Let’s continue on with the important questions to ask your listing agent. We’ve discussed the first 5 in the previous section. If you want to go back and review, click HERE. The next set are great questions to ask before selling your home. Ask a listing agent before you start the process and you’ll save yourself a lot time!
Back to the questions:
Question six: “How many current listings do you have in this area?” If they have other listings in the area, then obviously they’re familiar with it. The listings they carry at one time can indicate how busy the agent is. Normally a busier agent is a better agent. So, they should have the right process and system in place to ensure quality of service. An agent that’s experienced and busy is also going to have the opportunity to attract more buyers. So if one property might not be right for them, maybe another one will be. Yours, hopefully. Just keep in mind that a busy agent is usually a good agent.
“Number of sales matter”
The seventh question is, “How many homes have you sold in the past 12 months? And how many were in this price range?” That’s a great question to be asking. You want to make sure that any agent that you’re hiring has 10 or more closings since last year. The National Association of Realtors says agents close an average of 3.7 to 4.2 homes per year. So, if they’re only closing an average amount, they probably aren’t doing this full time. Wouldn’t you rather have the experience of an agent that’s always in the process? Someone that’s always going through the buying and selling process is more familiar with all the legislative changes. Also, all the contract changes, best ways to negotiate… And they also have their finger on the pulse and heartbeat of the market. It’s something to think about.
Now, the eighth question is, “What marketing strategy do you have for my home?” Every solid listing agent will have a marketing plan of action. They will be able to tell you exactly what they’re going to do to get your home sold. And they will be able to back it up with past sales performance. Get an agent that can outline their step by step process. They should explain to you how they plan to get your home on the market. Also, the things that will be done that get your home sold. This will ultimately determine your successful closing. Understanding the agent’s marketing plan of action and how it’s going to work is critically important. If they just want you to ‘trust them’, with no explanation… Look elsewhere.
What about home staging?
The next question is, “Will you be hiring a stager and who pays for it?” Generally, if you’re going to pay for staging services, the seller will be paying for that. Home staging can be a big expense. Your agent may be able to at least help get your home ready for market. That includes decluttering and arranging what you’ve already got in an appealing way. Now, in some markets, it may not be that easy. You might need to hire a professional stager. There’s also another option if you want to use it, called virtual staging. It can work well in the right situation. It’s something to think about because it costs less than traditional home staging. Your listing agent should know what buyers in the area want. Staging is an expense to be prepared for.
The tenth question to ask before selling your home is, “Will you host open houses for buyers, brokers or other agents?” Now, as it pertains to open houses, it’s also important to understand that not every marketplace is the same. In some marketplaces, open houses are all the rage. They get homes sold, and that’s how things are done. In other marketplaces, hosting an open house is going to be a big waste of time. Nobody’s going to show up or it’s just going to be your neighbors lookie-looing. Basically it’s not going to serve any benefit to you. It’s important to know the effectiveness of an open house in your location.
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