When it comes time to sell your home, your choice of real estate agent can make a huge impact on how successful your sale is, determining things like how long your house is on the market and what the final sales price is. Every seller wants to give their home the best possible chance, so our real estate agents recommend asking these questions before signing any agreement.
- What is your experience in my neighborhood?
With real estate, location-specific experience is extremely important. Neighborhoods can differ dramatically from one another, so it's important that your agent be familiar with sales trends in your neighborhood, specifically. You should also ask questions about their stats, such as how many homes they have on the market in your neighborhood, how many days their properties spend on the market, and their percentage of listings that have fallen through.
- What would you price my home at, and why?
This is a two-part question, and the second part is actually more important than the first. If you are comparing several different agents, don't just go with the one quoting the highest listing price. Instead, listen carefully to the why. A good agent will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) of other South Bend homes for sale and will offer data on other sold properties in your neighborhood to back up their suggested listing price.
- How will you market my home?
Some real estate agents are great at marketing properties, showing them off to their advantage. Before you sign an agreement with an agent, make sure you're confident with their approach to selling. Ensure that they're going to do the basics, such as helping you stage, taking good pictures, writing good descriptions, and running advertising and open houses. But even more than that, you want an agent who displays a solid understanding of who the target market is for your house, how to reach them, and how to pitch your home's best features.
- What is your fee?
While interviewing a potential real estate agent, don't forget to discuss money. Your biggest reason for asking this question actually so much to find out what the agent is going to charge. What you want is to see how the agent holds up under pressure, especially if you ask them to lower their prices. While it's nice to get a deal, you also don't want an agent who is going to give your buyer a deal too easily. Instead, look for an agent that stands by their fees and makes a strong case for how they'll earn them.
- How often will we communicate?
You're paying your agent a lot of money to sell your home, and it's valid to expect good communication during the process. Ask your agent specifically about their communication style before signing a contract. Make sure it fits with your own expectations. If you don't want to hear from them unless something big happens, that's fine, but make sure they're on the same page. If, on the other hand, you want regular updates, especially in the beginning when the bulk of the setup is being done, discuss your expectations up front and ask how often they typically communicate with their clients.
Choosing a real estate agent is essentially hiring an employee to do a specific job: in this case, sell your house. Thinking about it like this will help you get into the correct frame of mind to make an objective decision. If you're ready to start interviewing, contact us today to see what makes our agents different.