The Top 10 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

Selling a home could make you feel a tad overwhelmed. After all, the realtor you hire will impact the sales process, how long it takes the house to sell, and the selling price of the house. Do your research to find the best agent for you. Here’s a list of questions to ask a potential realtor and add clarity to your journey.

#1. How Many Homes Have You Sold?

The purpose of asking this question is to make sure you’re working with a realtor that has ample experience selling homes. The more recent the sales, the better. Ask to look at their real estate portfolio, a collection of real estate investment assets akin to a resume.

See what homes they specialize in selling in terms of price range and type of home, and, if you’re in a unique position, if the realtor knows what steps you’ll need to take.

#2. Have You Sold Homes in My Area?

A realtor with experience selling homes in your area will know the ins and outs of the local market, including the selling price of similar homes and the selling points that will appeal to buyers.

Yet, don’t write off a realtor that hasn’t sold in your area yet. Listen to their answer on how they plan on getting acquainted with the area, and fill them in on what they need to know about your community.

#3. Can I Cancel Our Agreement?

This one is a must-ask question, as you shouldn’t hire a realtor that doesn’t allow you to cancel the agreement. Signing this confirms you’ll work with them exclusively and pay them for selling the house, even if you’re unhappy with their services.

Some so-called top agents try to lure sellers into a contract with hopes of the home selling fast at an unrealistic price. In the end, they let it sit on the market, sell at a lower price, and get their promised commission. With an option to cancel written in the contract, you can be confident they’ll work hard to sell your house at a fair price.

#4. How Did You Arrive at the Suggested List Price?

Asking this question ensures your realtor can justify the price and that they’re not giving you an overinflated price to increase their commission. A comparative market analysis (CMA), listed by the realtor, is an estimate of the home’s value based on recently sold comparable properties in the immediate area.

Realtors usually come to the price based on the:

  • bathrooms
  • bedrooms
  • condition
  • lot size
  • road noise
  • schools
  • square footage

If they can’t justify the price, the analysis is likely to be very vague.

#5. How Will You Market My Home?

How a home is marketed affects how long it takes to sell and the types of buyers. Marketing drives demand, leading to more homebuyers and selling at a higher price in less time.

Most real estate agents will discuss using a multiple listing service (MLS), which reaches the largest audience. This database shares information about properties for sale, including a home’s data, photos, and description. This listing is then distributed to public websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia.

Additional ways of marketing include advertising with flyers, brochures, print ads, digital ads, and networking.

#6. How Will You Vet the Buyer?

Having a buyer is exciting, but you won’t want to invest time in the wrong one. That’s why vetting a prospective buyer is an important process for agents to take on. The deal may fall through if the buyer is unable to secure financing or backs out during the inspection contingency period.

Realtors can prevent this by ensuring the buyer submits a pre-approved letter with their offer and contacting the loan officer to ask about the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio.

#7. What’s Your Commission?

On average, the real estate commission is 5% to 6%, but this can vary depending on the state and housing market. While these commissions are negotiable, keep in mind the value you’d be getting. A lower percentage is not necessarily best, as this could cut into the advertising budget or other expenses.

#8. What’s Your Sale-To-List Price Ratio?

Of course, before asking this question, you’ll need to know the sale-to-list ratio definition. This is a percentage found by taking the sale price of a home and dividing it by the last list price. To find the average, add the sale-to-list ratio of each home sold by the realtor and then divide by the number of homes.

If the percentage is above 100%, the home sold for more than the list price. If it is under 100%, the home sold for less.

Be leery of listing agents with a number that is much higher or lower than other agents. A number on the high end means they underprice homes. This way, they can tell other homeowners they just sold a house for more the asking price. A number on the low end means they overprice homes, likely because they overpromised.

#9. How Will You Communicate With Me?

Effective communication is key. Before signing a contract, make sure you and the future realtor agree on a primary method of communicating.

  • Do they prefer to talk over the phone, by text, or email?
  • How often can you expect to hear from them?
  • And, if they’re part of a team, will someone else reply on their behalf?

#10. How Do I Get My Home Ready to Sell?

If you plan to improve your home before listing it, spend time and money on updates that make a difference. Get two things accomplished at once by asking a real estate agent what you need to do to get your home ready to sell.

Here’s expert advice on:

Talk With an Understanding Realtor at The Massey Team

At The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we understand that you shouldn’t rush to sign a contract with a realtor that’s not right for you. Ask us as many questions as you need so you’re confident in your choice.

Our team is committed to providing the finest, friendliest, and most effective real estate services. We don’t just sell houses; we help others make positive life changes. Understanding your personal goals and needs is at the heart of everything that we do. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

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