Every Potential Listing/Selling Agent Should Have Answers To These Questions:
Most of us sell only a small number of homes in our lifetimes. With limited experience in real estate, how are we to be capable of maximizing the profits from our home sale? Many home sellers make the critical mistake of thinking all REALTORS® are the same. They list with the first agent who comes along. Does it make good business sense to put the responsibility of selling your home with someone who has no plan or qualifications? This special report will educate you with valuable information that will help you make the best decision concerning: Which real estate agent should you list with?
Start by doing a few hours of research. Ask around... get to know who has the most signs, ads and marketing material in your neighborhood. Who’s the most active agent? Compile a list of agent names and use these questions to help you determine which agent is right for you.
2. How many homes have you listed and how many homes have you sold in the last six months?
Look for an agent who has experience with homes similar to yours and is active in your area. If your home has special features look for an agent with experience in those areas. Your agent should have a good record of selling homes, not just listing them. After all, this is your ultimate goal.
3. What is your average length of time from listed to sold?
Don’t automatically assume the shorter time on the market the better. That could reflect selling homes quickly at lowball prices. Look at what the asking price was compared to the selling price. An agent who sells close to the asking price and quick is effective at helping clients determine the right price and helping them get it.
5. Do you have an assistant or support staff?
By employing someone to handle the details of their business the agent can spend more time servicing your needs. However, make sure you know how much time an agent will spend and how much time their assistant will spend on the sale of your home. It may be fine if the assistant does most of the legwork as long as the agent is there at the most critical times of the transaction period.
6. How often will you hold open houses?
Will they be public or by appointment only? - Simply putting a sign on your lawn and holding open houses every Sunday will not sell your home. Too frequently open houses make the property a target for low ball bidders. Look for an agent with a specific plan for each open house. The plan should be just one facet of a complete marketing plan.
8. What does the listing agreement entail, what are the beginning and expiration dates, and what are the fee amounts I will be paying?
Have your agent go over every detail in the listing agreement with you until you understand it completely. Make sure the beginning and ending dates are on the agreement; a good standard for length is three months. Know exactly what fees you will be paying and remember that less is not always better. If the agent stands to make very little commission you can bet it will be reflected in the amount of time and effort that is spent marketing your home. If the agent reduces their commission to get the listing it may mean they intend to spend very little money promoting the property. The normal commission varies from region to region, but is typically between 5 and 7 percent.
9. What disclosure laws apply to me and what do I need to be aware of?
Make sure your agent helps you with locating professional inspectors for the various mandatory home inspections required in your area. Create a home marketing file including a property fact sheet, a property transfer disclosure statement, pest control report, applicable C.C.& R’s , applicable study zones report, structural engineering report, property profile from the title company, plans for alterations or additions, and special equipment report for pools, spas, sprinklers and alarm systems. Your agent should be able to handle this for you.