When it’s time to list their house on the market for sale, most sellers have only two questions in mind for the hired or a prospective real estate agent: For how much will the house be sold? What will be the agent’s commission to do the job? As per the data gathered by National Association of Realtors (NAR), only few sellers go beyond these standard questions and hire the first agent they meet in most cases.
Its obvious most of the hiring is done on the basis of gut instinct and presentation of the agent. But selling a home is not a grocery transaction we do every day, so it’s better to have a much thorough discussion by asking additional questions before deciding to hire a reliable agent.
1. What’s your experience?
The question may seem apparent enough, but not many sellers ask the agent about his/her professional experience. It should be understood a transaction involving a property like a house, is one of the most important and somewhat expensive transactions we make in our life. Unfortunately, people tend to ask more questions regarding a small household furniture than they do at the occasion of buying or selling a home.
There’s no magic number when it comes to the level or nature of work experience, according to Rob Levy, a principal broker with Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland, Ore. But it’s better to hunt an agent who’s had a number of successful sales stated in his resume and can smoothly handle deals from listing to closing the process, than one who blunders his or her way through. Equally important is the knowledge about the listings in the local area.
2. What will be your plan to market the listing?
As experienced real estate professionals always say: No home selling if there is no proper marketing done. And if you are not inquiring the agent regarding how he plans to market and sell your property then you aren’t doing your homework well.
"Sellers really need to ask agents how they plan to market their home to the greatest number of potential buyers. Find out what your agent's philosophy is for marketing listings, and ask what the agent will do after taking the listing,” says Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor, COO of ERA Key Realty Services in Whitinsville, Mass.
Try to check out the agent’s marketing success record. The track record will display how effectively the agent has used online mediums to showcase house listings, as a large number of buyers today potentially search for online listings. The agent should also use high-definition pictures of your home to put online. Further as per Taylor, agents should present virtual tours they have created through their professional years to the sellers, as the trend is increasingly becoming vital for buyers.
3. How will you communicate with me?
You will be having extensive conversations with your hired agent, so ask him how he intends to communicate with you.
The seller needs to clearly define the time and medium of communication to stay updated at all times regarding the status of his/her property. Would it be via phone or email? Would it be during active business hours or in the evening when you may get time to talk at length? The understanding should focus on the agent’s ability to act as a team member whenever he/she is looking to further the process of selling your home.
Substantiate the agent‘s words by observing what and how he/she has communicated with you until now. If the agent doesn’t respect your opinions and needs, has been careless in attending a small meeting, or responds to your calls and emails in an untimely manner, then it is clear the agent is not professional enough to sell your home justifiably and willingly.