So you’ve decided to sell your home and need to engage a Real Estate agent. The perception is that all agencies provide the same service and will achieve the same sell price; this is far from the truth. A quality agent will have highly developed negotiation skills, preferably gained across time in many industries and also clearly understands that they are working for the Seller (not the purchaser). The Seller after all is paying their wages! Therefore choosing the right real estate agent can make a huge difference in gaining best price for your property.
The best way to decide this is to contact different agents, try to get a feel for how they work and see which one matches what you’re looking for. Here’s a list of questions to ask estate agents at your initial meeting.
Top 10 questions to ask your Real Estate agent
Considering that your home is likely your biggest asset, you will want someone who demonstrates that they know the market, has in depth experience and can recommend the best strategy to sell your property
A trustworthy real estate agent will have happy former customers who can tell you about their experience with them. Ask to see testimonials, or you can also check out reviews on sites like Rate My Agent.
Ask what kind of properties they have sold in the past year and where they are located. Ideally, they will have sold properties similar to yours in price, style and location.
Knowing this helps you to see if they have the right kind of buyer database as well as the skills to market your property correctly. Asking how long those properties were on the market for also gives you an idea of how long you might have to allow before your home is sold.
Not every real estate agent’s fee structure is the same, and services like marketing, photography, signage, inspections and floor plans may not be included as standard. Some agents charge additional fees for these services on top of their commission, which can quickly add up. That’s why it’s important to know what’s included upfront.
If an agent’s fees don’t cover services like marketing, signage, photography or floor plans, you’ll probably have to make an extra investment.
Asking for a selling price based on an agent’s knowledge of the area and pricing is necessary. They should be able to demonstrate why they’ve made this estimate, based on comparable data. On the Riverhaven Real Estate website read the article ‘Working Out Your Home Value’ for tips on how to appraise you own property.
Once the agent has given you their estimate for your property value, make sure you ask for evidence to back it up. That evidence should come in the form of comparable homes, sold prices for your area in the last six months and current + – property market trends.
A knowledgeable real estate agent will able to offer pointers on how to improve the potential sale price of your home before it goes to market. For example, doing minor repairs and renovations before selling, could be worth the investment to increase your property’s sale price.
Depending on the market and your property, your agent should be able to recommend the best approach for selling your property, taking into account demand, urgency and how private you would prefer the sale of your home to be.
Look for an agent that takes a holistic approach to property advertising, include professional photography, online listings, physical signboards and social media marketing to prospective buyers. You want to get your property in front of as many people as possible, so it’s important to ensure every base is covered when marketing your home.
It’s important to have realistic expectations of how long you might have to wait before your home sells. Ideally, your agent should be selling properties at a rate that’s comparable to the average time on market for your area.
Your agent should be able to walk you through how the whole process works and what to expect at each stage, from your initial property appraisal and preparing to go to market, through to inspections, exchange of contracts and settlement. Discuss with your agent how they will keep you fully informed at all times.
Knowing the right questions can help you find the right real estate agent and sell your house at its greatest potential. Always remember that a good real estate agent is someone you can trust, who works in your best interest and has superior communication skills in assisting you through the process.