Selling a home is a big decision. An equally big decision is choosing a Realtor. On a basic level, your Realtor is responsible for finding the best buyer for your home at the price you're asking. However, a Realtor's job goes far beyond this, as they are also responsible for helping you prepare your home to be sold, working with you to list the home for the proper price, and making the entire sale process as stress-free as possible for you.
According to data from the National Realtors Association, most people don't ask their Realtors many questions beyond what their fees are and how much they can sell the home for. Every Realtor will have their own style and specialty, so finding the one that's right for you takes more consideration than choosing the Realtor with the best prices. If selling a home were easy, everyone would do it. That's why it's crucial to ask a few additional questions of your potential Realtor.
Here are five questions that you should ask your Realtor before you hire them.
1. What is your experience?
This seems like a very generic question, but it's a very important one. Knowing how many homes your Realtor has sold in the last year and their overall experience will help ensure trust in their process. Real estate is a job that you learn from experience. The more houses that your Realtor has sold the better they will know the market and what the potential is for getting your home sold in a timely fashion. You want to pick a Realtor who you feel can handle your entire purchase process from listing your home to closing the sale.
2. How are you planning to market my home?
Anyone can hammer a 'For Sale' sign into their front yard, but you hire a Realtor to market your home to a vast amount of potential buyers. In today's market people can discover your home from anywhere online. A good Realtor will get your home listed on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) as well as have other marketing tactics like advertisements, direct mail and email marketing. Don't be afraid to ask your Realtor for their marketing plan.
3. Do you work with clients in this price range?
If you're selling a home for $500,000 and the last five homes your Realtor has sold have been for $200,000, you may want to reconsider your selection. Home prices attract a different types of buyers and you'll want to find a Realtor that is able to get into the mindset of the buyer.
4. What are the drawbacks of my home?
The key to selling your home is making sure it's listed at the proper price. Having a Realtor that is up-front about some of the drawbacks of your home can provide you with the best chances of selling your home as well as some insight into the Realtor's experience and desire to sell your home. If you are aware of some flaws that your Realtor doesn't point out, they may not be 100% vested in selling your home.
5. Do you have references?
Hiring a Realtor is like hiring an employee for a job. References will allow you to cross-check information, learn information about other seller's experiences and get a feel for their working style. You'll be working with your Realtor for an extended period of time and communicating with them on a regular basis so it benefits to hear how the communication process was from other clients.