Questions to ask your realtor when selling a home: part I

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Questions to ask your realtor when selling a home: part I

When selling your home, you hope to get top dollar by using the service of an experienced Realtor. To further enhance your peace-of-mind, here are some important questions you should ask your Realtor so they will become your trusted real estate advisor.

What are your credentials? As you start out to sell your home, at the very least hire an agent who has a state license and belongs to the local real estate trade association. This means they will have access to the multiple Listing Service and can list your property far and wide.

How many sales did you close last year? A real estate agent’s past performance doesn’t guarantee a quick sale. Their track record of success with buyers and sellers, though, is some assurance that they are professionals who will know what they’re doing in selling your home. You might also ask about the price range of the homes the Realtor sold and ask for recommendations from previous customers.

Do you specialize in your neighborhood? Having a local expert can be a huge advantage for sellers. Local agents will be aware of any upcoming developments in the area, plus plans for stores or other amenities that might affect the value of your property. He or she will also understand the current market and what local buyers are looking for.

How do you arrive at the listing price? Few things are as important to a seller as the discussion of how to price your home, and your real estate agent’s ability to land on a listing price that is pitched at just the right level for the local market. A property that is priced too high will languish, eventually turning off potential buyers, but a home priced too low might leave money on the table.

Whom will I be working with? You want to find out if you will be working with one specific real estate agent or a member of the agent’s team. Each scenario has pros and cons for sellers, so ask lots of questions. Different agents work with clients in different ways.

How much will selling my home cost? Ask several questions about the costs that you, as the seller, will be paying in the real estate transaction, such as broker’s commission, closing fees, and anything else, so you can plan accordingly and compare from one agent to the next. This should be covered in the listing agreement with the real estate agent.

What is your sales plan? A good agent should have a written plan for selling your home that identifies the marketing plan for your property to attract buyers, from listing services to open houses to social media. This helps ensure you’ll get a high sales price.

What should I do to get my house ready? See what the agents’ advice is for necessary repairs or upgrades or what hacks they might suggest for budget-friendly but impactful improvements that would attract buyers. Find out if they suggest staging services or just a good cleaning and declutter.

How will we communicate? If you’re a texter and your real estate agent prefers lengthy phone calls, that could present a problem. Likewise, you might prefer the personal touch of a call over an email. Knowing the method and frequency of communication can be important in selling your home. Your agent should also be available to answer any questions that you have along the way.

How long will the process take? While no agents can guarantee how fast the sale and full real estate transaction will go, they should be able to give a ballpark range on how long it will take to sell your house.