Whether it’s time for an upgrade or a move across the country, finding the right real estate agent to sell your home can make the moving process much smoother. But, not all agents are the same, and there are questions you should ask when interviewing for the right agent to list your home.
- Can I see your references?
Asking your potential selling agent for names and contact information of past clients should be a first step. Find out what she was like to work with from someone else’s perspective before you sign on the dotted line.
- Can I have a CMA for the area?
A Comparative Market Analysis should be readily available from any agent. The CMA will detail the value of homes on the market in your neighborhood that are similar to yours. This report will give you an idea of how your property stacks up against other “for sale” homes.
- How will you market my home?
There’s so much more to selling your home than placing a “for sale” sign in the front yard. Make sure your agent has the tools to reach potential buyers within your region as well as those from out-of-state who are considering moving to a new area. You may specifically ask what websites the agent uses to market her listings, as well as what type of print advertising may be used and if open houses will be held.
- How do your realtor fees work?
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Ask the agent what her commission fee is on selling your home. Along with commission, be sure to discuss the agent’s cancellation policy. Find out if she would be entitled to the full commission if you happen to discover a buyer. Lastly, ask what kind of early cancellation fees may apply to you.
- What experience do you have?
Ask the agent what types of properties she has sold. Perhaps the agent specializes in commercial property, rather than residential. Also, inquire about the agent’s list-price-to-selling-price ratio. Finding an agent who is close to 100 percent means that her home’s final sale prices have been close to the listing prices.
- How will we communicate during the showing and selling process?
Know what to expect from your agent. By asking how often and by what means she will be in contact with you, you will be more relaxed throughout the process and will not feel the need to constantly call to “check in” with your agent.
- Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?
While it’s usually legal to represent both parties (the seller and buyer) in a transaction, it’s important to understand your agent’s relationship to you and have her describe the rights of each party and how commission works if she represents both the buyer and the seller.