7 Top Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

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Feb 11, 2023

Selling your home can be one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. After all, there are thousands of dollars at stake, plus days or even weeks of showings.

When selling a house, you want a real estate agent who negotiates the best deal and treats you as their most important client. The process to sell your home is complicated and expensive, so having a great real estate agent working for you is a must.

But how do you find a great agent? Here are a few questions to ask a real estate agent before selling your home to make sure they’re the right fit for the job.

Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling

A local agent can help you set the best listing price, create an effective marketing strategy, and attract more buyers. But before you choose a prospective agent, make sure to ask these critical questions. Typically, asking these questions occurs on an introductory call or at a listing appointment in your home.

1. What experience do you have?

First and foremost, you’ll want to ask about their experience and track record. A top local agent with years of experience and many sold homes can provide you with insights into the local market and help you determine the suggested list price.

While this isn’t a requirement to being a good agent, typically the more experience an agent has, the better they will be able to navigate contracts, negotiations and any hiccups along the way.

You should also ask about the experience and knowledge they have working in your specific area and price point.

Agents who have experience in your particular neighborhood or city may have a better handle on the market, the competition you’re up against and how to best sell your home in your neighborhood.

Also, some agents may focus more on helping people buy homes instead of selling. Others may dedicate their time to selling condominiums or townhome, which might not be a good fit if you’re trying to sell a luxury home.

2. What is the commission rate?

When considering a real estate agent, you’ll definitely want to talk about Realtor fees. Generally the commission rate is negotiable, but the agent won’t offer any concessions up front unless you ask.

As the seller, this is especially important to you since it is typically the seller who will pay both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent commission. This amount will come out of the proceeds of your sale, so it’s important to do your research.

The agent’s broker typically sets the commission rate or fees charged.

For years, the total commission for both the listing and buyer agent real has been between 5-6% of the home’s price. About 3% of that goes to the listing agent and the other 3% goes to the buyer’s agent. So, if your home sells for $500,000, the agents will collect as much as $30,000 at closing.

In recent years, many alternatives to the traditional real estate commission have emerged, including cash buyers, tech brokerages and low-commission real estate agents.

Make sure to confirm the cost to you, what it includes, how it will be distributed between parties and what you will ultimately net from the sale.

3. How will we communicate?

Communication is key in your relationship with your agent.

With this being one of the largest transactions you’ll experience in your lifetime, good communication will give you peace of mind. On the flip side, bad communication will give you a headache and cause immense stress during the process.

Find out what business hours he or she keeps and how to get in touch outside of those hours if needed. Should you call the real estate agent’s office? How about a text? Maybe email is the best way to reach your agent.

Home sales can happen very quickly and taking days to respond to an email or dodging phone calls or text messages can mean losing potential buyers.

4. Do they work alone or with a team?

Once you sign a listing agreement, you will inevitably have questions, so you need to know who to turn to in those moments.

Real estate teams are pretty common. In fact, many real estate agents have an assistant who can answer questions or an entire support staff at their disposal.

Within reason, you will want to be able to reach your real estate agent in a timely manner. You want someone who will respond quickly and who has enough time to be able to work with you and be available for you. Waiting extended periods of time in the real estate market can make a difference.

You want to find out if you will be working with one specific real estate agent or a member of the agent’s team. There are both positives and negatives with each situation, so ask lots of questions so you know what to expect. Different agents work with clients in different ways.

5. How much is my house worth?

So you are ready to sell your home and are already excited about the possibility of a newer, better house. But how do you know how much your current house will sell for?

You can begin your own research for an estimate of your property’s value, but a real estate agent is the best go-to for a true valuation of your home.

Ask your real estate agent to provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) that will compare your property to other similar homes in your area. In this report, you should expect to see more than a simple number analysis. An experienced agent will be able to provide a thorough, thoughtful analysis considering your home’s current condition and recent upgrades compared to other similar properties in your surrounding area.

If an agent tells you a price that’s considerably higher than what you believe your home is worth, don’t follow blindly. Some agents may inflate the pricing guideline just to get you to sign the listing agreement. A home that is overpriced at the beginning will usually end up selling for less than it would have if priced right to start.

6. What is their marketing plan?

Most agents will have some sort of plan for how they will promote your house, but you need to make sure you know what action items to expect. Listing your home on the local Multiple Listing Service is common practice. But what else will your real estate agent provide?

Will staging advice be available to you? Staging a home can make it easier for buyers to visualize the space as their own and typically results in a faster sale.

Will professional photos be taken?  Quality photos make the listing that much more appealing to potential buyers.

Will there be an open house? How about email blasts or digital marketing of your listing?

A marketing plan goes beyond the traditional “for sale” sign in your front yard. Marketing a property in this technology-driven society requires a great marketing plan and understanding of digital practices to get prospective buyers who are searching online to want to tour your home in person. And most importantly, a fancy marketing plan won’t help if the home is overpriced!

7. Do you have any references or reviews?

In the real estate business, references and reviews are great ways to get in contact with a quality agent.

Start the search for your next agent by asking family, friends, or colleagues if they have a referral for a good agent. While a referral to a good real estate agent is a fine place to start, don’t stop there. The fact that your family or friend had a good experience doesn’t mean that it will be the right fit for you.

You should always ask your real estate agent for references and look for reviews online.

Reach out to a few of the references or do your research to see what previous clients have said about their experiences with the agent. What was it like to work with the agent? How did the process go?

Conclusion & Final Tips

If you’re planning to sell your house, it’s essential to find the right licensed Realtor who can guide you through the entire selling process.

As we covered, ask your agent about the closing costs and how many clients they currently have. Additionally, knowing the final selling price is essential, because Realtor fees and closing costs can eat into your profits.

It’s also important to make sure your agent isn’t too busy with other clients, as it can affect the time and effort they devote to your sale.

If you’re ready to take the next step to sell your home, contact us to connect with an experienced agent who is familiar with your area. SimpleShowing agents are here to speak with you about your home and save you thousands with our 1% listing fee.

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