10 questions to ask your realtor when selling your property
1. Are you a full-time or part-time real estate agent? How long have you worked in real estate? What credentials do you have?
Knowing whether or not your agent practices full- or part-time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts and their commitment to your transaction. There are many part-time professional agents that can do a good job for you. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. Professional designations don’t always tell the whole story about an agent either. Education and experience should also be looked at.
2. Do you have a personal assistant, team, or staff to handle various parts of the purchase?
Make sure you are getting your transaction handled by the agent and not a junior assistant with little experience. You may want to know who will take part in your transaction and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with them. Just having a team or personal assistant does not mean you will get better service. In fact, the opposite may be true as agents become less personal the busier they get. Look for a balance.
3. Do you have your own website or a landing page? Can I have your URL address? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What is your email address?
Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it is available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So you want to make sure your home is listed online. Ask where it is going to be placed.
4. How will you keep me informed during selling process and how often?
Talk with your agent about how to best communicate with you. Email or phone is the most common forms of communication. Texting is getting more and more popular especially with younger people. Ask your agent to communicate with you in the way that works best for you.
5. What sets you apart from other agents?
Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional’s unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a home sells quickly. For example, an agent might research the demographics of your neighborhood and give you a target market list for direct marketing purposes. Ask your agent if they have any specialties or particular niche markets in which they work.
6. Will you give me references?
Interviewing an agent can be similar to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to understand how they work and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.
7. Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?
In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, it does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, they will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance. Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC understands the importance of win-win business relationships—the agent does not benefit if the client does not also benefit.
8. How do you get paid? What fees do you charge?
In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions. Sometimes agents will have other small fees (such as administrative or special service fees) that are charged to clients regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.
9. How do you determine the price of our property? What is the process?
Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly or at all. Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Make sure the agent uses current market information and not old data. Ask to see the comparables or market research
10. What is the marketing plan for selling my property? Who determines where and when my home is marketed and/or promoted? Who pays for the advertising?
Ask your real estate agent to discuss how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. A well-rounded plan is important.