Hiring a real estate agent is a smart move when selling your home. While you might be tempted to sell by owner, especially if the market is hot, think twice. Homes sold by real estate agents typically generate a much higher profit for sellers (some estimates say it’s as much as $60,000 more).
Don’t just hire anyone though. Make sure your realtor knows what they are doing. Here are 7 questions to ask your real estate agent before agreeing to work with them.
1. How Many Houses Have You Sold in My Area?
An agent who has many sales in your area is a definite benefit. They will have insight into the area and any new businesses or developments coming and also will understand how to market homes in that area.
Selling your house is a stressful process, so you want to know that your realtor knows what they are doing.
2. What Price Do You Think My Home Will Sell For and Why?
A good agent will do a market analysis on your home and look at comparable homes (comps) in the area to determine a price. Appraisers will look at the comps when appraising homes for mortgages, so you want to make sure your home will appraise for the sale price.
It’s important to price your house right from the start as you’ll attract more buyers and typically sell at a higher price. Offer your home at true market value from day 1 to help ensure a quick sale.
3. What is Your Marketing Strategy?
Marketing the home is an extremely important part of the selling process. Gone are the days of just listing homes on the local MLS and waiting for buyers. Now, agents use social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to market.
Pictures are professional, virtual tours are becoming more and more standard, and even aerial footage of the home, yard, and surrounding area is being provided to potential buyers.
4. Do You Work With a Stager?
Just as important as pricing your home right and marketing it effectively is staging. Home staging takes the personal elements of your home (personal photos, last name signs, knick-knacks, etc.) and removes them to give buyers a sense of how their things will look in the home.
Ask your agent if they work with a stager and who will cover the fee if they do.
5. What Is Your Fee?
Realtors get a commission on the sale of a home. The amount of the commission varies by area, but the overall commission is usually around 6% of the home’s sale price. That amount is then split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.
As the seller, the commission is coming out of your profit. The buyers do not pay the commission, so it is worth asking your agent what their fee is and if it is negotiable.
Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent to Ensure a Successful Sale
Now that you know a few questions to ask your real estate agent before signing anything, you can go into the process with the confidence that you can find a realtor who will successfully sell your home.
Always go with your gut as well. If you don’t think you’ll work well with someone, move on to the next prospective agent.
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