In today’s competitive real estate market, choosing the right agent to list your property can be the difference between receiving full asking price offers within a few weeks and receiving no offers for months at a time.
You want to find an agent that has your best interests in mind and is willing to work diligently to get your house sold.
Of course, that is a whole lot easier said than done.
In practice, figuring out which agent is the best fit for you and your home can be a daunting task. However, if you are willing to put in some time on the front end and interview a few different agents, you will have a much better idea of which one will be the best fit for your specific situation.
Here are 10 questions that you should be asking every real estate agent that you interview:
1. How long have you had your real estate license?
This is a good opening question that will help you establish the level of experience of the agent you are interviewing. Time on the job does not necessarily equal competence, but any agent you consider should have at least a few years of experience. Let the new agents handle someone else’s listing because your house is too important.
2. How many homes have you sold in the past year?
After establishing how long the agent has been in the real estate business, the next step is to determine how productive they have been over the past year. If they haven’t sold very many houses in the past year, they probably aren’t very likely to sell yours. On the other hand, if they are the type of agent that sells a tremendous number of houses every year, your home might not ever be their primary focus.
3. How many days is your average listing on the market?
This is a slightly deeper version of the previous question. By finding out how long it take the agent to sell a typical house, you are going to be able to get a feel for exactly how hard they are going to be working to sell your house.
4. On average, how close is your average asking price to your average sales price?
The closer an agent’s average sale price is to their average asking price, the more you will be able to trust their judgment in setting the initial asking price for your own home.
Asking the right price from the start is one of the most critical components of selling a house, so you want to find an agent who will be able to nail the price on the first try. You also want to be confident that the agent is not telling you that the house is worth more than it will actually sell for just to get the listing.
5. How will you plan on communicating with me during the listing?
One of the most frustrating aspects of selling a house is that you are not always kept in the loop on how things are going with each potential buyer. You are going to want your agent to keep you informed of exactly how things are going and what people who view your home are saying. Your agent should have a plan to communicate this type of information with you on a regular basis.
6. What are some listings you have sold that are similar to my listing?
Even if an agent sold 100 properties last year, their experience will be of no use to you if 99 of those properties were condos and you are trying to sell a four-bedroom ranch. You want to find an agent who specializes in selling the exact type of house you are listing.
7. How do you plan to market my listing?
Each agent you interview should be able to identify the type of buyer that your home is a perfect fit for and how they would plan to market the house to that buyer. After interviewing multiple agents, you will have the luxury of considering each agent’s plan and deciding which one you like best. Keep in mind that regardless of which agent you go with, any of their marketing ideas could be helpful in the process of selling your house.
8. Do you have an online marketing strategy for your listings?
It’s no secret that there are plenty of great options to market your house online. You want to make sure that your agent understands that and has a plan in place to make sure that your listings are getting maximum exposure on all of the real estate sites. It can also be a huge advantage if the agent has a strong social media presence.
9. How will you and your office assist me during the closing process?
The closing table can be intimidating, especially for first or second time home sellers. You want to be sure that your agent will help you make sure that you are properly prepared for closing and have any documents you might need ready to go.
10. Could you provide at least three recent references that I could speak with?
Any competent agent should have plenty of references to pick from, so if they aren’t prepared for this question you should consider it a huge red flag. Following the interview, you will want to contact these references and verify that the agent met their expectations.
Interviewing real estate agents might seem like a stressful task, but it is necessary to ensure that you are getting the agent that will be the best fit for your listing.
If you expect to sell your home as quickly as possible for the highest price you can get, you need to have the best agent for the job.
Once you find the perfect agent for your listing, every other aspect of selling your house will be much easier to deal with.