For most of us selling a home is something we may do 3 or 4 times in a life time and dealing with a Real Estate agent can be a daunting process. Here at My Top Agent we deal with over 2,000 agents every year and have heard all the FAQ's you can think of. Below are just a few to help you. If you want to download the full 18 page report on How To Interview a Real Estate Agent then click here.
QUESTION TO ASK:
Show me some examples of listings for properties you’re currently promoting?
This will allow you to get an idea of the quality of promotion your home will likely receive? Look at the style of the images, the visual layouts used and if the property descriptions sound appealing.
Can you provide tips on staging?
A good agent should be able to look at a home and make a few small suggestions that will help to make the place look lighter, larger and more inviting. It is after all in their best interest to make the house look as good as possible, as it can affect both price and speed of sale.
For many of us we will deal with an agent maybe 3 or 4 times in a life time, for use we deal with 2,000 each year.
Here's a list of common questions you should at least think about when listing your property.
How many homes have you sold over the last 12 months?
This question will quickly help you establish the serious professionals from the rest. When it comes to selling your home you want someone with a proven history, who you can trust to get the job done.
Over the past 12 months, what has been the average number of days it takes you to go from listing a home to closing the sale?
This question will provide insight into the realtor’s past performance when it comes to listing homes at the right price, advertising them effectively and reaching the right kinds of buyers. The last thing you want is a real estate agent who’s going to drag the process out for months on end.
On average what’s your list price to sales price ratio?
This question gives an indication of how well the realtor prices properties they’re trying to sell. You don’t want someone who will price too high, then keep dropping the price in order to make the sale. A good general rule of thumb is that listing agents (agents selling houses) should have ratios of around 95% to 100%.
Can you provide two or three references for previous clients?
Realtors are sales people by nature, which can sometimes make it hard to believe 100% of what they say. A good realtor has nothing to hide and should be happy to put you in touch with previous clients, so you can get some piece of mind.
What kind of marketing techniques would you use to sell my property?
In this day and age the internet is key, as it’s the first place people head to when beginning their property search. You need to make sure the agent you hire is technically savvy and will get your property promoted online via a range of platforms including their website, social media and potentially Trademe. Put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes when looking at the realtor’s website and make sure it’s clean, easy to use and ranks well when searched for on Google.
Traditional print media is old school but still effective. So getting your home into publications like newspapers and property brochures which are dropped off in mailboxes, offices and cafes is well worth having your realtor do for you.
Also take a look at how other properties in your area are being marketed. You may find some are more suited to flags and signage on the street, like high traffic areas, while others need more print and digital marketing like quiet cul de sacs and rural properties.
What is your approach to photography and filming, do you use professional photographers or do you do it yourself? If you do it yourself, what kind of camera do you use?
There’s nothing worse than seeing a property listing that looks dark and dingy, with pixilated images focused on the wrong areas of a room. Make sure your realtor has a professional grade camera with a wide angle lens, so that their photos make your house look large and airy. Also find out whether they prefer to use a flash or natural light. Photos with natural light tend to be more open and inviting, whilst photos with flash, tend to be harsher and prone to over exposure.
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What method would you recommend for selling my property?
The method the real estate agent recommends for selling your home will vary depending on the market at the time. In a buoyant market they’re likely to recommend auctions, price by negotiation and tendering as these tend to bring in the best results. In most cases the agent will likely want the exclusive right to sell the property, so that they’re not wasting time and money marketing a property that then gets sold by another agent.
Find out how what methods the agent has used to sell similar properties in your area and get them to clarify why they are recommending a particular option for your home.
Approximately how long do you think it will take to sell my property?
Obviously the agent can’t give you an exact date and time the property will sell, but they should have some idea of local demand and how long similar properties in the area are taking to sell.
Do you have a database of buyers in the area?
Many agencies represent both buyers and sellers and may already have buyers on their books who have indicated they could be interested in a property like yours. Just keep in mind that having buyers on the books isn’t a guarantee of a sale as many people register then change their minds or are hedging their bets by registering with every agency they come across. So don’t let a list of potential buyers be the primary driver behind your decision to work with an agent.
Hot Tip: Make sure you ask the agent if they will be doing the open homes himself or will they be using an assistant?