The 10 Crucial Questions To Ask Any Agent Before Selling
Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full-time in real estate? How long have you been representing buyers? What professional designations do you have?
Knowing whether or not your agent practices full time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts and his or her commitment to your transaction. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations.
What benefits do real estate teams provide versus a top producing individual agent?
It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them, however, you should make a determination on the level of service you’ll receive. Teams must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service. Many teams are focused on their business as opposed to achieving their clients’ goals and objectives. You should evaluate whose best interests the team are representing, yours or theirs?
You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing? Teams are great, but sometimes commitment to service can slip though the cracks.
Do you have a website that will showcase my home? Can I have the address for your website? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What's your email address?
Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it's available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So, you want to make sure your home is listed online, either on the agent's Website or on their company's site. By searching your agent's Website you will get a clear picture of how much information is available online.
How will you keep in contact with me during the marketing and sale of my home ... and how often?
Some agents may email, fax or call you daily to tell you that visitors have toured your home, while others will keep in touch weekly.
Lack of communication is the biggest single complaint against real estate agents, by asking this question it can help you reconcile your needs with your agent's systems and not fall victim to poor communication.
5. What do you do that other agents don't that ensures I'm getting top dollar for my home? What is your average market time versus other agents' average market time?
What do you do that other agents don't that insures I'm getting top dollar for my home? What is your average market time versus other agents' average time on market?
Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional's unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a home sells quickly. For example, an agent might research the demographics of your neighborhood and present you a target market list for direct marketing purposes.
Will you provide me with names of your past clients for references?
Interviewing an agent can be similar to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own wants and needs from your agent.
Do you provide a written performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our Listing Agreement?
In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, ask “Why not?” Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance.
Elegant Homes and Gardens understands the importance of win-win business relationships: the agent does not benefit if the client does not also benefit. An agent’s commitment to high standards should be supported by a written commitment to your success. Elegant Homes and Gardens does provide a written guarantee for your peace of mind.
How do you source your fees i.e. how do you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing please?
In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions. Sometimes, agents will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of selling costs from any agent you contemplate employing.
How do you determine a list price for our home? And what pricing strategies do you employ to achieve our sales success?
Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.
What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed and promoted? Who pays for your marketing and advertising ... you or your company?
Ask your real estate agent to present to you with a clear written plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. If there are other forms of marketing available but not specified in the plan ask who pays for those. Request samples of the types of marketing strategies that your agent proposes (such as Internet websites, print magazines, open houses, local, national and international publications).
Contact Elegant Homes and Gardens
We certainly hope you recognize the complexities of selling your home. It's also our sincere hope that, when you need the professional guidance and advice to facilitate the successful sale of your home, you'll contact Bob Reid to achieve your real estate and financial goals in your transaction.