Questions to Ask when Hiring an Agent to Sell Your Home
Will you do a comparative market analysis (CMA) for my home?
A comparative market analysis will give you a side-by-side comparison to other homes that have sold in your area. These homes will be comparable in size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. This analysis will give you a good estimate of what your home may be worth in today's real estate market.
How long have you been in the real estate business?
Longevity in real estate attests to how committed you are to selling homes. The longer an agent is in business the more knowledge they generally have, with regards to the process and what kind of things they may encounter. An agent with experience, or lack thereof, can often mean the difference between knowing how to handle a difficult situation, ignoring a problem, or not recognizing the signs of a potential problem before it develops into a crisis. Hiring an agent who is more experienced can sometimes make or break a sale.
Are you a full-time agent?
A full-time agent, working 40+ hours, will be reachable and generally more helpful than someone who only sells real estate on a part-time basis. Knowing you can reach your agent can be quite important at various stages of the process.
Do you work solo or are you part of a team?
There are various ways that agents run their business: solo, singularly with a support staff, as a duo, or as part of a team. You will want to clarify these dynamics before listing your home with an agent so that you know how their business will operate.
Do you have a personal support staff?
It is important that you select an agent who has a professional, skilled, and knowledgeable support staff. Having a "personal" support staff helps to allow their staff to focus effectively and efficiently only on that agent's particular home sales.
How will you market my home?
Each agent will have a different plan of how they would like to market your home. Find out specifically what kind of marketing can/will be utilized for your home specifically. Keep in mind that the marketing plan for your home may be different than even that of your next door neighbor's home.
What is the total sales volume for your office?
Each real estate office will have a different sales volume. This volume can vary greatly year to year depending on market conditions, but this number is often a tell-tale sign of how successful an office is at selling homes.
How many homes have you personally sold year-to-date?
Even though a real estate office has sold many homes, this does not mean the agent you are interviewing has done the same, therefore you will want to ask about their personal sales. Some agents sell a few homes a year, working minimal hours, and others are full-time agents, working 40+ hours a week, selling many homes a year. You will want to decide what kind of agent you are looking for and what best suits your personal needs.
Can you provide a list of the homes you have sold year-to-date?
A list of homes an agent has sold will show you what areas, price ranges, and kinds of homes the agent has sold previously. Do they only sell large homes and you have a small home? Do they sell new construction and your home is an older home? As a seller you will want your agent to be as familiar as possible with trying to sell your specific kind of home.
How much of your business comes from referrals?
Word-of-mouth is the best indicator that an agent is doing their job well. When clients/customers are happy it is a sure sign that they relate to people well and perform their job up to the standard that people expect.
Do you have a list of recent references or testimonials from previous clients?
A reputable agent will be able to supply you with a list of referrals to contact either via phone or e-mail. Here are some questions to help you determine the type of agent he/she may be, and if you will want to work with them. Skilled agents will often have testimonials from previous clients. These can also prove to be helpful as well.
Questions to ask previous clients:
- Were you pleased with the work they did?
- Were they easy to contact?
- Did he/she keep you well informed through the process?
- Would you recommend her/him to other perspective clients?
Which areas do you specialize in?
It is imperative in today’s market that you select an agent that is an expert in the area you require. They should have an intimate feel for what is currently happening in your neighborhood in order to affectively advise you on the sale of your home.
- New construction?
Who makes the decision on how often my home can be marketed?
Every real estate office is set up differently, giving the agents different amounts of control over their listings. Be sure to confirm who makes the decisions about how your home will be marketed.
How will I receive updates on the progress of the sale of my home?
The kind of follow through you will receive will vary with each agent. You will want to ask how communications are generally coordinated and what kind of updates you will receive while your home is on the market. This will give you realistic expectations of the process.
How many clients are you currently representing?
This is a tricky question that you will want to weight the answer to before asking. There is no magic number of clients that an agent can handle. An agent's personality, number of years in business, and amount of support they have can affect what "works" for them.
Do you have a personal website and are you on social media?
A major way we communicate and/or find information in this day and age is through the internet and social media. An agent who participates in this manner of communication has stayed up to date with the various changes the real estate world has been through. An agent with knowledge of the internet will be able to understand marketing via this route as well.
If you have questions with regards to selling your home please feel free to contact us at any time. You should always feel comfortable with the real estate agent you choose to sell your home. We are here to help with whatever needs you may have and look forward to hearing what you may have as your real estate goals.