TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING AN AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME

Without the proper support, selling your home can be a stressful endeavor. That’s why TruWest developed this list of questions for interviewing potential real estate agents. We want you to make an informed decision, which may make all the difference between frustration and fulfillment.

  • What makes you different and why should I list my home with you? 
    The ins and outs of our unique real estate market require experience. You need to know the agent has a marketing plan that fits the present market and is able to shift to respond to market changes. The goal is to ensure your home not only stands out from your competition but will be listed fairly. Also, determine if the agent can offer you a quick, easy turnaround time for selling your home. 
  • What is your company's track record and reputation in the Phoenix or Austin market? 
    Depending on the spin, agents can boast about being number one in this or that. Cut through the sales pitch—the only thing you care about is whether they can sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Ask about the number of homes sold, how the final sales price compared to asking price and how long it took to sell in order to determine if he/she matches your goals. Bottom line: you need someone who can maximize your home’s exposure to potential buyers.
  • What has your company sold in my area? 
    A good agent will show you what he/she has sold in your area as well as a list of other comparable sales or “comps.”
  • How do you plan to market my home? 
    Find out what the agent’s marketing reach is and how they use different media outlets to showcase homes. Then, determine the agent’s proposed plan to showcase your home.
  • Does your broker control your advertising or do you? 
    If the agent does not control his own advertising, your home will be included with the listing of every agent in the brokerage. This means you will be competing with other homes for advertising space. This is not necessarily a bad thing but you want to know in advance.
  • On average, how close is the selling price to the asking price?  There is such a thing as an official Real Estate Board ( Arizona and Texas), which compares the agent's performance to the Board average. This translates to you being able to more accurately predict what price you can expect for the sale of your home.
  • How long does it take for your listings to sell on average?  This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Compare the Board’s speed of homes sold to the agent’s speed to understand the length of time you can expect to wait until your home sells.
  • How many buyers are you working with currently? The more buyers the agent is working with, the more opportunities he/she has to sell your home. A good agent with lots of buyers in his/her portfolio can set up an atmosphere that may lead to multiple bids on your home. Ask the agent to describe their system for attracting buyers.
  • Do you have references? The agent is applying for a job, so ask to see a list of client references and actually contact a few to gain insight on their experience. Keep this top ten list handy for questions to ask.
  • What happens if I'm not happy with the job you are doing; can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract. Penalties and broker protection periods safeguard the agent's interests, but not yours. How confident is the agent in the service he/she will provide you? Will he/she allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you're not satisfied?

Most importantly, when selecting an agent, be sure he/she has the same goals you do. Evaluate each agent's responses carefully and objectively, and find the agent who will do the best job for you.