A great real estate professional who will earn their commission and get you more money on your next home sale can be very hard to find, so we suggest using these hardball questions to help weed out the untrained, uneducated real estate professionals from the truly exceptional ones.
1. What kind of online and social media exposure will you provide?
Social media and online exposure are crucial to marketing your home in today’s market with so many buyers preferring to stay online for the bulk of their home search. Your agent should be active on social media and ready to roll out social shares for your property as soon as it goes live.
2. How will you publicize open houses for my property?
Given the full planning, strategy, and execution an open house deserves, your agent should have a theme and giveaway to attract maximum participation, full marketing collateral, social media shares, eBlast, and more. In today’s world amid the coronavirus pandemic, your agent should be holding virtual open houses as well.
3. Where will my listing be posted and syndicated online?
The answer from your listing real estate agent should include a robust network of hundreds of syndication sites. Your property deserves an extended reach – including international reach as well. Thanks to our network of luxury partners, properties listed over $1 million are marketed on all of the top three online destinations for luxury properties – ChristiesRealEstate.com, LuxuryRealEstate.com, and LuxuryPortfolio.com.
4. Do you have a comprehensive, step-by-step marketing plan for selling my property?
This should be a simple question – of course, your agent should have a plan! At First Team, our plan begins with setting the perfect price for your home and then moves onto exhausting all marketing opportunities including matching your home up with thousands of active buyers we’re already working with.
When you work with a First Team agent, you gain access to our Buyer Pipeline℠ and Buyer Delivery System, filled with all of the very real clients our network of 2,400+ local agents are already working with. We market directly to hundreds of thousands of local clients in our buyer follow-up system and match them up with their dream home.
5. Can you show me examples of the photography and marketing you provide?
Professional photography builds buyer emotion, minimizes your days on market, and maximizes your home’s price. To ensure quality, don’t forget to have your agent show examples of their professionally printed marketing pieces, photography, and videos. Click here to view marketing examples from our preferred partners at PreviewFirst
6. Will you market my home through video so that buyers can tour it virtually?
In today’s world, photography isn’t enough. You need to allow all buyers, no matter their location and comfort level, the ability to view your home. In fact, new 3D technology gives prospective buyers access to virtually walk through your home at any time. With comprehensive digital marketing, some buyers were able to purchase sight-unseen at the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine.
7. What specific tactical steps will you take to ensure that I am pricing my home correctly?
You must be methodical and data-driven when it comes to pricing your home. And your agent should be the one with a strategy for how to do just that using comparable homes in your neighborhood that have sold and other market trends. To get a quick look at what your home is worth in today’s seller’s market, get an instant home evaluation here.
8. Many agents are hard to reach. What is your availability and response time to answer a question or request?
If you like to text, make sure your agent does too. If you want a weekly check-in over the phone, let it be known. Remember, when it comes to selling your home, YOU should be the one calling the shots.
9/ What should I do to get my house ready?
From staging to budget-friendly updates to attract more buyers, it’s important to talk openly and honestly about what can be done to set your home up for success on the market. An invaluable resource we offer our exclusive clients is the First Impressions Concierge, which helps homeowners identify which renovations, remodeling projects, and staging elements will help their home sell for more money, faster. Then, we pay for everything upfront so you don’t have to pay a dime until your home closes for top dollar.
10. What happens if the appraisal comes in low?
This question has a lot of possible answers, and it’s important that your agent can speak about them all so that your home sale doesn’t hit a fatal snag. Whether you decide to coordinate a compromise with the buyers or lower your asking price, you should be prepared with a plan of action in case it happens.
11. How will new mortgage rules affect me?
Your listing agent needs to be a true expert with knowledge about every aspect of the transaction – including mortgage rules that could affect your buyer. And if you will be selling your home and purchasing another, they can help your own new mortgage as well!
12. What will be your ongoing consultation role through completion of the sale – “until the check clears?”
A great real estate agent isn’t just there to help with one home sale, they are a guide and advisor for your financial future. You should be building a relationship, not being used for a commission check.
13. What happens if we get two or more offers at a time?
In today’s hot market, multiple offers and bidding wars are commonplace. Set a plan for how to review offers together and what your top priorities are before the offers start rolling in.
14. How should we respond if we get unsatisfactory offers or no offers at all?
Despite our current seller’s market across Southern California, it can happen. However, if you receive unsatisfactory offers, your agent should know there’s always room to negotiate! And if there are no offers at all, it’s time to stage, upgrade, or change the list price.
15. What can you tell me about your past customers regarding the results and reputation of your services?
Check their references! Treat this process just as any other employer would a job interview so that you find the most qualified person for the job. At First Team, we’ve captured a 98% satisfaction rating from our clients because we hold our agents to the highest standard and equip them with all of the tools necessary to not only get the job done – but get it done well.
These questions for your listing agent are all geared toward assessing their preparedness. If you would like a FREE subscription to your neighborhood’s home trend values to help you prepare as well, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.