Finding the right real estate agent to help you sell your house can make all the difference in the entire selling experience. Homeowners preparing to sell must remember that not all real estate agents are created equal, and working with someone who’s capable of meeting your specific needs is of the utmost importance. Asking the right questions before hiring a realtor can help save sellers time, money, and plenty of aggravation.
Here are 11 questions every seller should ask when selecting a realtor to work with:
1. What factors should be considered when determining my asking price?
As most homeowners know, the asking price for any given property should always reflect its current market value, which is impacted by a number of factors, regarding both the property itself as well as the surrounding neighborhood.
Choosing the right listing price for your house requires a careful analysis of not only the current condition of the home itself, but the current state of the local real estate market as well. This leads us to the next question that sellers should ask of real estate agents:
2. Can you describe what the local real estate market has been like lately?
It’s understandable for a homeowner to be unfamiliar with the latest ups and downs in the local real estate market, but the best real estate agents know the market like the back of their hands and can provide a detailed analysis of the latest real estate trends in your area.
This information helps sellers to better understand what their asking price should be, how long they can expect their homes to stay on the market, and how much leverage they will have when it comes to negotiating with potential buyers.
3. How much is your commission and what services does it include?
In the state of Texas, all commissions are paid from the seller’s proceeds, so it’s important to keep this in mind when determining the listing price for your home. Aside from being prepared to pay your real estate agent, you should also inquire about additional marketing services that may be included with the commission, such as professional photos, video tour creation, and staging services.
4. How do you recommend marketing my house?
Sellers should always be sure to clarify what marketing tactics will be used prior to working with a real estate agent. Find out what marketing strategy your potential real estate agent recommends and find out his or her reasoning behind it. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what to expect.
For example, many owners of luxury homes prefer selling their houses as off-market listings to avoid the attention of unqualified buyers. In these cases, homeowners need to make sure the real estate agents they choose to work with are familiar with the intricacies of selling off-market listings and know how to find the right buyers using this approach.
Whatever the strategy may be, it’s important to align on this before hiring a real estate agent, so you can be certain the person you’re working with knows how to handle your marketing requests.
5. Can you describe your experience working in my neighborhood?
Don’t be afraid to ask a real estate agent directly if they’ve handled any previous transactions in your area. You’ll be much better off working with a realtor who knows your community and already understands the demographic of average buyers of homes like yours. Additionally, realtors who are familiar with your neighborhood are better equipped to give you a realistic expectation of how long it will take for your house to sell.
6. Have you worked with any buyers in my market?
Hiring a real estate agent who’s already experienced working with buyers in your neighborhood firsthand can provide a huge advantage. This type of experience can help your real estate agent better understand specifically what types of buyers are most attracted to your neighborhood, and how to make sure your home is marketed in a way that appeals to these buyers the most.
7. Would you ever consider representing both parties of a single transaction?
If a real estate agent answers yes to this question, that’s a huge red flag and a sign they should not be hired. Representing both parties in a single transaction will inevitably create a conflict of interest for the realtor, and sellers must be careful to avoid this situation. The best real estate agents act with their clients priorities in mind and do not represent the buyer and seller in a single transaction.
8. Do you have other active listings in this area?
If you’re selling your home and the answer is yes, your real estate agent may be able to leverage these other listings to direct more buyers to your house.
The feedback your real estate agent receives from interested buyers at these other listings could help you to market your own home more effectively. For example, if a potential buyer finds that your realtor’s other listing doesn’t have the features they’re looking for, your realtor has the opportunity to direct this buyer to your house instead.
9. Will I be working with you directly, or do you have a team that I’ll be communicating with?
Once you’ve found a real estate agent you’d like to work with, make sure you confirm that they’ll be the person you interact with. It’s important to make sure you know what to expect when it comes to who will be handling your listing and guiding you through the selling process.
10. What’s the best way to contact you and what are your business hours?
While it’s easy to assume in this day and age that everybody checks their email, it’s never a bad idea to confirm the best way to get in touch with your real estate agent. Whether you prefer phone calls, text messages, emails, or face-to-face meetings, make sure your real estate agent is aware of your preferred method of communication.
Additionally, it’s always wise to confirm your real estate agent’s availability throughout the week. While some realtors may be available 7 days a week, others may prefer a Monday through Friday schedule, so be sure to ask about this from the beginning.
11. What type of buyer would you say my house should be marketed to?
Based on your neighborhood and your home’s unique style, layout, and amenities, you’re likely to attract a specific type of buyer. An experienced real estate agent can provide a description of the type of individual or family that will probably be most interested in your house. Aside from helping you understand how your house should be marketed, this question is also a great way to find out just how experienced a real estate agent is in selling homes like yours.
Above all, the real estate agent you choose to work with must be someone you can trust to keep your best interests in mind. I take great pride in focusing my efforts on my clients’ top priorities and making sure every homeowner I work with has the best experience possible. If you’re in the Tanglewood area and need an experienced realtor to help sell your house, please contact me today!