Selling a home can be a time consuming task, to say the least. That is why many people turn to an expert to take care of the daunting, nitty-gritty details. Hiring a real estate agent can take the bulk of the work off your hands, and that can lead to a better deal for you.
But you need to be certain you bring the right real estate agent on board. Your agent will be responsible for advertising your home and will walk buyers through your property. Your agent will answer questions from potential buyers and will help you through the negotiation process. Consider asking these questions before making a decision on who should represent you:
- Is real estate your full-time job? How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Just like in any profession, experience does not always translate into a guarantee of skill. Real estate is very much a profession that is learned on the job. Those who make it a weekend job may not have the experience you’re looking for.
- How many homes did you sell last year? Asking this will give you a good idea of the level of experience the agent has. If he or she is part of a real estate brokerage, ask how many homes were sold by the firm in the last year.
- On average, how long are homes on the market before you sell them? Any agent you’re considering should be able to tell you this sort of information. If he or she is keeping up with the present market, this should not be rocket science.
- What is your plan for selling my home? If the only plan your agent has is to put up a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you may need to do a bit more looking around before selecting your agent. You’ll want an agent who has aggressive, innovative approaches to marketing your house. You’ll want someone who can market your property effectively on the Internet.
- Can you recommend contractors or service providers who can help me make needed repairs and other preparations for selling? Agents spend their working hours immersed in the industry, so they are the best resources to help with information on home improvement contractors or other service providers. An agent should be able to recommend more than one provider for whatever job you need done, and tell you if they have any special relationship with any of them. They should especially let you know if they are receiving compensation from any of the contractors or providers.
- In what way, and how frequently, will you keep me informed of the progress of selling my property? There is no specific correct answer to this question so it is up to you as to whether the agent’s answer satisfies you. If you want updates twice a week, would that be a timetable your agent could meet? Would you prefer not to be bothered until there’s a very likely prospect? You should let your agent know how you prefer to be notified, i.e., phone, email, text or face-to-face exchanges.