If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market this year, the most important decision you can make is hiring the right agent.
Some people are quick to just hire their friend, their cousin, or any Agent they see advertised without actually doing any research on them. Many people don’t realize that all agents are not the same. Just like with doctors and lawyers some are better than others. The right agent will increase demand which will increase your sale price.
Remember you’re hiring this Agent to sell your home for top dollar, so you should ask them many questions. But the following are the must ask questions to find out if they have the right experience and if they will be able to do the job right:
What is Your Marketing Plan to Sell My Home?
A good real estate Agent will have the ability to market your home effectively through multiple marketing channels. Each one should complement the other by driving traffic to your home and creating more interested buyers. A top Agent will also be able to commit full-time to giving your home more exposure on major listing engines like Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow, and other paid search sites.
How Many Homes Have You Sold In the Last 12 Months?
Finding out how many homes an Agent has sold in the last year or even few years is a good idea. It’s very critical that they are updated on all the nuances of today’s market. How many years in the business has nothing to do with their ability to sell your home today. Since there are so many moving parts in a real estate transaction, experience is key when handling issues like financing, home inspections, lead paint, and the new Know Before You Owe guidelines from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You don’t want to be part of an Agent’s learning curve for what is probably the largest financial transaction of your life.
At What Price Should I List My Home?
We want to emphasize that only the market can set the price for your home—an Agent doesn’t arbitrarily decide what the right price will be. Instead, your Agent should be able to give you a list of comparative homes for sale in the area, and more importantly, homes that have recently sold.
They will also do a complete walk-through of the home, as well as have them do a thorough inspection of the exterior. Once the Agent presents you with the data you both should collectively decide what will be the best listing price. Do not be fooled into hiring an agent who promises the highest sale price. Remember, it’s easy to make a verbal promise but much harder to deliver on it.
Pricing your home accurately right from the beginning will always create increased buyer activity and higher offers.
How Often Will I Hear From You?
A good real estate Agent must be a strong communicator. Find out how they will stay in contact with you: will it be with phone calls, texts, emails, or a combination? Are they part of a team or are they just working on their own; we all get sick and take vacations and have events in our lives that come up. Make sure they are available to answer any questions or concerns you have and keep you updated on prospective buyers. With housing inventory levels so low, there is increased competition for homes, so your Agent should be on top of all the interest on your home.
Is This Your Full-Time Job?
Sounds like a crazy question right? Well, unfortunately, our industry is full of part-time agents. The top agents are obviously not part time but if you’re unsure, just ask, it can’t hurt. Selling your home should be the real estate Agent’s number one priority. Don’t waste your time with part-time Agents who aren’t fully committed to bringing buyers to your home. It’s important to know that your real estate Agent will give your home the time and attention it requires to sell it. A part-time Agent means part-time marketing, part-time negotiating, and full-time headaches for you.
Hiring the right Agent can make the difference between selling your home for top dollar and having it sit on the market with no activity. Make sure you ask these questions to get the right Agent to sell your home.
In addition to hiring an Agent, sellers should take the time to properly stage and de-clutter their home, which will dramatically improve a Buyer’s first impression of your home. A good Agent should be able to give you some basic staging tips.