It is important that you realize that you must ask and receive the right answers to questions that you may have when you are interviewing real estate agents to sell your home. Below you will find a list of questions that you should ask those who you are considering for selling your home.
1) How many homes have you sold in this area in the last 18 months?
2) How long have you been in real estate and do you work full-time or part-time?
3) How many buyers and sellers are you working with at this time? That number will tell you if they have the available time and commitment that is needed to sell your home.
4) Do you have a website that I can visit to learn more about you–and your company?
5) What makes you different from any other agent who wants to sell my home?
6) What is the complete home selling process in your opinion?
7) What are closing costs and who will have to pay them?
8) What documents will I have to sign and how long do you expect my home to be on the market in the current economy?
9) Have you ever been disciplined by a real estate board or real estate commission?
10) How often can I expect to hear from you about the status of my property if I list with you?
11) Will I have to “stage my house” or do repairs and remove clutter or do you anticipate it being sold as is? Depending on your selling price and market conditions staging may be helpful.
12) Is your real estate license active and in good standing? Look for a yes or no answer and then later check it out at your state real estate licensing website.
13) What is your level of professionalism and where and how did you receive your real estate education?
14) How long is the listing agreement and do I have to pay a fee if I cancel early. Most listing agreements are normally 3 or 6 months but they are also totally negotiable in most states. A reputable company will not force you to list with them because they will let their “service” do the talking and they will not charge you a cancellation fee.
If they do it may be a cause for concern–however it may be company policy which they have no control over. If there is a fee–ask if the fee can be waived if you have to cancel due to an unforeseen event.
15) What is your plan as far as marketing and selling my house? The use of the MLS service (Multiple Listing Service) is by far (in my opinion) the most effective means of marketing your property (along with the property being in top selling condition and priced right for the market) however a combination of on–and off line advertising will usually provide the best results.
Yard signs, open houses, photos, online marketing and other technologically savvy marketing is a sign that the agent is serious in the selling of your home. What will the agent that you are interviewing do that other agents won’t–or can’t do?
16) How will we come up with the appropriate price to sell my home? Most agents will provide you "comparable properties" that have recently sold in your area that is similar to your home (often called CMA’s or comps). The more similar the "comps" and the closer in proximity to your home–the better the "comps" are.
17) What are the fees that I will have to pay you to list and sell my house? In most states fees are negotiable. However there are many variations of the fee structure. Most brokers normally have an acceptable range in which they are willing to go–while others offer a flat fee type of arrangement or a variation. In most states–fees are almost always negotiable.
18) Will the agent handle the paperwork–or will it be delegated to other agents or team members. Will the listing agent handle negotiations, verify that buyers are qualified, coordinate closing and ensure that all actions are performed in a timely manner?
19) Have the Broker or Your Company been involved in any disputes with buyers/sellers in the last 5 years–and if so–how were they resolved. Depending on the market and the activity of agents in a particular office–that may not necessarily be a bad thing. However, it is good to know if they have had disputes between buyers and sellers and to know if they were satisfactorily resolved.
20) What do you feel is important based on all that you know about my property and my future goals?
For answers to the top twenty questions (or a more in-depth answer) to ask your real estate agent make the request in the box below.