15 Questions You Should Ask Your Agent Before You Hire Them
Finding the right real estate agent to sell your home isn't always easy, and you deserve an excellent Realtor. These 15 questions will help you understand if you've found them.
1. Do you have testimonials from past clients that I can read?
After asking for recommendations and reading testimonials almost every day, we make decisions on purchases, and hiring a real estate agent is no different. An experienced and well-respected agent should have several testimonials from past buyers and sellers that they’ve helped over their career, ready for you to read.
2. How will you determine my home’s value?
Having an accurate picture of your home’s value and a strong pricing strategy from the start will help ensure that your home sells quickly and for top dollar. If you or your agent are relying on online home valuation tools, unfortunately, that’s not the full picture, and we’d encourage you to dig deeper. Happily, we have years of local knowledge, and often specific knowledge of homes that have recently sold (perhaps we sold them, or they were our listings), and homes that are currently on the market. In some cases, we have even sold the same home more than once!
There are hundreds of factors that we take into consideration when estimating your home's value, and no two reports are the same. We first take a look at your address. This allows us to see how much neighboring homes have sold for, the desirability of the neighborhood you live in, the unique features of your home and the surrounding geographical area, and many more factors. After we have a good idea of what that looks like, we then go more in-depth with our research, including checking your home's condition, considering any updates you've made that could make it worth more than your neighbor's. All of this is done by a human being. None of our home value reports run on an algorithm, and this information isn't available to us or you at the push of a button.
3. What would be a good offer for my home in this market?
Understanding the market and being up to date on the latest stats and trends is part of a real estate agent's job. Your home very well may sell for a different price today than it would have a year ago and that it may sell for a year from now. We stay up to date on the market and regularly share those updates with our audience.
4. Have you sold any homes in my neighborhood before?
Most real estate agents have their bread and butter neighborhoods that they specialize in, so understanding, if they are truly the experts in the neighborhood that your home is in, is an important part of finding your agent.
5. What do you predict will happen with the market in the next 6 months?
Foresight and analysis is an important part of advising clients, and in a market that’s changing rapidly, it’s more important than ever. If you want to talk about our predictions and where we see the market going, let’s talk!
6. Will you help me with staging?
Staging is an important part of presenting your home to buyers and ultimately selling it. Having an agent that can consult on staging or even offer full staging services can help ensure that you’re getting top dollar for your home.
Looking for staging tips? Click here.
7. Are you going to have professional photos or a video done?
As detailed in a VHT Studios article, homes with professional photography sell for 32 percent faster. In today’s online-first world, the need to showcase a home virtually has never been greater. From professional photos, a video, a virtual tour, and 3D Matterport imaging, the opportunity to build a vision for your home online is not one that we’ll miss. We have all of these tools at our fingertips, including drone photography and video.
8. How will you market my home?
Marketing is a virtual part of selling and something that every real estate agent should be able to leverage for your listing. From the staging, collecting the assets such as photos and virtual tours, putting your home on the MLS, promoting it on social, and letting their potential buyers know about your home, your agent should have a plan for each of those steps. We also include your input in the marketing process, because you know best what is special about your home, from your unique perspective as owner.
Take a look at our marketing plan and see it in action here.
9. What will you suggest we do if my house starts to sit on the market?
While every seller has that lingering fear that their home will sit on the market for longer than was expected, your real estate agent’s job is to do everything they can not to make that fear a reality. If it does, in fact, happen, though, your real estate agent should have a plan for that too.
10. Can you explain the home selling process from start to finish?
One of the most common questions that we get from potential sellers is to explain the process from start to finish. It’s a complex process that involves a lot of steps, emotions, money, and more. Your real estate agent becomes your trusted advisor throughout the process of selling your home, and that’s an important job!
We aim to educate our audience about the market and the process, so if you’re looking for answers to your questions, check out our blog.
11. What projects, if any, should I work on before we list?
This is a great question! When selling your home, there are several things that you may be able to do that will allow potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home more easily. Your agent will be able to take a look at your house (virtually or in-person) and give you a list of items that you’ll be able to work on before you list.
12. How long would you say it will take to sell my home?
While there’s no certain answer to this question because of all the variables at play, we can use the current average days a home stays on the market and other current market trends to understand how long your home makes take to sell.
13. Can you also help me find a home to buy?
We’re sure you’re experiencing the lack of inventory in today’s market while searching for a new home, and that may be holding you back from selling your home now. We want you to know that we’re here to help. Your real estate agent has access to all of the homes in the MLS and even some off-market properties. They should connect with their network and offer advice on other options you may have if you end up being in-between homes.
14. Will we be able to host open houses?
An open house is traditionally a great way to let potential buyers know about your home and let them really get a sense of the layout and feel. Today, open houses are different but still possible, even if they’re done virtually - your agent will be able to guide you through this process. At this time, we are hosting virtual AND in-person open houses, as appropriate.
15. How does your commission work?
Understanding your agent’s commission and what services they’ll provide you throughout the process is an important piece of selecting the agent you want to work with. Your agent should be providing quality, expert service throughout the entire process - because it is a process that requires expertise. If you have questions about commission, please reach out to us.