9 Questions to ask before choosing an agent
When selling your home, the help of a REALTOR® can be invaluable. They get your home on the market, advertise it in forums which would be otherwise unavailable to you and which are more easily accessible to buyers, and are working for you to make sure this difficult process is as easy for you as possible. But, just like every home is different, not every REALTOR® is the same.
Choosing an agent to fit your needs is a very personal thing. You should take some time to get to know your REALTOR® before listing your home with them in order to ensure they’ll meet your specific needs. Here are some questions you can ask them to gain an idea of the outcome you can expect with the agent in question.
- What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you? What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out against other homes currently on the market? What does this agent offer you that other agents don’t to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?
- What is your company’s track record and reputation in the market place? Selling a home is often a collaborative affair – nine times out of ten, there will be another agent involve representing the buyer. At Coldwell Banker David Butts Realty, it often happens that the buyer is found through our own office; once you choose one of our agents to list your home with, it’s brought to the attention of the other agents in the brokerage immediately, and if it fits the criteria of any of the buyers we are currently representing, we bring it to their attention and get the ball rolling, so to speak, as soon as possible. In this way, we get houses sold very quickly, simply by keeping each other informed of our new listings, as well as what our buyers are looking for. By fostering this spirit of cooperation within the brokerage, we feel we provide our clients with top value for their dollar, as well as providing great service with as little hassle as possible in a process which can often be far from hassle-free.
- What are your marketing plans for my home? How and through what mediums will your home be marketed? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of the various mediums?
- What has your company sold in my area? Normally, your first introduction to an agent as a seller would be through a CMA, or a Comparative Market Analysis, which would narrow down the potential price range for your home. When requesting this CMA, don’t be shy about asking for a list of properties which the brokerage has recently sold in the neighbourhood. This will give you an excellent snapshot of the company’s success rate and the credibility of the firm.
- On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price? This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. This measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells – the bigger the difference, the longer you home is on the market!
- On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell? This information is also available from the Real Estate Board.
- How many buyers are you currently working with? Obviously, the more buyers an agent is working with, the more potential buyers he or she can direct to your home once it is listed. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers to their listings.
- Do you have a reference list of clients? Ask to see this list as well as any testimonials they may have on file.
- What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? Can I cancel my listing contract? Client relationships can end if you are not happy with them. Be sure to ask your REALTOR® under what circumstances this can occur and how they can be “fired.”