10 Deadly Questions You Should Absolutely, Positively Get Answered Before You Sell Your Home!
Not all real estate companies are the same. If you decide to seek the help of an agent when selling or buying your home, you need some good information before you make any moves.
Picking the right agent is one of those critical issues that can cost or saveyou thousands of dollars. There are very specific questions you should be asking to ensure that you get the best representation for your needs. Many agents would prefer that you don’t ask these questions, because the knowledge you will gain from their honest answers will give you a very good idea of what outcome you can expect from using this agent. And let’s face it – in real estate, as in life – not all things are created equal.
Hiring a real estate agent is like any hiring process – with you on the bosses side of the desk. It’s critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make. You should ask your agents the following questions…….
1. Do you make it easy for buyers to get information about my home?
You may be surprised to know that the two marketing tools that agents use to sell homes (open houses and big company ads) are actually not very effective at all. In fact, according to The National Association of Realtors, less than 3% of people purchase their home as a result of calling on a company ad, and less than 1% of homes are sold at an open house. How do most homes in Wilmington, NC sell? Plain and simple – The Multiple Listing Service. When an agent puts a home on the MLS, EVERY agent from EVERY company has access to show and sell that home. By the way, there are around 1600 Realtors in Wilmington, NC.
Furthermore, the prospects calling for information on your home probably value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with an agent, or an unwanted sales pitch. Make sure the ad your agent places for your home is attached to a 24 hour pre-recorded hotline with a specific ID # for your home which gives buyers access to detailed information about your property day or night 7 days a week. We have found that 3 times as many buyers call for information on your home under this system. And remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.
2. What is your commission and why are you worth it?
Don’t ever agree to any commission unless you are shown exactly how this agent earns it. FACT – Real Estate Commissions are NOT set by law!
3. Do you have at least 3 Assistants to help you?
Most agents work all by themselves without any support making it difficult for them to provide you with a consistently superior level of service. The job of real estate has many and varied parts to it. Just as you wouldn’t expect a doctor or lawyer to answer phones or type letters, so your real estate agent shouldn’t be spending their time on simple, but time consuming tasks that could be delegated. If the agent doesn’t have assistants to cover each aspect of your transaction, you should ask yourself how much time they really have to get your home sold. Note: An assistant is much different than the company receptionist. The company receptionist works for ALL agents in the office, but an assistant only works for one agent and is a licensed real estate professional.
4. How, specifically, do you attract buyers?
The agent should be able to explain, step-by-step, how they attract buyers and show you evidence. If they can’t, hire another agent! Do not hire any agent that tells you their reputation will somehow attract buyers! Make them prove it!
5. What has been sold in my area?
Agents should bring you a list of other comparable sales in your area.
6. What specific Advertising will you be doing to get our home sold?
If they expect to get your home sold by using only a big company ad, open houses or a mediocre website then you are in big trouble. Make them be specific and put what advertising they promise in writing!
7. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?
Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high of a price you will get for the sale of your home.
8. How many buyers are you currently working with? Do you have a list? How do you track your buyers?
Obviously the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to see the list and describe the system they use for working with these buyers. (They should have the list of buyers with them at ALL times) If they have a lot of buyers, they will certainly need a computerized system to keep track of them. If they can’t or won’t show you a list of their buyers, hire another agent!
Note – There is a BIG difference between a list of actual buyers and a print-out of a database. An actual buyer list should contain the buyer’s financial qualifications as well as what type of property they are interested in. Anything other than this type of list just doesn’t cut the mustard!
9. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?
What unique plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably among other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don’t to help sell your home with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money? What type of technology do you use to help sell my home? Can you give me a demonstration of that technology? Note – Some of the most effective tools in real estate today are 24 hour hotlines, Interactive websites, Talking House Radio Transmitters, Fax-on-demands etc. Remember, have them demonstrate while they are at your home.
10. Can I cancel my Listing at any time?
Don’t ever sign anything unless this agent can guarantee, in writing, that they will cancel your listing at any time if you decide not to sell your home or if you are not satisfied with the service being provided.
Bonus Question : Ask them how their services compare to other companies and be specific. Ask them about specific companies.
If they say ANYTHING negative about another company or try to make another company look bad, hire another agent! Get the facts for yourself! Also, if they brag about how many homes they sell, how good they are or that they are #1, RUN THE OTHER WAY! It seems EVERY real estate company is claiming to be #1 anymore.
At 5 Star Real Estate we encourage you to compare any other company’s services to ours based on FACTS not FICTION!