There are over 3 million active real estate agents in the United States.
Chances are, no matter where you live, there are likely a lot of options around you if you are looking to hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home.
Whether you are buying your home or selling your home, the agent you choose to help you through the process can make or break your experience and have a significant impact on how much cash you are accepting or giving up to buy a new home.
Are you looking to hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home? Read on to learn eleven key questions to ask before you officially hire anyone so that you can have confidence that you made the best choice possible.
What Is a Real Estate Agent?
Before we get started learning the vital questions that need to be asked, let us review what a real estate agent is and why hiring one is essential in order to sell your home.
A real estate agent is an individual who is responsible for helping you through the process of buying or selling your home. They will:
- Meet with you to discuss your needs and wishes when it comes to selling your home
- Research local market activity to help you choose a valid listing price
- Take photos and provide a detailed and welcoming description for their marketing
- Stage the home and property and show it to potential buyers through appointments and open houses
- Help walk you through the paperwork and closing procedures
Now that you have a better idea of everything that a real estate agent is responsible for, you can continue reading to learn the eleven essential questions that will help you choose someone who handles all of these tasks and more with ease.
1. How Long Have You Been Doing This For?
This question is essential, because when it comes to helping you sell your home, you want someone who has experience with the process.
If your agent knows the ins and outs of selling a home, you will be much more likely to sell it according to your ideal timeline. In addition, if they know the strategies to employ in order to get solid offers, you are more likely to get an offer above your asking price, or even better!
Never doubt how much experience factors into their ability to help you sell.
2. Are You Part Time or Full Time?
It is best to find a real estate agent who works full-time doing real estate versus someone who only works part-time and either has another job or other responsibilities to focus on.
If you find an agent who works full time, they have more time dedicated each week to communicate with you and any potential buyers, showing your home, and organizing open houses.
A part-time real estate agent can easily be good at their job, but if having someone available to you virtually every day is important, then they may not be the best option for you.
3. Do You Work with Buyers or Sellers?
Real estate agents can work with both buyers and sellers, but many will prefer and choose to focus on one.
The best real estate agent for you if you are working toward selling your home is going to be a seller's agent. They will be more familiar with the selling side of the process than anything else.
If you plan on selling your home and buying a new one, it can be a good idea to go with someone that handles both sides of the transaction so that you are sure to find success in both parts of the process.
4. How Many Clients Do You Have?
Every real estate agent will undoubtedly be dealing with multiple clients at one time, but it is possible for them to have too many clients.
Any more than ten could be too many for them to have a sufficient amount of room in their schedule to dedicate to you.
On the other hand, though, you do not want to be quick to hire an agent if they say that you will be their only client. There is likely a reason for this, so it is not something to get excited about.
5. Do You Have References?
Any successful professional will be able to provide you with references if you ask for them.
Contacting people they have worked with previously can help you see how happy they were with their experience. Consider asking them a few questions as well:
- What was your overall experience like?
- How long did it take to sell your home?
- Did they get back to you within a specific time frame on a regular basis?
- Would you work with them again if you were selling your home now?
Their answers will give you deeper insight into if they are the right person to sell your house.
6. What's the Best Way to Reach You?
This is an important question, because everyone has different preferred methods of communication.
It would be wise for you to find out if they prefer phone calls, text messages, or emails and how often they plan to meet you in person. If their first method of communication is calling you and you do not like talking on the phone or are often too busy to take calls, then looking into someone else might be a valid option.
7. What Is Your Availability?
Real estate agents need to be flexible, but it is unlikely that you will ever find a real estate agent who claims to be available 24/7.
Instead, they will probably be available mornings, evenings, weekends, or during the typical workweek. Does their availability line up with yours? If they are planning on showing your home during certain times only, would this work with your schedule?
These are important things to note before officially choosing an agent.
8. How Will I Pay You?
Typically, you do not pay anything until your home is sold, and they get a percentage of the total amount of sale from their broker.
However, it is still a good idea to double-check and make sure that they are not expecting you to pay anything upfront or along the way and that their fee is appropriate, so there are not any surprises.
9. Do You Know the Area?
If someone is expected to sell your house, it will be much easier if they know the area that you live in well.
Knowing the schools, nearby attractions, etc., will help them answer potential buyers' questions readily, which will improve your chances of selling your home quickly.
If they know the area well, they will also know the best time of year to work on selling your home.
In addition, it will be easier for both them and you if they live in a nearby area so that a long commute does not get in the way of their work.
10. What's Your Marketing Plan?
As a seller, one of the top reasons that you are hiring someone is so that they can help you market your home. Otherwise, there is a chance that you would consider selling on your own.
Marketing a house is a big endeavor, so you need to make sure that they have the proper tools available to them and a plan to implement.
Consider checking out their website and social media pages so that you can see the type of content they post, what their reach seems to be like, and how they present houses that they are selling.
11. What Is Your List to Sell Ratio?
A list to sell ratio measures whether the homes they are selling are going for more than the asking price or less than the asking price.
You want to see how often they are able to sell homes at or around the original listing price of the house. This will show you plainly how their negotiating skills are and help you to understand if they are the best real estate agent to hire.
Hire a Real Estate Agent—Think Carefully
When it comes time to hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home, you want to think carefully before making an official decision.
Part of thinking carefully involves getting all of the critical questions answered that you possibly can. This article brought out eleven questions that you should ask any real estate agent before you hire them.
Be sure to ask these questions, and you will no doubt end up with an agent that sells your home quickly and efficiently.
If you need help looking for an agent, click here to find a licensed professional realtor.