Sellers, Here Are 6 Important Questions To Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents
Conducting an interview is a very important step in selecting a real estate agent to help sell your home. That said, it can be hard to think of questions to ask on the fly. With that in mind, we have six, insightful questions to ask any agent who you think may be the right person for the job. Read them over so that you know what questions to ask and what answers you should expect.
1. What are your credentials and specializations?
The first question you should ask is what credentials each agent has to offer. At a minimum, everyone should be a licensed real estate agent in your state. However, you may want to take things a step further.
Most real estate agents are also REALTORS®. Those real estate agents are members of the National Associaton of REALTORS® (NAR). In order to join NAR, real estate agents must agree to maintain their state’s licensing requirements and to adhere to a specific code of ethics.
Beyond that, some real estate agents and REALTORS® also have certain specializations. If you’re above the age of 65, for example, you may want to work with someone who has been designated a “Senior Real Estate Specialist.” On the other hand, if your home has a lot of sustainability features, you may want to work with someone who has their GREEN designation.
2. How many sales did you close last year?
Put simply, some real estate agents have more success closing transactions than others. However, as the seller, you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with an agent who is fairly active and who has an ongoing stream of listings and sales.
That said, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Higher-end homes, for instance, tend to sit on the market for longer than lower-end models because there are fewer buyers who can afford them. If he or she only works in luxury real estate, an agent may only have a few sales per year, but each one is likely to be a sizable commission.
3. What can I do to get my home ready to sell?
The next question you should ask is about what you can do to get your home ready to sell. Often, sellers will do some work before their home hits the market to ensure that it shows its best once it’s ready to list. Odds are, there are likely a few things that you can do to help your home appeal to more potential buyers.
Ask each real estate agent to give you a list of tasks to complete before they list your home. For the most part, the tasks will be things like completing minor repairs or decluttering your living space. However, in some instances, an agent may ask you to allow a professional stager to come in and evaluate the property.
4. What are the current market conditions?
Every real estate agent should be well-versed in your current market conditions. They should be able to give you a sense of what you can expect to encounter during the home sale process. If they are unable to do so, that may be a red flag that they are not as experienced as is ideal for your sale.
At the very least, the agent should be able to tell you whether your market is currently a buyer’s or a seller’s market. In seller’s markets, inventory is tight, so multiple buyers often end up competing over the same homes. If that’s the case in you’re market, you’re more likely to be caught up in a bidding war or to receive an offer over your asking price.
In buyer’s markets, on the other hand, inventory is plentiful, so buyers have the upper hand. In these situations, sellers have to be more willing to be flexible on price because they have to do whatever they can to help their listing stand out from the crowd.
5. How did you arrive at your proposed list price?
Often, during a listing appointment, the real estate agent will share with you their proposed list price for the property. You’ll want to verify how they arrived at that figure.
Ideally, your agent will come up with the price by using comparables, or other, similar homes that have recently sold in your area. He or she will use those to determine a base price for the property and then use factors that are unique to your home — such as its condition, any recent renovations, or its location – to come up with the exact list price.
6. What is your marketing plan?
Finally, you’ll want to ask each real estate agent to explain his or her marketing plan for the property. In a perfect world, every marketing plan that you hear will involve a multi-pronged approach that includes social media, print materials, and in-person events like showings. However, at the very least, you just want to make sure that each agent has a definitive plan for marketing the property.