7 Questions to Ask Every Real Estate Agent Before Listing Your Home

7 Questions to Ask Every Real Estate Agent Before Listing Your Home
2 months ago

Choosing the right realtor to list your home can make a big difference to your bottom line when selling. Not all realtors are created equal, and asking the right questions can help narrow the list when interviewing agents.

It’s good to interview multiple real estate agents before you sign anything.

Here are seven questions you should ask every real estate agent before signing a listing agreement:

1. How Many Homes Did You Sell Last Year?

Asking about experience is one of the best ways you can evaluate the realtor you’re interviewing. You’ll want to get a sense of your agent’s true expertise, not just how long they’ve been in the business.

Asking how many homes they sold last year is a better way to gauge their expertise than asking how long they’ve been in real estate.

A realtor with five years of experience who sells 50 homes a year could be way better at their job than an agent with 20 years of experience selling 3 homes a year.

A common misconception is that an agent who sells many homes will be too busy to serve all their clients at a high level. You might think it’s best to work with an agent who sells fewer homes so you get more of their attention. But typically, a high-performing agent has the right systems and people in place to sell more homes faster.

2. What Comps Are You Using To Price My Home?

Every listing agent you meet with should present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (aka a CMA) to estimate your home’s value. A CMA is an analysis of similar homes that are a good indication of your home’s value.

You’ll want to analyze what comparables were used in this analysis closely. Better comps mean a more accurate estimate of how much your home could sell for.

When looking at your CMA, pay attention to the following:

  • How similar are the comps to your own home?
  • How geographically close are the comps to your home?
  • Does the CMA include sold, expired, and pending listings?
  • How many listings reduced their price before selling?
  • Are there adjustments for comps that are slightly different in size, style, or design compared to yours?

3. How Many People Are Involved in Paperwork?

Some real estate agents handle all the paperwork themselves. Others might have one or more people underneath them who help with transaction coordination. And some agents have support from their brokerage when it comes to paperwork.

It’s not a bad sign if your agent has one or two people who will facilitate the transaction, but every agent operates differently. You’ll want to get an understanding of how paperwork will be handled when it comes to your home sale.

It’s better to have more people you can get in touch with if you need something during the sale process. Busier real estate agents tend to have more people involved in every step of the process. This usually means they have good systems to ensure nothing gets missed.

4. What Is Your Commission Rate, and What Fees Do You Charge?

Most real estate agents charge a commission based on the sale price of your home. Depending on where you live and how much your home is worth, the commission rate could be 4-7% of the sale price.

Sometimes, realtors have a transaction fee or brokerage fee in addition to their commission. That fee could range from $50 to over $700. This fee is typically negotiable, so ask your agent if they can waive it for you.

If it’s a brokerage-level fee, the agent often has the ability to waive the fee for their client and pay the fee out of their own pocket.

5. What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

Selling your home can be one of your biggest financial decisions. Having a good marketing strategy is key to selling quickly, netting you the greatest return possible.

It’s important to make sure you’re working with an experienced real estate agent who has a refined listing strategy that includes:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Staging
  • Digital Marketing
  • Open houses & broker tours

Every real estate agent and real estate team has their own way of doing things, but these are some of the most common aspects of a listing marketing campaign.

6. How Would You Handle a Multiple-Offer Situation?

These days, the real estate market is all over the place. It’s not uncommon for homes to sell over-list in a multiple-offer situation when they’re priced well and move-in-ready.

Ask your agent how they intend to negotiate if other buyers plan on writing an offer.

If your goal is to net the most money possible from the sale of your home, you’ll want to work with an agent experienced in multiple-offer situations so you can negotiate the highest price with the best terms.

7. What Was the Toughest Deal You Closed Last Year?

This question is more just to get to know your real estate agent and get a sense of how they operate. Ask them about one of their most challenging listings or buyers to see how they respond.

What made the closing so difficult? How did they handle it? What could they have done differently?

Asking this question can help you understand how your agent thinks and give you some insight into how they run their business.

Choosing the Right Agent to Represent Your Interests

The realtor you decide to hire comes down to personal preference, who you feel comfortable working with, and who answers your questions the way you hope.

Listing with the wrong realtor is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling your home. These questions above will guide you in the right direction in choosing the best person to negotiate on your behalf to sell your home.

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