10 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire an Agent to Sell your Home|
ďItís critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.Ē
Not all real estate agents are the same. When selling or buying your home, you need some good information before you make any moves.
An agent can cost or save you thousands of dollars
Picking an agent is one of those critical issues that can cost or save you thousands of dollars. There are very specific questions you should be asking to ensure that you get the best representation for your needs. Some agents may prefer that you donít ask these questions, because the knowledge youíll gain from their honest answers will give you a very good idea about what outcome you can expect from using this agent. And letís face it - in real estate, as in life - not all things are created equal.
Hiring a real estate agent is just like any hiring process - with you on the bossís side of the desk. Itís critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.
1.Are you a Realtor? What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?
Itís a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others donít to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?
2. What is your track record and reputation in the market place?
It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being #1 for this or that, or quoting you the number of homes theyíve sold. If youíre like many homeowners, youíve probably become immune to much of this information. Whats really important is what kind of Networking with other agents this agent does. Does this agent meet on a regular basis with other agents, within the Company and also what other Companies? In most cases the best buyer for your property is already working with an agent..
3. What are your marketing plans for my home?
How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing? In what media (newspaper, magazine, TV etc.) does this agent advertise? How many web sites carry this agents listings?
4. What homes have sold in the area?
Agents should bring you a complete listing of both their own, and other comparable sales in your area.
5. Does your Broker control your advertising or do you?
If your agent is not in control of their own advertising, then your home will be competing for advertising space not only with this agentís other listings, but also with the listings of every other agent in the broker-age.
6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?
This information is available from the Real Estate Board. Is this agentís performance higher or lower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high a price you will get for the sale of your home.
7. How long is the average listing available? On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?
This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Does this agent tend to sell faster or slower than the board aver-age? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells.
8. How many Buyers are you currently working with? What services do you provide your Buyers?
Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers. ALSO you may want to use this agent for your new home. Most moveup families will move less than 10 miles from the home they are selling.
9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?
Ask to see this list, and then proceed to spot check some of the names.
10. What happens if Iím not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold?
Can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract which they can get out of (by ceasing to effectively market your home) but you canít. There are usually penalties and broker protection periods which safeguard the agentís interests, but not yours. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if youíre not satisfied with the service provided?
Evaluate each agentís responses to these 10 questions carefully and objectively. Who will do the best job for you? These questions will help you decide.