I have sold a few homes in my life. And so I understand that there are many potential points of stress throughout the process. One, that occurs right at beginning—choosing a real estate agent.
Here is something you need to understand, a statement that, unfortunately, will not reduce your stress at this point—Not all real estate agents are the same. Really. So it’s important to carefully consider who you choose to list your home.
How do you know which real estate agent you should choose? What questions do you ask? Maybe this will help reduce some stress—I have provided several questions for you to ask a real estate agent before you hire them to sell your home.
Here is my quick caution with these questions—don’t let them paint a negative picture of real estate agents in your mind. I am pro-real estate agent. But you do need to vet your agent.
- How long have you been a real estate agent? Experience does not always equal excellence. You can have a real estate agent that has performed poorly for many years. But it is helpful to know whether or not your home will be the first home they’ve sold.
- What is your ratio of buyers to sellers? Again, not a deal-breaker, but you should prefer to work with agents that work more with sellers than buyers. Their focus is doing exactly what you need somebody to do—sell your home.
- Are you full-time or part-time? You need to know how much attention they can give your home.
- In what neighborhoods do you typically work? It is helpful to know whether or not they have experience working in your area. Such experience can go a long way in assisting you in determining the sell price, marketing your house, and connecting with real estate agents who may have buyers interested in moving to the area.
- Have you sold any homes in my neighborhood? If they have successfully sold a home in your neighborhood, that should bode well for them.
- How many clients do you have right now? You need to determine your personal preference here. An agent with less clients might have more time to dedicate to your home. However, an agent with more clients might indicate that he or she is a fairly successful agent. Personally, I want the busy agent with a lot of clients so that’s why I got my property valuation from this company. It’s the same principal as two heads are better than one.
- How would you market my home? Make sure they have a good plan. If they don’t have a plan or if you are not impressed with their plan, you might want to opt for another agent.
- Who else would be a part of the selling process? A good real estate agent has a team. If they are a one man or woman show, I get nervous.
- Are your fees negotiable? The answer should be “yes.”
- How long must I list my home with you? You do need to give your real estate agent time to sell your home. Don’t get frustrated if your home does not sell in the first twenty-four hours. Three to six months is normal. I prefer the shorter contracts. This allows you the ability to make a change earlier if expectations are not met.
- Do you have any references? Reach out to those who have used the particular agent. Ask about their experience. What did they like? What didn’t they like? Of course, remember it is likely that they are providing references they know will paint them in a positive light. But you should contact them regardless.
Selling a home can be stressful. Ask these questions to help take a little stress off the process of choosing your real estate agent. I hope your home sells quickly and for a satisfactory price.