So you’ve decided to sell your house.
The first thing you need to find in order to kick-start the selling process is to find a great agent to work with.
They will help you to…
- Sell your home faster
- Eliminate all the stress from the process
- Make more money
However, finding a great agent that is also right for your specific situation can be tough.
And making the wrong choice when it comes to your real estate agent can turn your life into a living H-E-double-hokey-sticks.
We at Gustavo are all about making your life easier.
That’s why we made a list of the top 10 questions you should ask a realtor before you sign a listing agreement.
What are they? Let’s find out!
Question #1: How Will You Market My Home?
Ask what marketing strategies your real estate agent indents to use in order to get potential buyers to view your house.
Most agents will give you a general answer that includes things like…
- Property description
- Listing price
- Photos and videos
- Ad materials
- Multiple listings services
- Websites like Zillow or GustavoAZRealtor.com
All of these are great, but you want to know exactly HOW they’re going to be marketing your property.
And when it comes to marketing – emotion is key.
The potential buyer needs to FEEL a certain type of way about your house in order to make a buying decision.
What will that emotion be? How do they intend to provoke it?
Question #2: Who Is The Ideal Buyer Of My Home?
You want to see if the agent has given any thought about WHO they’ll be marketing your home to.
The type of buyer for a home can be different depending on the property type, the area, the price range, and the local amenities.
You want to hear a specific answer.
At the end of the day, the buyer can be anyone, but different homes appeal to different demographics more than others.
If they give you a generic answer, you can consider that a red flag.
Question #3: How Will You Vet Buyers?
The best way to reduce your chances of deals falling through is to hire an agent who knows how to vet buyers.
There are many ways agents can do that.
For example they can have a requirement for the buyer to submit their pre-approval letter with their offer. Or they can call the loan officer after receiving the offer and see if the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio is good enough to obtain financing.
This information can also be used to your advantage during negotiations.
If your agent knows the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, the buyer can’t use this as an excuse as to why they can’t come up with the money.
Working with a real estate agent who knows how to vet the buyer will drastically improve your chances of closing a great deal.
Question #4: What Are The Closing Costs?
You want to be completely aware of how much you’ll be taking home once the deal is closed.
Here’s the typical equation that will help you figure this out on your own:
Selling price – anything owed on the house – closing costs = your profits
The total commission is usually around 5-6% and it’s negotiable.
The total commission is going to be split between your agent and the buyer’s realtor.
There can also be other closings costs like escrow fees, attorney fees, title fees and so on, but the commission is going to be the large part of it.
Question #5: How Many Homes Have You Sold In Your Career?
If you’re hoping to sell your home quick and for a great price, you want to work with a seasoned realtor.
There are many moving parts in a real estate deal. You want to have someone one your team who knows what they are doing.
Ask for their portfolio. What homes did they sell? When did they sell them?
If they haven’t had any successful sales recently, that should be a concern for you.
Why is that? Are they still motivated as they were when they started the job?
You should aim to work with someone who has the experience and a lot of sales under his/her belt over the last few years.
Question #6: What Is The Best Price We Can Get And Why?
A lot of agents will try to hype you up about the price and tell you that if can be sold for an unreasonable price.
Their goal is to get you to list with them and have your listing stay up for a while without any offers.
Once a few moths pass, they will reach out to you and ask you to lower the price.
You sell at the normal (or below) market value, but they still get their commission. Don’t fall for that trick.
Ask how much they think your home is worth and ask them to back up their estimation with actual data.
If they give you a vague answer, you know they are just guessing or trying to get you to list with them.
Question #7: What Percent Of Your Deals Closed At Their Original Listing Price?
This is a good way to vet agents who are over promising just to get you to list with them.
Any agent can boast about how much they’ve sold a home for.
But how was it originally listed at? That’s the big question.
You can calculate that number by taking the selling price of the homes they’ve sold and then dividing them by their original listing prices.
If you get anything lower than 94%, you should be cautious.
Question #8: How Many Of Your Listings Have Fell Through?
The answer to this question can tell you a lot about an agent.
If the number is higher than normal, that can mean that the agent isn’t really good at vetting buyers or marketing properties.
Deals fall apart for many reasons, but if you’re working with an agent who has a great track record that will really reduce your chances of mishaps.
Our advice is to avoid agents who’ve had over 5% or 6% of their deals fall apart.
Of course, you need to factor in the total number of listings the agent has had.
The more homes they’ve sold, the more accurately this number will represent how good they are.
Question #9: How Often Will We Communicate?
Not all deals go smoothly. Sometimes there are issues.
It’s important to make your agent commit to how often you’re going to talk, no matter how good or bad things are going.
The last thing you want is to have no contact with your agent for months and be in the dark on their progress with your property.
Question #10: Will I Be Communicating With Anyone Else?
A lot of agents have assistants and teams.
This is great for you. It means they are good at what they do and they have resources.
But you want to know if there’s anyone else on their team that you’ll be communicating with.
Some agents will assign you to a specific person/assistants.
Others will insist they communicate with you directly.
Clear this up before you commit to working with them.
Choosing the right agent is key if you want to sell your house quickly and for a great price.
And having all of these 10 questions answered will give you a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into before you sign a listing contract.
But remember that it’s not just about asking questions; it’s about getting the right answers!
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