The Critical Questions You Must Ask Any Realtor Before You List Your Home or.. You Could Lose Big!

Mortgage and Lending with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage NMLSR ID 228520

The Critical Questions You Must Ask Any Realtor Before You List or consider hiring a Realtor. Eight questions to ask during an interview process before you hire a real estate agent to list your home.

1. What is your company’s track record and reputation in the market place?  It may appear like everywhere you look, Real Estate brokers are boasting about being #1 for this or that or quoting the number of houses they’ve sold. You may be amazed to know that some agents sell fewer than 10 houses a year.

2.  What are your marketing plans for my house? -  Simply putting a sign on your lawn and featuring open houses will not sell your house. How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes he or she lists versus other brokers you are interviewing? In what media does this broker advertise?” Look for an agent with a unique marketing plan.

3. Could you send me some information about yourself? -  You can often get a good idea of which brokers are the most professional by looking at their marketing materials.  If the marketing pieces aren’t professional and they can’t market themselves effectively, how are they going to market your house?  Track how long every agent takes to respond to your request and how quickly they follow up. If they don’t reply expeditiously to your listing requests, suppose how they’ll handle potential house buyers

4. What listing price do you recommend and what is it based on? - Pricing is the most critical step to selling your house. Take great care in choosing an agent with the knowledge to price your home effectively.  Keep in mind that the selling price should draw prospective buyers to your house, get you top dollar in the current market and reflect the condition of your house.  Be realistic and avoid: “Yes agents” who will say ‘yes’ to any request or price.  Your house could languish on the market as a result.

5. What is your average duration of time from listed to sold? -  Don’t automatically assume the shorter time on the market, the better.  That could reflect undervaluing houses and selling them rapidly at “low ball” prices.  Look at the original asking price compared to the actual selling price.  A Real Estate Agent who sells close to the asking price is effective at setting the right price and assisting clients get it.

 6.  What Kind of Guarantee Do You Offer? If you sign a listing or purchasing agreement with the broker and later find that you are unhappy with the arrangement, will the agent let you call off the agreement? Will the broker stand behind thier service to you? What is thier company's policy about cancelled agreements?
7. How long is the listing agreement and what are the fees? -  Have your broker go over all the particulars. Make sure the beginning and ending dates are on the agreement, a good standard for duration is six months.  Know precisely what fees you will be giving, and remember less is not always better.  If the broker stands to make very little commission, you can bet it will be reflected in the amount of time and effort that is spent marketing your home.  If the agent reduces their commission to get your listing, it may mean they intend to spend very little money advertising your property.

8. Can you refer me to a Reputable Mortgage Broker, Lender or Real Estate Attorney?  This question brings out how involved the real estate agent is, and how well associated they are professionally. In the selling process  you will need the services of a respected, competent mortgage broker, lender, title company etc. Your real estate broker should be able to  give you a few names on the spot if they are committed and diligent with their practice as a professional Realtor.

My hope with this write up has been to educate you and help you avert the pitfalls many home sellers go through.  I hope you found the ideas worthwhile and if there is ever any way I can be of service to you or anyone you care about, please visit my website

Louis Vela


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Edy Kizaki
eXp Realty - Seattle, WA

Hummm... "don't automatically assume the less time on the market the better"... I would love to hear more about this as it is a pretty common assumption!  There are the sellers that say "I'm not in a hurry, let's take our time and get the best price" but then there is also "we need to move on, let's get it done." 

But more than that... I hear my experienced listing agents again and again saying, "hey, they are pricing it too high, we aren't having enough hits and visits, this is a problem."  I would like to hear more about agents' ideas of how to avoid this while doing one's best for the client.

Sep 30, 2009 08:26 AM #1
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