Questions to Ask The Agent
Listing a home is more than just putting the word out that it’s for sale. There are a number of very important steps to take in advance, and certain ways in which you’ll want to have the home marketed and shown. You resource for all of the things you need to consider is your real estate listing agent. When you’re talking to agents and trying to decide who should list your home, there are a number of questions you can ask and answers you should expect that will help you in your decision.
- Q-How long have you been licensed and in the business?
A-You normally want experience here. While a newer agent may be able to give you more of their time and attention than a busy established agent, you’ll want to be sure that they at least have excellent support from their broker.
- Q-How many listings do you usually maintain?
A-Too many listings could translate into a lack of management and attention, but this can be balanced by assistants. If they have a staff to help maintain them, then it’s better.
- Q-Do you have a brokerage/personal website where my home will be marketed?
A-Every brokerage should have a site where your home will be marketed with description and photos. Many agents also maintain their own sites. However, see the next question, as the Web exposure of these sites is limited to their search engine prominence, usually low.
- Q-Do you syndicate my listing on the Web & to how many sites?
A-Syndication sends out your listing details and photos to other sites on the Web, particularly high profile sites like Trulia.com, Zillow.com, Google Base and more. With 90% of buyers using the Web to search for homes, you want maximum exposure.
- Q-What type of CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis) will you do to determine listing price?
A-What you’re looking for here is that they’ll do a CMA of recently sold properties, but also another one of currently listed homes to determine the competition.
- Q-What do you recommend I do to the house to get it ready?
A-You’re going to compare their responses, as some of this is opinion, and they will not agree on everything. One may recommend hiring a stager, while another may just give you tips for self-staging.
- Q-What is your listing average Days On Market when sold compared to the market average?
A-You want to know if their listings stay on the market longer or shorter than the market average. This can be due to marketing, but usually more to price. If their average is better, then you may expect that agent to be recommending a lower listing price than others. However, if their listings are on the market longer, that could be due to over-pricing at listing.
Getting too wrapped up in a chart of questions and answers is usually counter-productive. You’re getting a feel for the agents, seeing if you get along, and using their responses to see how honest they seem