What to Ask When Interviewing Your Selling Agent?


It's no secret that selling a home can be stressful. This is due, impart, to the large to-do list of things to take care of that practically writes itself the moment you decide to sell. But, in order to lighten your load and make the selling process a little easier, it is important to find a real estate that fits your specific needs - an agent that will support you through the selling process. To find that special agent, it is vital that you interview potential agents to learn more about them. The following is a list of several questions you can ask in that interview, the answers to which will identify whether the agent is right for you.

Question 1: When did you start working in real estate?

Now, this question, at first, may just seem like small talk, but the answer can give you some great insight into how much experience this agent has. Now, if an agent is still in their first year of real estate, make no mistake, they could still be great for you. However, if this is the first time you are selling a home, you may want to consider going with an agent with a little more experience. If this is your fourth, fifth, or sixth+ time selling a home, however, then a new agent may be just fine as you have had experience selling.

Next, it is good to ask a follow-up question: where have you worked in real estate? With so many people moving here from around the world, it is good to find out how well your prospective agent knows the area. Again, like before, if they have only been in the area for a few months it doesn't mean they won't be a good agent for you.

If they do end up giving the impression that they are green and new to the position it would be good to ask them if they have a mentor or team that can help them if the sale hits a snag.

Question 2: Can I see any reference letters or testimonials?

Interviewing a real estate agent is like doing any other job interview, you want to know if this person is a good fit. And just like with the typical job interview, you should ask for references. Almost all agents will have some sort of testimonial from a previous client or a letter of reference on either their website or in hand. Review these references and testimonials to get a feeling for who the agent is and how their customers responded to them.

Question 3: What is your rate?

When you ask a real estate agent what their rate is you are essentially asking how much they charge for their services - or in other words, their price. Usually, when selling a home, you will have to pay your agent a small percentage of the proceeds from the sale. Every agent's rate is different, so it is important to know how much a particular agent will cost you before you employ them.

It is also important to remember that, as the seller, you will be responsible for paying the buyer's agent as well. So, choose a selling agent with a lower rate, if possible.

Question 4: As an agent, what is your specialty if you have one?

Not all real estate agents have a specialty, but some do. For example, some agents deal mainly in investment properties or rental units and some specialize in things like foreclosures. However, if you agent says they specialize in something other than being a sales agent they should still be able to help you or direct you to someone who can.

Question 5: Do you have any other listings at this time?

It is important to know how many other listings that your prospective agent has. This is because, if it already more than they can handle, your home may not get the attention it needs. So, ask them how many they have and then ask if that number is a typical amount for them to work on at one time. If adding your home to their pile of listings will be a strain on them, you may want to consider someone else.

Question 6: Do you have any resources to help your sellers?

Many real estate agents have specific resources at their disposal to help sell their clients homes. They may seem small and insignificant at first, but they can make a real difference in how long it takes to sell the home. These resources can come in the form of supplies for an open house, specific networking connections, etc. Some of the more useful resources that an agent can have are

-  Websites

The internet is the primary way that marketing and sales are done in the 21st century. If your home can't get online it will have a smaller chance of getting sold. Granted, when a home is listed for sale it immediately gets added to the IMLS database which will then distribute it to all the websites in the area, but, if your agent has a website or two that has a following, maybe they can write a spotlight or blog about your home to help advertise it.

-  Photographers

It is amazing how many more views a home will get when its pictures are taken by a professional instead of an agent's phone.

-  Flyers

Professionally made flyers can represent your home. They are an easy way to pass along information about the home in a nonintrusive way.

Questions 7: Do you represent buyers as well?

This question is important because, usually, when you sell a home, you also need to buy one. If your agent can do both for you it will make coordinating the two efforts much easier.

Question 8: Of all your listings from last year, what percentage of them were sold?

This question lets you know how effective your prospective agent is. However, it is not a foolproof method of gauging how good of an agent they are, it can give you an idea of their ability. Once they've told you that percentage ask them how that compares with years previous. If the percentage is higher or lower than previous years, it may have been a fluke year, and some follow-up questions may need to be asked. However, if it is consistent with previous years, then you can rest assured that this year will probably be no different.

Question 9: How long, on average, do your homes take to sell?

This question is pretty cut and dry. It is asked so you can know how long you should expect your home to be on the market. Usually, agents will give that measurement in increments of days. However, this should not be taken as a guarantee-the stats from your area need to be considered as well.

Questions 10: Do you have any awards?

In real estate, much like the rest of the world, there are awards given for outstanding work, top earners, and so on. So, if the agent you are interviewing has an award for their real estate related activities, then they will be able to help you. One award that is prestigious in the real estate world is the Circle of Excellence award. Agents who have received a Circle of Excellence award are some of the best agents out there.

However, it is also important, like with the years of experience, to not think that an agent without any awards or accolades is no good. It just means they haven't been discovered yet.

Question 11: What methods of advertisement do you plan to use?

With the right advertisement, a home can sell itself. For this reason, it is imperative that your agent have a sales strategy. It doesn't matter if it is a simple one, they just need to have thought about it ahead of time. This is where websites, networking, and so on are invaluable. The great thing though is that clients of the Hughes Group will have their home advertised on three of the area's best, and most trafficked, real estate websites. These are websites that offer state of the art search engines, saved favorites capabilities, and more. Not to mention it is maintained by a skilled technical team every day of the week.

Question 12: Can I get a CMA - or comparative market analysis - for my neighborhood?

A CMA is a comparative market analysis that shows all the stats on a certain neighborhood when it comes to home sales. It shows how much homes were sold for, how long they were on the market, and more; all of this information can aid in the planning process and shed some light on how long it should take to sell the home.

Question 13: Is right now a good time to sell?

Before you finalize all the paperwork to put your home up for sale, unless you are forced to sell, it is good to know if now is even a good time to sell. If it is a buyer's market, and average prices are down, you may want to consider holding off until prices go back up. However, if it is a seller's market, then you should be good to go.

Question 14: How will we communicate and how often?

It is vital that you and your agent communicate. If you two do not communicate, then nothing will get done and your house will not get sold. When you hire an agent on, be sure to determine what method of communication is best for the two of you and plan to communicate at least once a week if not more often. During the home prepping period, these communications will be about getting the home cleaned and dejunked, getting photographs taken, and things of that nature. After the home is on the market, though, most of these communications will be details about showings and offers.

Question 15: Does my house need any repairs?

If there is anything that is broken or needs upgrading in your home, you will want to get it taken care of as soon as possible. These can be both cosmetic and functionality repairs. You will want you home to look and feel inviting, also be strong and secure, free of potential risk. Remember, however, that before any repairs are undertaken that professionals should be consulted and all safety protocols need to be followed.

Question 16: What happens if my home doesn't sell?

This is a very, very important question. Much like the Boy Scouts, your agent's motto should be 'Be Prepared.' Ask your prospective agent if they have any contingency plans for if the home doesn't sell. It doesn't have to be much, but as long as there is some sort of plan the selling process will be that much easier.

Obviously, however, a contingency plan will need to be formed once the agent is hired, so don't be alarmed if they don't have one already. Simply ask your agent to meet with you about a contingency plan, just in case. These can be vital to the sale of your home.

Selling a home can be a challenge, one that your agent is itching to conquer. Be sure that the agent you hire is right for you. There are many different people out there with different styles and work ethics, so be sure to interview and search for the agent that will help you achieve your goals.

If you want to learn more about Boise or to find a stellar agent for yourself, call us at 208. 571. 7145. Or just explore more of this website.