I got this article from the web. It was insightful. In it, the author came up with 12 great questions to ask listing agents before you use them.
Below are my answers.
Here’s the link: http://schneidersells.com/buying/buyers-agency/buyers-agent/
12 questions to ask a listing agent:
1. How long have you been selling real estate? Since 1995.
Experience is important. Trusting one of your most important financial assets to someone new to the business may not be a wise choice.
2. How many homes do you sell a year, specifically the last few years? 8-10 a year.
You will want to select an agent who has been successful in this ever changing market.
3. What is your marketing plan? Marketing plans differ. Each property is a little different. All generally include open houses, MLS, virtual tour, realtor.com, and citywide emails to every agent in the county. I also pitch property to local associations and get on their agent caravans.
An agent must be specific about how the property will be marketed. See #3.
4. What will my net proceeds be from the sale of my home? First, I make a property inspection. Next, a CMA. Then, once the likely list price and purchase price is arrived at, a detailed Seller’s Proceeds will be generated that will be very accurate.
Consider how the agent you choose will work to protect your equity, relative to incentives, commission and preparation costs. I work each and every property. Prep costs are minimal, but vary with property condition and seller participation. Estate sale? Short sale? Distressed sale? I only suggest prep costs that make sense. Targeted marketing is often the key.
5. How do you feel about open houses? Open houses are not right for all houses, many agents will not tell you this. ? Love them. I’ll do as many as it takes. 13 is my record. As long as seller will work with me, I’m all in.
6. If I hire you, do I work with you or your assistant day-to-day? Very important. You want to work with the person you are hiring. An agent should clearly define how their support staff will be used. Me. I’m always available. Phone, text, or email.
7. What is your specialty? A great listing agent can’t be all things to all people, and will be up front when she/he is not the right person for the job. Houses and condos. I don’t typically do multifamily dwellings.
8. What differentiates you from other real estate agents? This should be one of the easiest questions an agent will answer. Look for clear and concise examples of what your agent will do to sell your home and bring it to a successful close. I’m organized. I know the market. I listen to clients, give them good input, help them arrive at a good price, judicious home prep, and multi-faceted, targeted marketing plan. I follow through until it’s sold.
9. How do you navigate through this market? What follow up analysis will your agent provide to ensure this market doesn’t leave you, the seller, behind. Know the trend. Correctly assess your likely buyer and plan accordingly. Watch listing, price, and status changes of similar properties in your neighborhood.
10. How do you arrive at the appropriate price? Depends. Time of year is important. Marketing times of similar properties at their prices. Curb appeal. Condition. Location. Buyer financing options. All play a part. Price should be competitive. Marketing should be aggressive and targeted. Aim is to get multiple offers so seller has a chance to pick highest, most qualified offer and hope for a little bidding war.
The agent should be able to show you in black and white the market research and their analysis of this data. Be careful! Listing a house at an over-market price can be detrimental to a sale. There should be sound, documented reasons for the price selected. The key is to select the competing listings and recent closed sales that are truly your competition. Just as the highest bidder doesn’t always get the house, the highest list price isn’t always the best. The sweet spot is the highest value that the buyer’s appraiser can hit.
11. Do you as an agent represent buyers and sellers on the same transaction? It is impossible for one agent to provide the fullest client services to both buyer and seller at the same time. I only ever commit to one side in any transaction. Period.
12. What guarantee do you provide to me as a seller? This is a very important question; don’t be afraid to ask. To do the job. The difference between success and failure can be measured in inches. Finding the right listing price; doing the work and finding the true comps, making the right adjustments. Staging – doing all that’s possible to make the property look its best – whether there’s a budget for it or not. Market the property – open houses, MLS, agent caravans, realtor.com, agent blast emails, targeted marketing, neighborhood fliers, whatever it takes. Market vigilance – stay in touch with listings, status and price changes of competing properties. Lower the price – do the work, but if all else fails, this must be an option. Finish the job – market the property until it is sold.