What should you consider before choosing any listing agent to represent your interest?
When you’re ready to sell your home, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is who to hire as your listing agent.
A listing agent is a real estate agent, generally associated with companies like ReMax, Keller Williams, Redfin, etc., who help you stage, price and list your home for sale.
But why exactly do you need one?
A listing agent can help you do 4 key things.
- Prepare your home for sale.
- Set up a listing price
- Market your home
- Negotiate the sale
As the Real Estate professional has grown over the last few decades, chances are we all know someone or the other in our family and friends that’s an agent, and more often than not we get inclined to just hire time.
This can often be a good thing but can also turn into an unpleasant situation, especially if the agent is new and inexperienced.
So it’s important to know certain things before you engage someone to represent you during the home selling process.
Questions to ask before choosing a listing agent
Here are the key questions to ask real estate agents before hiring any to sell your home:
How long has the real estate agent been selling homes?
Most real estate agents hone their skills while on the job. A real estate agent with several years of sales experience on the job is more likely to understand the market better.
Is the listing agent a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)?
All members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are expected to abide by their code of ethics. Also, each state requires continuing education for members.
How many sales did the realtor completed last year?
Ask about the number of sales the realtor completed last year. This will give you an idea of what to expect with your home sale. If the agent only sells a few homes, it could be an indication that he doesn’t have a broad knowledge about the market.
What’s the price range the listing agent sells most homes?
Ask about the average difference between the realtors’s list price and the final sale price. A listing agent who sells properties well below list price may not advise you to sell your property at the right price or maybe marketing homes the wrong way.
What are the agent’s specific marketing plans for your home?
Where will the agent look for buyers and how many websites will display your property. Will your home appear on websites like Zillow or Realtor or any other well known real estate website? This will help you figure out if the agent is right for you or not.
What’s the agent’s idea about home staging?
Ask about the right way to stage your home for sale or if you should hire an expert to stage it. Also, ask the agent if there are any renovations that could make your home more appealing to buyers.
What are the agent’s preferred communication methods?
Ask about how often the agent will update you about potential buyers, their offers, and via what means. You’ll have to agree on a suitable communication method for both of you. The agent has to make sure you’re aware of all offers and other relevant information related to the home sale.
Is the agent a member of the MLS?
The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service. It gives real estate agents access to all homes represented by all agencies, aside from their own. Since you’re selling your home, it will appear on the list as well and that means more exposure and better chances of selling it faster.
Will the real estate agent work during weekends?
Many potential home buyers visit open houses during the weekends. Make sure the real estate agent you hire is ready to work during the weekends to increase the chances of selling your home faster.
Can the agent explain how he intends to represent you?
The real estate agent’s responsibility should include being present during various home inspections, the mortgage approval process, and to be there during the closing, etc.
Is the agent familiar with your area’s real estate market?
It’s easier for an agent that understands your area’s real estate market to sell your home faster than one that doesn’t.
If you have any other questions to ask the realtor, don’t hesitate to ask.
Don’t forget, since you’re the seller, you’ll have to pay the realtor a commission for agents of both sides. This is often 6% of your home’s sales price. So make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick in the end.
When you’ve sold your home and ready to move out, we can connect you to licensed moving companies anywhere in the United States. We’ll provide up to 6 free moving quotes of professional movers so you can compare costs carefully before making up your mind.