When it comes to putting your house on the market finding the right agent to list and market your property can be a daunting task. Often the initial meeting (commonly referred to as the listing appointment) is where the agent will go over all the information that they have collected about your house and your neighborhood. They will show you the comps (comparable properties) that have sold in your area as well as (hopefully) properties that have been listed but not sold.
At this point it is likely that the agent will tell you the price that they think your home should be listed for to have the best chance of selling. It is a good bet that if you interview five agents, you will get five different prices, but they should be close.
Most often sellers have two main questions for listing agents.
How much will you sell my house for?
How much is your commission?
While these are both good questions, there are more that you should ask to make sure that you are hiring the right agent for you. Here is a list of questions that should help you to determine if you are hiring the right person.
Is Real Estate your only job? Hiring an agent who only works in Real Estate will make it easier to get in touch with them quickly which is important as much of the paperwork required to successfully sell a house is time sensitive.
What is your annual production? This is a good way to gauge if the agent is selling a lot of homes.
Do you work with buyers and sellers? Having an agent who does both could potentially open your home to a larger pool of buyers.
What is your marketing plan for my home? This question is so important! A good agent will have a plan to market your home to get the best price in the shortest amount of time.
Do you work alone or do you have a team? Many agents will say that they are part of a team of agents, but often this is just a group of agents that have banded together to share some costs by calling themselves a team. This does not usually benefit the client. The sort of team that will benefit the client is a small team with defined roles. For example, a selling agent, a buyers agent, and an assistant.
How many sellers are you representing right now and do you have help? This goes along with the question about a team. If your agent says they are representing many sellers but have no help, they may not have the time to properly service their clients. This is where the right team set up is crucial.
How long have you been in Real Estate? Hiring an agent that is experienced has many benefits.
How will we communicate? This is an important aspect that is often overlooked. You will be in contact with your agent quite a bit while your home is listed and even more after you get an offer. Making sure your agent knows how you prefer to communicate can mean the difference between responding to an offer on time and missing out.
Can you explain to me what happens after we get an offer? There are many steps between listing a house and closing, knowing what to expect will make the whole process smoother for you as the seller.
Remember, whoever you choose will be working with you to sell your home, probably the largest asset you have, make sure it is someone you trust to do the job right. By asking these questions you should be able to choose the agent who is right for you.