You’ve made the decision that it’s time to sell your home, but who is going to help you navigate the process? Selling your home can appear intimidating at first, but if you have the right team on your side, it's a lot easier than you'd expect.
The biggest mistake you can make as a homeowner is to pick the wrong brokerage or agent. One in every 9 individuals is a licensed real estate agent and they will all tell you they can sell your home for the right price in just a few months. That is overwhelming, right? (Take a deep breath) So, how can you get through the initial sales pitch, and really vet through the noise to find the right fit? Here are seven questions to ask a potential real estate agent before you make the final call.
First, schedule an appointment.
If they push you for an in-person meet and greet in your home, know you're in for a time consuming conversation. Some people prefer that, but since it's 2019, your first conversation should be more like a first round phone interview, rather than the final interview. You're the interviewer, you're in charge, and these are the questions you should be asking them:
Questions. Ask all of them, and take notes!
1. How many homes have you successfully sold in the last year?
Just because they sold a home, does not mean they did it in a cost effective and timely manner. Ask about timeline, their philosophy on offer and negotiations, and if there was anything they would have done differently.
2. What is your track record with selling homes like mine?
You need to know that they understand your situation and lifestyle. What if you're selling a 6 bedroom / 4 bathroom home and they have only sold condos? What if their clients are typically couples and you have a family with four children? What if you are getting divorced and you just need to sell the home as quickly as possible? They need to be familiar with properties and homes like yours, its value and your way of life. At Door.com, our market advisors and listing agents handle 10x more sales a year than a traditional agent and are well-versed in different situations and homes. Go with a company and agents who are adaptable and who have seen it all.
3. How do you differ from other agents and brokerage like [insert Door.com, Redfin, Rex, etc.]?
A good agent knows and understands their competition and how they differ, and how they are better in certain aspects compared to the rest. If they are unsure, we recommend moving on since they are not strategic enough. Not understanding their own market may suggest they do not have a good grasp on yours.
4. Do you have homeowners that you've worked with that could serve as a reference?
If they don't have any online reviews on Zillow, Google or Facebook, run the other way. If they give you contact information, be skeptical that these could be friends or family. Without public reviews and a history of successful transactions they could lack the experience.
5. How do you like to communicate?
This is a person or company you will be speaking with daily. Are they flexible to your preferred method? If they don't like to email or text, and that's your style, you might need to move on. Communication is key to a successful real estate deal, and your agent should be working full time to keep you up to date on the process. If you work with Door.com, our team-based approach makes this aspect a no-brainer as someone will be there to help when you need them.
6. In your opinion, what should be the initial listing price for my home?
A good real estate agent should accurately price your home, because an initial price that's too high will most likely increase the number of days it’s on the market. For example, Door.com Agents use proprietary algorithms and local market data to get your home priced right the first time around. Let's hope they did some homework and already have pulled comparable houses in your area that are on the market or have recently sold. If they didn't, and they said it'll take another week to get you a pricing strategy, move on.
7. How long will it take for you to get my home listed online? What are the first steps?
Your experienced agent should have great tips to help move along the sales process of your home. Consider their recommendations and assess whether or not those are realistic for you, your timeline and your budget. They may suggest renovations, home staging and professional photography, open houses, minor repairs and more. Dig deeper about their open houses and see what how they advertise and manage the event. At Door.com, open houses are not part of our marketing strategy. They are a security risk and attract more curious neighbors than serious buyers.
8. Please walk us through your typical home selling process from start to finish. What typical challenges or unexpected costs can I expect?
The process of having a home for sale can be a daunting one if it’s the first time you’ve been through the transaction. Familiarize yourself with the entire journey from start to finish by having your agent lay out all the aspects of the timeline. Your agent should have a game plan for your showings, so you’ll need to know the ins and outs such as preparing your home for its big debut by packing up personal belongings and keeping it clean and ready to go at any time (within reason, of course).
Make sure to prepare yourself for any costs you might run into when closing on an offer. Closing costs will vary depending on factors such as contingencies, but your agent should be able to anticipate what kind of money you’ll need on hand based on the kind of offer the buyer’s agent brings forward.
Since our Door.com agents close more deals weekly than a traditional agent will in months, working with us means that your team will have all the answers to these questions and more. Contact us today to see for yourself!