When you consider selling your home, where is the best place to start? Whether you are buying or selling, you need an experienced partner who understands the process, who all of the key players are, and can take care of the details for you - a real estate agent. You may get lots of recommendations from friends and family for realtors they know or have worked with, but you need to make sure whomever you choose is a good fit for you and your needs. Here are the top six questions to ask a potential listing agent for your home:
1. How long have you been a realtor?
A real estate agent who is newer is not necessarily a deal breaker. Even if they take some classes, most agents learn on the job. A newer agent may have fewer clients and thus more time to devote to selling your home. As long as they have an experienced and proven mentor providing support and learning, a newer agent could be an unexpected bonus.
2. What is your fee?
Real estate agents charge a percentage of the sale as their commission, usually somewhere between 2 to 4% to represent one side of the transaction (seller or buyer). The buyer's agent will also get a commission based on the final sale price and within the same range as the listing agent. While all fees in real estate are negotiable, top-producing agents generally command a higher fee - and they're often well worth it.
3. What strategy would you use to market and sell my home?
Their answer should include things like where they advertise new listings and how often, if they provide professional photography services, if they use online marketing or social media (and what platforms they use), as well as open houses.
4. What is your cancellation policy?
The cancellation policy is frequently determined by the real estate company they work with and not the individual agent. Signing an agreement to work with an agent creates an exclusive relationship. It's important to know what is required to dissolve that relationship if you are unhappy with the service provided or if it just isn't a good fit.
5. Can I review the agreement documents privately before signing?
You will want a copy of the Agency Disclosure, Seller Disclosures and Listing Agreement. Being able to read them privately gives you a no-pressure chance to review all of the terms in these documents, make note of any questions you need clarified or if desired, have an attorney review any items you are uncertain of.
6. What other professionals can you connect me with throughout the process?
A good real estate agent is more than just a sales person, they are a resource to help you complete various parts of the sales process as efficiently as possible. They should have great connections with other professionals that will be involved along the way, such as real estate attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, mortgage specialists, home stagers, movers and handymen/contractors.
Choosing a great listing agent can make a big difference when you're selling your home. These six questions are a good way to assess a potential listing agent's experience and abilities, as well as how well they can meet your individual needs during the selling process.