Top 7 Questions to Ask a Listing Agent
By Joshua Ferris
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When it comes to putting your home on the market and finding a real estate professional to guide you through there are a lot of things you need to know about your agent before making a decision. Experience is a key factor but other aspects of selling your home and seller representation come into play as well. Read on to see the top seven questions you should ask any listing agent before listing your home for sale.
- How many times have you represented the seller only in a home sale over the past year?
There are different types of agency out there namely seller, buyer and dual agents. Finding an agent who focuses on selling homes and representing sellers will greatly improve your odds of having a less stressful home selling experience. Representing home sellers is a different concept entirely from representing home buyers and you should take that into account when interviewing agents.
- How many homes have you sold in the past year?
The real estate industry is home to over one million practicing professionals and each agent can choose whether to work part-time or full time.
Additionally, total number of home sales is a good indicator of how often the agent follows up and works well with clients.
- What have your last three listings sold for (final price) and what were their original asking prices?
This question will answer a few others like whether the listing agent is the type to price the home right or a chronic overpricer and how well they negotiate.
There are agents who constantly push for the maximum possible price reduction every three weeks after taking your home as their listing and will advertise your level of motivation to everyone they know. You want an agent who is on your side and respects your transaction as much as you do. It's your money and future so knowing their negotiating success and marketing practices are crucial to your investment.
- In what area do you sell the most homes?
It's important to find a listing agent who knows the town and area around your home because they will be able to help answer any objections a potential home buyer may have. They will also be able to more confidently explain detailed facts about the schools, future developments in the area and mass transit options.
- What is the average number of days on the market for your last three listings?
Does the listing agent sit on a house for 9-10 months or do they work daily to sell your home? Sometimes it's not the fault of the listing agent that a home will sit on the market (poor condition, overpriced etc.) but a large number of days on the market for the agent's last three homes might uncover a pattern of being out of touch with the market.
- What makes you different from other listing agents?
Is this agent using the same listing presentation downloaded from their MLS as every other agent in town? Do they just plan to throw your home in the MLS and hope for the best? Finding out where the listing agent shines will go a long way in setting your home apart from the competition.
- How quickly can I expect a response from you?
A big concern for home sellers is what is going to happen once you do start the home selling process. Will your agent be available by phone, text or email? Will you have to wait three days for a response? These are important questions to ask before you choose your listing agent.
Joshua Ferris specializes in Orange County New York real estate including new home communities and townhouses. To discover more about the area, feel free to check out Josh's Monroe New York guide and locate homes for sale and for rent using his Orange County NY Real Estate search.
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Article Submitted On: December 11, 2008