a reputation for results rather than territory.
Q: When do you think I can expect to book showings and receive offers?
R: The first 5 weeks of a listing is generally when you can expect the most buyer interest. Agents can measure this activity by monitoring listing page-views and counting showing requests. Eventually your home will hit peak interest, at which point you should be expecting offers. Many factors play into the waxing and waning of buyer interest, but price positioning is the primary one. The right price will attract offers at the right time. If you’re underpriced you’ll get offers too fast, if you’re overpriced you’ll sit on the market for months. The sweet spot tends to be somewhere between 25-35 days – but every market is different.
Let us know if you’re thinking about listing your home, and we’ll be glad to answer these or any other questions you have.