Selling your home is a big deal. Some of your most important personal and family goals hinge on the success of your sale. Of course you have a lot of money, time and energy on the line, too.
Choosing the right real estate agent can make all the difference between having a positive and a negative home-selling experience. Below are 8 questions which will help you select the right agent for your sale.
Listing Agent Question #1
Why are you in real estate? This is an open-ended question that has no one right answer. Hire an agent who has a passion for real estate that goes well beyond making a sale. For example, an agent may truly value the trust that is earned and the relationships that are built during the home-selling process. She might enjoy helping people solve problems or using her creativity to market a home. Whatever the answer, look for an underlying motivation that shows a true love for the field.
Listing Agent Question #2
Can you provide me with references from recent home-selling clients? Ask your agent for 3 to 5 references. Most sellers skip this step because they are short on time, but investing a little time up front can save a lot of heartache later on down the line. When you interview recent clients, ask questions which help you better understand the agent's marketing, market expertise, reliability, communication, follow-up, and negotiation skills.
Listing Agent Question #3
What sets you apart from other listing agents? In other words, why should I hire you over someone else? This is another open-ended question which has no one right answer. Look for an answer that comes from the gut and connects with you. If the agent truly believes in what she brings to the table, it will show in her answer. If the agent is unsure of herself, this will show, too.
Listing Agent Question #4
How many listings have you sold in the last year? Select an agent who's sold enough real estate to demonstrate she's practicing her craft each day. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 12 listings in a year. An agent who meets this standard is most likely applying herself and building her portfolio full-time. Be sure you hire an agent who offers clear evidence of productivity and success.
Listing Agent Question #5
Can you share your detailed marketing plan with me and will you put it in writing? Ask the agent to go through everything she does to sell and service a listing. Your listing plan should include professional staging, professional photos, and professional video at a minimum. Beyond that your agent should identify many other strategies that will help your home sell quickly and for a high market price. Ask the agent to incorporate the full marketing plan into your listing contract so you have it in writing.
Listing Agent Question #6
Who pays the marketing costs? This is a good question to ask because some agents won't pay for a professional staging consultation and ask the seller to compensate instead. Staging is the most important element of your marketing plan. Choose an agent who's willing to invest in it.
Listing Agent Question #7
How do you go about pricing a home? The Madison area real estate market is a fast-changing one that can vary tremendously from one location to the next. Be sure your market analysis takes into account the momentum of the market and the dynamics of your specific location. For more information, check out our article on pricing a home.
Listing Agent Question #8
What is your listing success rate, your days on market, and your sold price compared to the original list? These statistics offer some good insight into the quality of your agent's work. For more info, see our article on how to measure a listing agent's performance.
What are your goals for selling your home? Get in touch with us and we'll lay out a plan to help you meet them.
This article is published courtesy of: Dan Miller, REALTOR Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred