We’re continuing on with these 20 Questions to ask a listing agent. This is part 3: Hiring a realtor to sell your home. There are so many questions to ask a real estate agent during this process. Let’s talk about some important details.
Length of Your Listing:
Our question eleven is: “How long will my listing last?” You obviously want to know when you are going to get your home on the market. If for some reason it doesn’t sell, how long is the listing period? A lot of people look at six or even twelve months as the listing contract period. And ideally it should never take that long, especially in a seller’s market or stabilized market to get a home sold. At the same time, it’s an important question to know. Things can change fairly easily and you want to be prepared. Make sure that you’re comfortable working with that agent for that contract period of time. Another great reason to work with someone you like being around!
The twelfth question to ask a real estate agent is, “what is your commission fee and is it negotiable?” Now, it’s important to note that there is no set commission for anyone. One of the laws that governs real estate is the Sherman Antitrust Act. So, it’s completely negotiable between you and the agent that you’re interviewing. What they charge is up to them or their brokerage. Now, some people might say, “Oh, I just want the cheapest agent out there.” If you want the cheapest agent out there, then you will get the cheapest results as well. That’s either because your agent is new or because they’re not a very good agent. Think about it, an amazing agent that works hard for the best results isn’t going to accept a small commission. And we bring this up to be completely candid and real with you. We’ve seen it again and again, where people are not looking at the negotiation strength.
It’s important to know what goes into a commission. Sometimes people focus on the number, not realizing what they have really done is give up their price. Let’s do a case in point here… We’ve talked to listing agents and simply asked a question as easy as, “Hey, is your seller negotiable?” Nothing more. The listing agent generally comes back and says, “Yeah, the seller will take $30,000 less than the list price”, something like that. So, that agent and that one conversation alone without any questions, gave up $30,000 of the seller’s value. Is that cool? No. You would rather have an agent that can negotiate fairly for their commission. So, you want the agent that’s going to be prepared to negotiate for themselves and for you and make sure that you’re getting a strong player in your market.
The thirteenth question is all about communication. How often will you hear from the agent? You want to make sure that you outline up front how the conversation flow is going to move forward. For example, the sellers we work with, and even the buyers for that matter, communicate a minimum of once per week. Whether its text, email, phone call, video message… It’s very important to understand that open communication is essential. Whether you’re selling a house or buying a house; ensure that you have the right agent working for you. Make sure that you have strong communication with that agent and understand what the pace is going forward. Hiring a Realtor to sell your home means that they should be extremely open to communications.
Method of Communication
The fourteenth question is: “what’s the best way to contact you?” Some agents are working so diligently that they’re good with responding through texts. Some agents will interrupt a meeting to answer a call. You want to understand what their work schedule looks like. Make sure that you can contact them when you’re available. Yes, even trusted real estate advisers need to get some rest. And yes, they even need some time off to recharge and stay focused on the mission at hand. Same as you! Selling your property for the best price possible in the least amount of time possible – that’s what you want.
The fifteenth question is, “what will your closing cost be? And how much could you expect to walk away with.” Now, that’s something that you want to have answered right up front. A strong listing agent is going to come prepared with listing disclosures and the listing agreement needing to be signed. This is in addition to the estimated net proceeds. The estimated net proceeds is going to show you the cost associated with the sale of your property are. As well, it will show you how much you can walk away with. When a listing agent says, “Well, how much do you owe on your home?” They’re not trying to get over personal with you. They want to be able to provide you with an estimated net proceed amount. This way you know about how much you can walk away with at the end of the day. Any strong listing agent will come prepared to list your home that day.
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