When it comes to selling a home, you want a real estate agent who is knowledgeable and committed to getting your home sold quickly and sold for a fair price. The relationship between you and your real estate agent is one of the most important aspects of the listing. You want someone who you can trust and feel comfortable expressing your feelings to.
Believe it or not, many people call one real estate agent and immediately list their property with the agent without talking to other agents. This is a huge mistake! Interviewing several agents will help you find an agent that you feel comfortable talking with, is willing to list your property at fair market value and is willing to properly market your home.
During the interview, you should ask the following questions:
- How many homes have you sold in the past year? This will help you determine if the agent works hard to get their listings sold. By interviewing several agents, you can get a better idea of the average number of properties a real estate agent sells in a year.
- How many active listings do you have? The number of active listings a real estate agent has can either hinder or help the sell of your home. You want an agent who has plenty of properties for sale, but not so many properties that they cannot dedicate the needed time to get your property sold.
- What are your advertising strategies? The advertising strategies should include online listings, newspaper listings, home magazines, television ads, radio ads and open houses.
- Will you hold an open house? Open houses are a great way to introduce a newly listed home to potential buyers. In addition to showing the property to buyers, other real estate agents may stop by to view your property. This will help the agents find buyers who would be interested in your home.
- What suggestions can you give to make my home sell faster? The real estate agent should be feel comfortable enough to tell you things that can make your home sell faster. For example, the agent may recommend removing family photos to depersonalize the space. Other suggestions could include landscaping tips to increase the curb appeal of your home, cleaning out closets and garages to showcase the home's features or furniture arranging tips. These things are meant to help get your home sold quickly, so do not take offense to these suggestions.
- Will you be a seller's agent only? There are three types of agents- a seller's agent, a buyer's agent and a dual agent. The type of agent means a great deal. For example, the seller's agent works hard to get the home sold at a higher price. A buyer's agent works for the buyer to get the home sold at a reduced price. Finally, a dual agent works for both parties equally, acting more as a mediator than an agent.
- What is the commission rate? Commission rates can vary between offices, so make sure to interview several companies. However, it is important to realize that a reduced commission rate is not always a bargain. The commission rate is used to pay for advertising as well as the agent's time and effort.
- What do you consider my home to be worth? This is the most important thing to ask! Do not go with the agent who says your house should be listed for more than it is worth because it will stay on the market for months.
- Do you have comps to show how you came up with a price? Comps are homes that have sold in your area that are similar to your home. This will help an agent come up with a fair price.
- Are you a full time agent? Full time agents will have the time necessary to properly market your property.
- What type of properties do you list? Most real estate agents specialize in a particular type of property. You want an agent that understand how to market your property.
- What can you tell me about my neighborhood? The real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the school district, the average sale price, the average age of owners in the area and the average time homes in your area spend on the market.
- How long do you think it will take to sell my property? Although no real estate agent can guarantee how long your home will be on the market, most will be able to give you the average time frame comparable house are on the market before selling. This information will also help you determine a sales price. If the average market time is longer than you want to wait, you may want to list your property slightly under the fair market price. This will help get it sold fast.
Real estate agents are professional independent contractors who have been trained to help their clients buy and sell properties. Because of the extensive federal and state laws surrounding real estate sales, it is imperative that you find an agent who is knowledgeable about the Federal Fair Housing and fiduciary laws and is dedicated to getting your property sold quickly. Use the information above to help find the best real estate agent.