Top 20 questions to ask a listing or hire real estate agent or realtor when selling a house or property. Boracina Cash Home Buyer Service. It goes without saying that buying and selling a home is one of our biggest investments that most of us will ever make. So, when it comes time to consider selling your house, shouldn’t you know the right questions to be asking a listing agent to make sure that you’re getting the right listing agent for the job of selling your home?
So, in toady’s episode, you’ll learn 20 questions to as a listing agent when selling a house. My name is Andrew Finney, your real estate geek. If you need help finding a top agent where you live, or if you simply want to drop me a line to say hello, my contact info is below. If you’re new here, please go ahead and subscribe to this channel now and like this video. To get notified of the next episode, please tap that bell icon. Thank you.
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Okay, team, let’s take a closer look at this. In specific, there’s 20 really, really smart questions to ask a listing agent to know if they’re the right agent for the job of selling your home. Please feel free to jot these down, or simply refer back to your favorite ones in the Show More description below where they’re all time hacked for you. Okay?
Okay, so let’s lead in with the first question.
The first question that you want to ask a listing agent is: what’s the best price that you think that we can get from our house, given its location and condition of the property? Why?
It’s really important to note that, when you call out different listing agents to your property, they all should be coming prepared with a comparative market analysis, a marketing plan of action, and knowing exactly how they’re going to get your home on the market and get it sold, and outline the home selling process steps with you to make sure that you’re at 100% comfort and peace of mind.
When it pertains to the specific question, you want to be leery of the agents that are going to come in and overshoot the market, especially if it’s different from any other comparative market analysis that you’ve had with other agents, or perhaps your own analysis. An agent that comes in with an inflated price is normally trying to woo you with a price, knowing that the house isn’t going to sell for that. In fact, most homes that aren’t priced right out of the gate are going to sell for less than they could have sold for had they simply priced their home to the market value at the time they went on the market. It’s something important to consider. It’s something to be very real about when it comes to selling a home.
Now, all you’ve got to do is take a look around on any real estate website, and you’ll see the ones that take a long time end up selling for a lot less than they could have had they just priced it right to begin with. So, make sure that the agent that you’re working with is shooting straight with you. An easy thing to do there is to look beyond the price per square foot and ask the agent about any insights they have into the market conditions and trends. Based upon those answers, it will hep you understand who you’re working with and understand who you’re chatting with to know if they’re going to be the right one for you or not.
The second question is: how long do you think it will take to sell my house?
This is obviously an extremely important question. You want to know what the average days on market are, not only in your area, but also in your subdivision, and for your specific price range and specific type of home. So, you want to go in from the zip code, into the neighborhood, into your specific size of property, and understand what the market’s doing at large so that you can realistically embrace what the average days are on market so you know how long to plan to be on the market. So, it’s important to know that.
The third question you want to ask is: looking at my home, what impediments do you see in selling my property? Are there any improvements that you think that can be done that will help us move it and sell it more quickly, and perhaps even make some more money off of it?
You always want the agent to be completely honest with you, and say, “Hey, if need to remove something, you need to remove something. If you should repaint something, you should repaint something.” If you have just cosmetic issues, those are the easiest ones to address. If your home is cluttered, you want them to shoot straight with you, keep at 100, by just letting you know, “Hey, we need to declutter this home.”
We need to make sure that we do everything right for your home to get it on the market, and have it look the best as possible for the home buyers that are coming in so that you can generate more offers on your property in less time, and ideally sell for more. An agent that’s going to keep it real with you is going to be the right agent for you, that’s going to talk about decluttering, talk about any home improvements, home maintenance that needs to be done, and whether or not any type of upgrades to the property will benefit you or not prior to going on the market. It’s a really important question to consider, and it’s something to think about given what you want to do with the property.
The fourth question is a kicker here: you really want to know whether this agent is a full-time agent or a part-time agent.
Simply put, make sure that you’re working with a full-time agent. You’ll find them much more professional, and much more accessible at all times. And they’ll know what they’re doing with getting your home sold. Case closed, right?
The fifth question is: how long have you been selling real estate?
I do want to interject something here that’s really important to understand about real estate: unlike different positions where you have years of experience that can culminate and demonstrate reasonable skill and reasonable experience given the time and length of time they’ve been doing that profession, real estate is a lot different. It’s more of “How many closings have you had since you started real estate?” So, it’s a two-pronged question here. You want to know how long have they been doing real estate, and how many closings have they achieved in the time they’ve been in real estate. The reason being is that with each closing, whether it’s a listing or whether it’s a buyer, indicates their experience. You can have agents, and I’ve seen them before, they have 20 years as a real estate agent, but they’ve only ever closed an average of five deals a year. Well, that’s 100 closings. Now, at 100 closings, we could only hope that agent is a good agent with that many closings under their belt.
But being real with you, would you prefer an agent that has 20 years in the business and 100 closings, or an agent that’s been in the business for five years and has 120-plus closings? Which agent is going to be strongest to you?
It’s really important for you to make that decision upfront. It’s very important for you to understand that it’s a lot different whenever we’re looking at experience and knowing how to gage an agent’s experience. It’s a really important question, okay?
So, the sixth question is: how many current listings do you have in this area?
If they have other listings in the area, then obviously they’re familiar with it. How many listings are they carrying at one time can indicate how busy the agent is. Normally, a busier agent is a better agent, so long as they have the right process and system in place to ensure quality of service all the way through. An agent that’s experienced and busy is also going to have the opportunity to attract more buyers and quickly say, “Okay, so that property might not be right for you, but what about this one that I’m putting the market next week?” Just keep in mind that usually a busy agent is a good agent, okay?
The seventh question is: how many homes have you sold in the past 12 months, and how many were in this price range?
That’s a great question to be asking. You want to make sure that any agent that you’re hiring has 12 or more closings over the past 12 month cycle. The reason that we would like to see this with an agent is that the average agent, according to the National Association of Realtors, closes on average of 3.7 to 4.2 homes per year. So, if they’re only closing 3.7 to 4.2 homes per year, so would you rather have that experience, or would you rather have the experience of an agent that’s always in the process, hence 12 or more? They’re always going through the buying and selling process, so they’re familiar of all the legislative changes, all the contract changes, all the best ways to negotiate, and they also have their finger on the pulse and heartbeat of the market. It’s something to think about, it’s something to be real about, and it’s something definitely to consider in finding the right agent for you.
Now, the eighth question is: what marketing strategy do you have for my home?
Every solid listing agent will have a marketing plan of action, and they will be able to tell you exactly what they’re going to do to get your home sold, and they will be able to back it up with past sales performance.
Having that agent that can outline, “Okay, step one is boom. Step two, step three, step four, step five.”, and explains to you the time hacks that they’re associated with, getting your home prepared to go on the market, and the things that will be done that get your home sold will ultimately determine your success. I understand the agent’s marketing plan of action and how it’s going to work is critically important. Make sure that you’re getting your prospectus on that so that you can understand what the marketing plan of action looks like.
The ninth question is: will you help stage my home, or will you be hiring a stager, and who pays for it?
Generally, if you’re going to pay for staging services, the seller will be paying for that. Now, what I have done with a lot of people on practice here in Las Vegas, Nevada is simply take a look at the furnishings that they may have. And with the furnishings that they may have, we may be able just to declutter and reposition furniture that they already have, and cut out the home staging expense. Now, in some markets, it may not be that easy, and you might need to hire a professional stager. It just depends on the price point of the home and what you’re going for.
Now, if the home is vacant, sometimes that makes it really easy to use traditional staging. There’s also another option if you want to use it. It’s called PadStyler, padstyler.com. It’s another great way that you can do virtual staging. It’s something to think about, and something to consider. It’s a lot less than traditional home staging. It just depends what’s best for homes that sell in your marketplace, and it’s best to understand are the buyers going to be more comfortable walking into a staged home, or do they just need to see a visual representation? Your listing agent should know how buyers are thinking in your marketplace, and help you to be able to get your home sold. It’s an expense to be prepared for if it’s something that you want, as a seller, to pay.
The tenth question to know is: will you host open houses for buyers, for brokers, or other agents?
Now, as it pertains to open houses, it’s also important to understand that not every marketplace is the same. In some marketplaces, open houses are all the rage. They get homes sold, and that’s how things are done. In other marketplaces, hosting an open house is going to be a big waste of time. Nobody’s going to show up, or it’s just going to be your neighbors wanting to be a looky-loo in your house, and it’s not going to serve any benefit to you. It’s important to know the effectiveness of an open house in your location.
The eleventh question is: how long will my listing last?
You obviously want to know when are you going start getting the home on market and get it sold, and if, for some reason, it doesn’t sell, how long is the listing period? A lot of people look at six months to seven months or even 12 months as listing contract periods, and ideally it should never take that long, especially in a sales market or stabilized market, to get a home sold. At the same time, it’s an important question to know, and it’s an important thing to know to make sure that you’re comfortable with with working with that agent for that contract period of time. It’s an important question to ask up front.
The twelfth question is: what is your commission fee and is it negotiable?
Now, it’s important to note when we’re talking about commission fees, there is no set commission. And the reason being is that it would fall underneath the Sherman Antitrust Act about saying that there’s a set commission fee for real estate. That’s one of the laws that governs real estate. So, it’s completely negotiable between you and the agent that you’re interviewing, and what they charge, and their brokerage may have broker minimums as well.
Now, some people might say, “Oh, I just want the cheapest agent out there.” If you want the cheapest agent out there, then you’re probably going to get the cheapest results possible as well. And I bring that up to just be completely candid and real with you. I’ve seen it again, and again, and again where people are looking at the bottom line but not looking at the negotiation strength, the marketing plan of action, and what the average list price to sales price ratio is for that agent. As opposed to saying, “Oh, well this agent’s going to charge me X-number percent, and it’s less than this other agent who’s a top tier agent.”, but they have a history of selling homes at a higher price, and getting it done quicker, and smoother, and easier for you, right?
It’s important to know what goes into a commission. Sometimes people focus on the number, not realizing what they have really done is give up their price. I will make a case in point here from real world negotiations right here in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whenever I’ve worked with home buyers and I’ve talked to listing agents, I’ve simply asked them a question as easy as, “Hey, is your seller negotiable?” I didn’t have to ask anything else. That listing agent came back and said, “Yeah, the seller will take $30,000 less than the list price.” And I thought, “My god! $30,000 less on the list price.” And at the time, it was like a $400,000 property. So, that agent, in that one conversation alone, with that one question alone, gave up $30,000 of the seller’s value.
Is that cool? No. You would rather have the agent that can negotiate fairly for their commission and make the case of why that commission is worthwhile, because if an agent’s going to be prepared to negotiate their commission with you, they’re going to be prepared to negotiate for who? You! If they’re not prepared to negotiate for it, guess who they’re not prepared to negotiate for? You!
So, you want the agent that’s going to be prepared to negotiate for themselves and for you, and make sure that you’re getting a strong player in your market.
The thirteenth question is all about communication: how often will you hear from the agent?
You want to make sure that you outline upfront how the conversation flow and pace is going to move forward. For example, here in Las Vegas, Nevada, the sellers that I work with, and even the buyers for that matter, I communicate with a minimum, a minimum of once per week. And I always ask a seller or a buyer, “How often do you prefer to get followed up with?”, in addition to, “How do you prefer to be followed up with?”, whether it’s text, email, phone call, video message, what have you.
It’s very important to understand that communication, and effective and open communication, is essential, whether you’re selling a house or buying a house to ensure that you have the right agent working for you. Make sure that you have strong communication with that agent, and understand what the pace is going forward.
The fourteenth question is: what’s the best way to contact you?
So, you want to know that the best way and best time is to contact your real estate agent, and you also want to understand what their work schedule looks like, and make sure that you please contact them within their work hours. Yes, even trusted real estate advisors need to get some rest, and yes, they even need some time off to recharge and stay focused on the mission at hand, which is selling your property for the best price possible and in the least amount of time possible. Okay? It’s something to think about, and it’s something that you want to ask them.
The fifteenth question is: what will your closing costs be, and how much could you expect to walk away with?
Now, that’s something that you want to have answered right up front, and a strong listing agent is going to come prepared with the listing disclosures, the listing agreement that needs to be signed, in addition to the estimated net proceeds. The estimated net proceeds is going to show you what the cost and fees associated with the sale of your property are, and about how much you can walk away with.
Now, that’s a question, if you’ve ever been asked before, when a listing agent says, “Well, how much do you owe on your home?”, they’re not trying to get uber personal with you. They want to be able to provide you with a estimated net proceeds so that you know about how much you can walk away with at the end of the day. It’s something to think about when you get asked that question, and any strong listing agents come prepared to list your home that day.
The sixteenth question is: what will you want me to sign?
It goes back into the listing disclosures and the listing agreement itself. You want to make sure that you have a time to review that with your listing agent and to answer any questions that you may have to your satisfaction so that you understand 100%, and you’re comfortable and confident about the decision that you’re making with hiring that agent.
The seventeenth question is about checking references.
You could ask them and say, “Hey, do you have any personal references, phone numbers of past clients I could call?”, or simply Google the agent. Google their name. If you type my name into Google right now, you said, “Andrew Finney reviews”, it’ll pop up “Andrew Finney, Las Vegas, Nevada Realtor”, and show you all the reviews that I have online, right?
So, you want to do the same thing with whatever agent that you’re talking about, Sally the Agent, Bob the Agent, whatever. Reviews: Zillow reviews, Yelp reviews. Whatever you need to do. It’s very simple to do keyword research on that. And if they have a good online exposure … Which would actually bode extremely well for them as a listing agent if they have a strong online exposure. If they don’t, then maybe you should be reconsidering the agent and their marketing plan of action if they themselves can’t put themselves online the right way, right? It’s something to think about. Kind of a side point there. All the same, make sure that you’re Googling the agent, and you’re checking their ratings, you’re checking their reviews, and you’re checking their past sales performance online, okay?
The eighteenth question is: can you walk me through the home selling process?
Any strong listing agent is going to be able to identify what you’re going to be going through from the preparation phase, to signing the documents, to going and preparing to go on the market, what happens after you go on the market. And then, within a reasonable amount of time, of when you should be able to expect offers, how to structure showings, and make sure that it’s at your convenience for the showings as well. And you being real with yourself about how you need to expose your home to buyers and get them in there as much as possible, okay?
So, it’s important to understand the home selling process, and then what happens once you get the accepted offer and you go through the negotiations, open up the closing process, and the steps that are going to take place. And there’s a lot. So, a good listing agent’s going to be able to simplify it and keep it in perspective of where you are right now, and also give you a foreshadowing of the things that are going to come by giving you the foresight and a little bit to go now, right? Like here in Las Vegas, Nevada, again, I simply just use the videos that I’m always creating, and I help people with that, and I pace them out and send them to them at a time that’s relevant to them, with a video that’s relevant to them, in addition to following up with them in their preferred contact method.
Now, the nineteenth question is: do you have a website?
Ideally, you want to be checking for an https website which would say “secure” in the URL of your search engine. You want to make sure that not only do they have a website, but that it’s a secure site where people can feel free to search without having their information hacked, okay? It’s an important thing to consider. It’s something to think about. And whenever you have an agent that has a very good website, it’s easy to navigate, it fits well into the marketing plan of action to attracting more buyers to your home.
Now, the twentieth question is always subjective: why should I hire you?
And this one’s pretty interesting just to see what the agent’s going to say. Obviously, you want to hear them pitch themselves a little bit. But by the time you come to the twentieth question, you probably already know whether you want to hire this agent or not from the last 19 questions, and they’ve been presenting to you that last 19 questions. So, it could actually be one that you guys have a little bit of fun with, and just laugh at in the day before signing your listing agreement and disclosures, right?
So, here’s what I want you to do: tell me what you think about this episode in the comments section below, along with any other questions that you believe are best to ask a listing agent when you get ready to sell your house.
Now, I’m going to go ahead and pop up my contact information if you simply want to drop me a line to say hello, or if you need help finding a top agent where you live. Please let me know. Always love to hear from you, always here to help you.
If you haven’t already done so, please go ahead and subscribe to this channel now, and like this video, and share this video around with someone you know it’s going to be able to help, because someone just like you, and I’m sure you can think of just one, is wondering what questions should they ask a listing agent. Please share it with them. Thank you. In between now and next time, I’m wishing you and yours a lifetime full of love, wealth, abundance, and happiness.
Thank you for watching today, team, and enjoy an amazing day.