10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House
1. Do you have any other jobs?
Many people are surprised to hear that some Realtors work on a part-time basis or have other jobs. As with other part-timers, the question just has to be asked: what if the perfect buyer for my home calls while you are at work somewhere else? Why should I pay a full commission for part-time work?
I work more than full time as a Realtor. I think you have to love this job to be effective and I sincerely love what I do. I’m available to answer my phone from 7am-10pm. If I’m with a client, out of courtesy to them, I leave my phone off, but as soon as I’m done, I return all calls immediately
2. How many homes did you sell last year?
This is a key question to ask. Even if an agent dedicates 100% of their time to selling real estate, “the proof is in the pudding”: how many homes did they actually sell? Most agents in Spokane sell less than 5 homes per year. Moderately successful agents sell 10-15 homes per year. You should look for an agent that sells at least 15 homes per year.
I sold 26 homes last year and am on track to sell 32 this year.
3. Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them?
It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them. As their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more people. You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?
I do have a personal assistant. Her name is Cindy Calvert. Cindy has 33 years experience working in Real Estate. Cindy handles most everything “behind the scenes” for me. She edits the photos and copy for your advertising, creates your flyers, checks and double checks all our paperwork for type-o’s or missing information. Her attention to detail keeps everything in order, and allows me to do what I do best. Sell your home!
4.What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising?
Ask your real estate agent to present to you a clear plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. If there are other forms of marketing available but not specified in the plan ask who pays for those. Request samples or case studies of the types of marketing strategies that your agent proposes (such as Internet Websites, print magazines, open houses, and local publications).
Just as every home is unique. The marketing plan I put together for each home is unique. I will go over my marketing proposal for your property with you in detail
5. Do you have a Website that will list my home?
Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it's available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So you want to make sure your home is listed online, either on the agent's Website or on their company's site. By searching your agent's Website you will get a clear picture of how much information is available online
You will also have a virtual tour! This is vital to effectively marketing your home.
6. How would you develop pricing strategies for our home?
Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.
I will do a complete and current market analysis. I will be using homes that are currently on the market (your competition), homes that have sold, are pending or contingent (these are the most indicative), and homes that have expired (or rejected) from the market. My market analysis will be broken down for you and we will go over it together, further answering any questions you may have about how I have come to the pricing conclusion.
7. How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?
Some agents may email, fax or call you daily to tell you that visitors have toured your home, while others will keep in touch weekly. Asking this question can help you to reconcile your needs with your agent's systems.
In most cases I compile all the reports and information for my sellers weekly and review them Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s, however there will be some feed back that will be provided more frequently.
8. What do you do that other agents don't that ensures I'm getting top dollar for my home? What is your average market time versus other agents' average market time?
Sales skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional's unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a home sells quickly and for top dollar.
I represent both buyers and sellers, so my experience is well rounded with intimate knowledge of how buyers think when viewing homes and writing an offer, and how sellers feel when receiving the offer. I also have excellent negotiating skills. I’m not overly aggressive or harsh. I simply communicate with the other agent or the buyer in a way that keeps them engaged in your home and keeps your sales price as close to the list price as at all possible. I don’t just give things away in order to make a deal happen. I keep your interests first. Most homes sell for 82% of the list price. My average is 97.8%. My average days on market are 25% below the market average.
9. Do you have a performance guarantee?
If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?
Many Realtors will promise you the world at the listing table, but then under-deliver when the contract is signed. So what happens if you are unhappy with the service they offer? With the majority of agents, you are stuck with them for six months. In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, it does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance.
Red Door Real Estate understands the importance of win-win business relationships: the agent does not benefit if the client does not also benefit. I absolutely will provide a performance guarantee and if you are not satisfied you can fire me at any time. Mind you, I have never been fired by a buyer or a seller but it is important to me that you know that my client’s satisfaction with our working relationship is the foundation on which I have built my business. I will also be glad to give you as many names and numbers of past clients you would like to contact.
10. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?
In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions. Sometimes, agents will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.
I only get paid if I do my job and successfully sell your home. My pay is a typical 3% of the home or property and the contract will absolutely be in writing and fully disclosed.