Does your real estate agent have what it takes get buyers to your home? To find out, here are 6 questions you need to ask when hiring a real estate agent:
1. What is Your Marketing Plan to Sell My Home?
Putting a sign in front of your home and placing it on MLS is not an effective marketing strategy. A good real estate agent can market your home effectively through more than one medium such as television, online, and social media. Each one should complement the other by driving traffic to your home and creating more interested buyers. A good agent can also commit full-time to giving your home more exposure on major listing engines like Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and many other free and paid search sites.
Successfully marketing the home should also include appropriate preparation and staging. A good agent will be able to view your home more objectively—as a buyer would—to give you helpful home selling suggestions for details you may not notice, such as making small repairs, brightening a room with a fresh paint job, and giving you information on how to stage your home for maximum viewing impact.
2. Tell Me About Mandatory Agency Disclosure
In most states, it’s mandatory that a licensed real estate agent present the Agency Disclosure Form to you at your first meeting to discuss a property. If the agent doesn’t know what this is, you may want to continue interviewing agents. Any agent who neglects such a basic, first step with a prospective client may be unaware of other laws that could expose you to issues before, during, or after you put your home up for sale. It never ceases to amaze us how few real estate agents use the Mandatory Agency Disclosure when they meet prospective sellers. Not only is it the law, but this form is basic protection for any consumer looking to sell their home and more agents should be using them.
3. How Many Homes Have You Sold This Year?
Finding out how many homes an agent has sold will give you an idea of how much experience they have. Since there are so many moving parts in a real estate transaction, experience is key when handling issues like financing, home inspections, lead paint, etc. Just like choosing the best surgeon or attorney, the more experience they have the better. You don’t want to be part of an agent’s learning curve for the largest financial transaction of your life.
4. How Often Will I Hear From You?
A good real estate agent must be a strong communicator. Find out how they will stay in contact with you: will it be with phone calls, texts, emails, or a combination? Are they part of a team or are they just working on their own; we all get sick and take vacations and have events in our lives come up. Make sure they are available to answer any questions or concerns you have and keep you updated on prospective buyers. With housing inventory levels so low, there is increased competition for homes, so your agent should be on top of all offers made on the home.
5. At What Price Should I List My Home?
Pricing your home accurately right from the beginning will always allow for increased buyer activity and higher offers. An experienced agent should be able to give you a written comparative market analysis—also known as a CMA. The first step in this process is to have them do a complete walk-through of the home, as well as have them do a thorough investigation of the exterior. The agent should take the neighborhood and the surrounding homes into account when determining value. Remember, homes can be listed at any price, but the price they actually sell for is what should be used in the pricing formula. For more on this read 5 Most Common Myths About Pricing A Home
6. Is This Your Full Time Job?
Selling your home should be the real estate agent’s number one priority. Don’t waste your time with part-time agents who aren’t fully committed to bringing buyers to your home. It’s important to know that your real estate agent will give your home the time and attention it requires to sell it. A part-time agent means part-time marketing, part-time negotiating, and full-time headaches.
Hiring the right agent can make the difference between selling your home for top dollar and having it sit on the market with no activity. Make sure you ask these questions to get the right agent to sell your home.