When interviewing listing agents for the right to sell your home, there are six important questions you must ask to ensure they can sell your house quickly and for top dollar.
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There are six questions you must ask a listing agent when interviewing them:
1. How many homes have you sold in the last year? This will tell you how active the agent is in the market. If they’re only selling one or two homes a year, that might bring up more questions about how involved they are in your market. Inside of that question, ask how many homes they’ve sold in your community. If everything they’re selling is two counties away, they may be a great agent, but they may not have the experience they need in your community to give you the advice you need.
2. What percentage of your listings actually sell? This is critical because if someone is listing 30 homes a year but only selling 15 or 20 of those homes, you have to ask what’s happening with the other homes that aren’t being sold. Look at this ratio and make sure the agent does everything they can to sell their listings.
3. What is your list-to-sale price ratio? When they list a home, are they typically getting 95% of the price their seller asked? Are they getting 96% or 97%? Or is their ratio perhaps lower than that, like 93%? Whatever the percentage is will tell you a number of different things. First, it will tell you how well they typically price homes. It will also tell you how well they can market homes and generate the kind of traffic they need to sell them quickly and for top dollar.
4. What’s the average time it takes you to sell a listing compared to the market average? Again, this will tell you a lot about what the agent does to market homes and how well they do against the competition. If the average home sale in your price range takes about 30 days and the agent’s average is two weeks, they’re probably doing a great job. On the flip side, if they average 90 days to sell a home in a market when most homes take only 30 days, there might be something wrong.
5. What is your advertising budget? Marketing a home involves more than just putting it on the MLS. There are websites that your home needs to be advertised on and get great exposure. Ask the agent about their marketing budget and where that budget is spent. Also, make sure they have an advertising and marketing plan. Doing the data entry into the MLS is part of what your agent needs to do to get your home exposed, but if that’s all they’re doing, there may be a piece of the puzzle that’s missing.
6. What is your follow-up plan when someone inquires about my house? In a lot of cases, if an agent gets an inquiry from Zillow, it goes to their email and they can respond to it whenever they finish an appointment or as soon as they get to that email. The thing is, though, if you look at studies about online consumers, you need to find a way to get back to them as soon as possible. MIT did a study declaring that you need to get back to an inquiry like that within five minutes. This is really hard to do, so you have to ask the agent what their plan is to get back to online consumers who want information about your home within five minutes. A lot of times, it takes a combination of technology, manpower, and good follow-up plan.
We have a full list of 25 important questions you should ask a listing agent before hiring them. If you’d like a copy of that list or if you have any other questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.