Selling your home can be a hassle or a breeze, depending on who you hire. The right choice can result in a well-presented listing with beautiful photos and an outstanding description, a strategic marketing plan, a speedy sale and a smooth process. The wrong choice can result in blurry cell phone photos, no marketing, no showings, and a languishing listing and lack of offers.
Yet how will you determine who to hire? You can certainly ask for recommendations and check online reviews from places like Yelp and Zillow. Additionally, here are some questions that will help you make a sound choice.
1. What’s your background and experience?
Make sure the agent you’re hiring has enough closed sales under their belt to comfortably handle the deal from listing to closing. Ask about recent listings and sales in your area. (If the agent has a map like this one, that's a big help.)
2. Who is the target market for my home and how will you reach those potential buyers? What is your marketing plan?
They should know who is buying in your area and where they’re coming from and have a comprehensive written marketing plan that incorporates multiple digital channels. Take a look at how their current listings appear online. Are there compelling descriptions and multiple high-quality photos? A buyer’s first impression of your home will usually be what they see online. Make sure it’s not something they’ll skip based on the online presentation.
3. How will you communicate with me?
How often would you like to hear from the agent and via what communication channel? Make sure you’re comfortable with their communication strategy and style.
4. What are your sales statistics?
Ask about how many homes they’ve sold in the past year and how many were buyers versus how many were sellers. Find out the list price to sales price ratio and the average time on the market. Compare this to the Multiple Listing Service as a whole or to other agents you’re interviewing if you’re speaking to more than one agent.
5. How do you arrive at the recommended list price?
Be cautious of agents who recommend a price higher than what other similar homes are selling for in the neighborhood. They may be doing what’s called “bidding” for your listing. You want to select an agent who understands pricing trends in the neighborhood and can explain to you how they arrived at their recommended price.