Ready to sell your home? Before you attempt to tackle the selling process alone, you should consider hiring a real estate agent. It’s important to interview a number of people so you can make sure you pick the right person for you. For first time sellers, the task may seem daunting. Here are 5 questions to ask before hiring to help you through the process:
1. How many homes have you sold in the past 12 months?
More sales means more experience. Knowing the ins and outs of the business is a level of knowledge that only comes from closing deal after deal. Even if an agent has a few years in the industry, that may not necessarily mean they are well-informed on how to sell a home. The best way to gauge an agent’s experience is through the number of homes they have sold in the past year.
2. What is your list to sale ratio?
An agent’s average ratio depends on the market. An agent can you show the prices at which they list a home, but more importantly you should ask how that compares to the price the homes actually sell for. A good list-to-price ratio will depend on both the market and the location, but be wary of percentages too far below 90%. It’s important to note that if an agent’s ratio is skyrocketing over 100%, be careful of their strategy of underpricing homes to pad the ratio. Request specific details about their motivation for the listing price. You can also take some initiative to research what your home is worth that way you can better gauge your REALTORS pricing.
3. Do you have Zillow reviews?
Reviews can be found on multiple platforms, but Zillow is the most common site to find REALTOR reviews. A savvy and competent REALTOR should have over 100 reviews. You should also check to make sure the reviews are recent. Some REALTORS are part time which means they can go weeks, even months without a successful transaction. The more reviews, and current ones at that, can ensure the agent is active and doing an outstanding job. Reviews can also give insight to which towns/neighborhood the agent has the most experience in.
4. Are you willing to sign an unconditional release in the event that I no longer wish to work with you?
Most agents will not want to sign an unconditional release. This is often because they go in with the strategy of overpricing, or overpromising just to get the listing. This means they are not confident in their abilities to deliver on their promises. Signing this release is important because you don’t want someone to keep your home on the market and keep the listing hostage. If the home sits on the market for over 60 days with no offers, statistically buyers will come with a much lower number.
5. What is your marketing plan?
A seasoned agent will have a set marketing plan before you even ask. Make sure you ask about the marketing budget and team. You should also ask specifics like which social media platforms they will use to market your home. Marketing homes is the one of the most important aspects to selling, as the days of a for sale yard sign and lockbox are long gone. We are in a new world and real estate is selling on social media.