One of the best things you can do when putting your home up for sale is to “interview” your potential selling agent. Hiring an agent with the right skillset and expertise will make a huge difference in the success of your home sale.
Here are some great questions to ask any real estate agent you are considering to get a better feel and more insight on if they will do a great job selling your home.
What are your credentials?
You want to make sure the agent you hire is licensed with the state you live and is a member of the local real estate trade association. This allows an agent to have access to the MLS (multiple listing service) where most buyers and buyers’ agents begin their search. Extra credentials? Great! This means they have more experience.
How many sales did you close last year?
An agent’s previous performance is not an indicator of how swiftly and close to asking price your home will sell for. It is, however, an indicator of experience and knowledge to help those things come to fruition. You want someone who knows their market well and what buyers are looking for in the price range and local market you are trying to sell your home.
Do you specialize in this neighborhood?
Local experts are hugely beneficial. They are aware of what the market is doing in your area. They know what is selling in your area and why. They know what buyers are looking for and the common features in homes that are selling quickly. You want to be assured that the agent you hire is on top of what is happening with real estate in your particular neighborhood right now. To get a better feel of how well they really know your neighborhood, ask them their favorite places in the neighborhood.
How do you arrive at a listing price?
One of the most important factors of selling your home is what price you will receive from it. The asking price of a home has the potential to make or break the success of a sale. Price the home too high and it will sit on the market longer and lead to selling below fair market value. A home priced too low may not sell either or leave you out of money that could be used in the purchase of your next home. Make sure your agent has a good knowledge of local market value to help set the right listing price and set you up for success.
Who will I/we be working with?
If your agent works with other agents in an office you will want to know if you will be working with just the person you are currently talking with or a team of agents or even agent’s assistants. There are pros and cons to having a team of agents working with you. More agents mean more ideas and expertise but can also mean specific needs and requests may get lost in translation. Also, ask them how you will communicate with one another, you want to be assured they are easy to get a hold of to answer questions during the process.
How much do you charge?
There are some standard commissions when it comes to real estate, but some brokers add extra fees for the different services they offer. Ask exactly what you will be responsible to pay at closing including commission, closing fees, and anything else so you know what to be prepared for. This should all be written up in the listing agreement.
What is your sales plan?
A great agent will have a general plan for your home that they can adjust a little bit once they see the property. They should be able to tell you about their listing service, plans or any open houses, to social media marketing. You want to hear words like 'professional photographer' and 'sharing your online listing'. Right now a good online marketing strategy is key during the pandemic when more people are staying home.
How can I get my home ready to sell?
Agents on top of their game know that homes with minimal clutter and personal style/belongings sell more successfully. If they tell you nothing needs to be done this is a red flag.
For more helpful information on buying and selling homes or selling your home in Columbus please contact us at any time.