Interviewing a Listing Agent

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Real Estate

Selling a home is a big decision. It is likely your largest asset, or one of your largest. You want to find an agent that you trust, but also an agent who will negotiate best for you, getting you the best price possible and steering you through the process so that it is manageable and not too stressful.

Having a list of talking points prepared before meeting with a real estate agent can be incredibly valuable in guiding the conversation and helping you make an informed decision about who will represent you in the sale of your home. Whether you're a first-time seller or it has been a while since you last sold a property, asking these questions, or at least some of these questions, can reveal important information about the experience and expertise of your candidate.

Even if you already have a trusted friend who is a real estate agent, it is still appropriate to understand how different issues will be handled. A true professional should not feel offended to discuss or address your concerns.

  1. Tell me about your experience and training.
  2. Do you work in real estate full-time?
  3. Are you a REALTORĀ® and a member of MLS?
  4. What is the average price of the homes you have sold and how many did you sell last year?
  5. Which neighborhoods do you primarily work?
  6. How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood?
  7. What is your list price to sales price ratio?
  8. How many buyers and sellers are you currently working with?
  9. Tell me about the positives and negatives of my home.
  10. How will market preparation and staging affect my sales?
  11. Describe your marketing plan for my home and if you will use outside professionals.
  12. Specifically address Internet exposure, open houses, and showings.
  13. Describe how you'll keep me informed all along the way.
  14. Will I work directly with you or with team members?
  15. Can you provide me with three recent references and/or point to where I can find posted reviews?

It's important to note that price was not included in the list of talking points. As the seller, you ultimately set the price, but the market and the buyer will determine the value. The agent can advise you about the proper range that will ensure activity and ultimately affect your final proceeds. This advice should be based on facts that are available to all agents as well as prospective buyers and appraisers.

In other words, the decision to list your home with a particular agent and company should never be based on the listing price suggested by a prospective agent. Some unscrupulous agents will offer to list at a higher price and will act quite convincingly that they can get that price. This is a tactic to get the listing and, unfortunately, often ends up with a home sitting on the market a long time, getting "stale" and eventually almost always selling for less than it could have. Trust a reputable agent to provide sound advice and guidance throughout the selling process.Ā  You may find more helpful information in our Sellers Guide.