Selling your home can be difficult. Even in a seller’s market, you could sink thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours into preparing your home only not to find any suitable buyers. Asking for help from a top-tier real estate agent can accelerate the home-selling process, increase your home’s sale price, and take the weight off your shoulders.
Don’t rush the process of finding your ideal agent. We recommend thoroughly researching all of the real estate agents in your area before contracting any of them to sell your home.
Leading real estate experts encourage prospective home sellers to informally interview real estate agents to determine which candidates are best for their needs. If you get stuck creating a list of questions that are important to you, seek inspiration from this list of 11 questions to ask when selling.
1. Do you require upfront payment?
Many hopeful real estate agents aren’t able to jump right into independent operation. They usually advertise their services to gain exposure while maintaining a full-time job or find employment at an established real estate firm to build their reputation among local community members. Beginners who are hungry for income are more likely to ask for upfront fees than their seasoned, well-connected counterparts.
Although some legitimate, skilled agents may ask for upfront payments, we generally recommend finding agents that take a portion of homes’ sales prices.
2. Are you a full-time agent?
Agents who work full-time are more likely to have flexible schedules and be available around the clock. Even if you don’t need a versatile agent to meet your jam-packed schedule’s needs, full-time agents are likely to receive more interest from potential buyers than part-time providers.
3. How many listings do you currently have in my neighborhood?
Local agents usually have a better grasp of neighborhoods around you than those who primarily operate in another area. While agents can easily browse the Internet to learn more about your community, geographical or municipal knowledge will never replace the deeply-ingrained connections powerful local real estate agents will have in your neck of the woods.
Keep in mind that this question might not be necessary if you live in a rural area with few neighbors. How can you gauge a real estate professional’s familiarity with the area you live in if it’s not well-trafficked? If you live in a city with clearly-defined neighborhoods or boroughs, this question is unarguably vital for separating the proverbial wheat from the figurative chaff.
4. Can you provide a CMA?
CMAs, or comparative market analyses, are reports that describe your local or regional real estate market in detail. Comparative market analyses are valuable in determining a fair price to list your home.
You should be prepared to pay agents upfront for CMAs. Ordering comparative market analyses from multiple real estate agents will give you a comprehensive understanding of significant market trends, factors, and details and the chance to stack their abilities up against one another.
5. How long will I list my home with you?
Most agents require clients to give them ample time to sell their homes. These requirements give realtors security in knowing their home improvement, interior design, staging, and closing efforts won’t go to waste. Although every agent’s terms and conditions differ, you can expect at least a three-month listing requirement.
6. Are you active online?
Asking agents for their website and social media links will give you an extra opportunity to check their reputation. Internet-active agents also generally have a broader base of clients.
7. Do you have a resume?
Think of yourself as an employer when looking for real estate agents. Every competent real estate agent should be willing to provide you with a resume upon request.
8. Can you provide details about your real estate license?
Real estate agents must hold active licensure to provide their services to prospective home sellers. In actuality, coming across unlicensed agents is unlikely. However, you shouldn’t risk it. Ask the agents you want to do business with for their license information. They’ll probably have them framed in their offices.
After receiving this information, you can independently verify their licenses by calling local or state government agencies. This service is usually provided for free.
9. What parts of the selling process will be handled by others?
You should ask yourself how comfortable you are with agents who plan on delegating various aspects of the home-selling process to their employees or independent contractors. Remodeling, construction, and landscaping are almost always outsourced. Listing, staging, talking to clients, and closing is essential duties that agents should handle themselves.
10. Can I have a list of recent clients?
References to past clients are highly valuable. When contacting them, make sure to ask when they did business with their agent. Be wary of old references who haven’t recently done business with their agents.
11. Will you explain the entire process to me?
You can generally feel good about real estate agents who explain the sales process in a confident, thorough, and prompt manner. If you’re wondering what questions to ask, we recommend starting here.