If you're planning to sell your home, the quality and experience of your real estate agent can have a big impact on your return. Real estate agents can vary in terms of experience, responsiveness, and negotiation skills. Finding one that can work for you can require a bit of research on the front end, but it's well worth the effort.
If you're trying to determine if an agent is a good fit, an initial interview or introductory conversation can go a long way. Not sure what to ask? Here are some important questions that you'll want to cover:
- How Do You Calculate Listing Prices?
Your agent is incentivized to get you the best possible return on your home sale. While you don't want to leave money on the table, there can also be consequences to pricing too high. An overpriced home can turn off buyers and allow your home to sit on the market for too long, which can also make buyers nervous. Therefore, you want to be sure your real estate agent knows how to calculate a sale price accurately.
Your real estate agent should look at comps (comparable local home sales in the past year) to gauge what other similar size homes have sold for in your community. Historical data is the best way to gauge the market and find the right price.
- How Will We Communicate?
Responsiveness is such an important characteristic of a good agent. When selling your most valuable investment, you want an agent who keeps you in the loop. It's always a good idea to ask about his or her preferred method of communication (phone, text, email) and set expectations around the frequency in which you'd like to receive updates.
- What Are The Best Features Of My Home?
As a homeowner, you're likely aware of the attractive and unattractive features of your property. Your real estate agent's job is to tell you how the market will perceive those features. Ask your agent's opinion on your home's top selling points and how he or she plans to promote or market those features on the listing.
- How Do I Prepare My Home For The Market?
The answer to this question will tell you a lot about a potential real estate agent. Properly staging a home takes a lot of practice, but it's one of the most important aspects of selling a home. First, a good agent will likely recommend a thorough deep clean and decluttering process. During the staging process, your agent may recommend inexpensive repairs or upgrades that help boost your sale price. Then your agent should do an extensive walk-through and make recommendations on positioning certain decor and maximizing light exposure.
It's always worth taking the time to gauge an agent's experience and professionalism. Finding a good one could ultimately result in more money in your pocket.