5 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Listing Your Home

March 5, 2021


5 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Listing Your Home

If you asked savvy consumers what their top piece of advice is when listing your home, many of them will tell you to interview several potential real estate agents before deciding which one you want to work with. And, for what it’s worth, the agent is likely doing the same to you. In fact, we’d even go so far as to say you should be wary of any agent who doesn’t ask you questions before committing to working with you, to probe for your motivation and goals. 

The interview stage of your relationship with your agent is important. In this initial phase, you can expect to talk with your agent over the phone, chat online, or possibly even meet in person at their office. We’ve put together this list of 5 questions to ask your real estate agent before listing your home, to help you prepare. 

How long have you been in the real estate industry? 

Of course, we’re not here to say that any new real estate agent isn’t a good fit, but there is a standard joke about there being nothing wrong with a new agent that a little experience can’t fix… so there’s that. Much of your experience when listing your home with a new agent will depend on the level of training they received, as well as whether or not they have access to qualified and competent mentors. 

With that being said, keep in mind that there’s no industry-wide exam for real estate agents, nor a degree in how to properly and effectively handle issues or problems in a transaction. Simply put, real estate agents learn on the job. Therefore, the more sales the agent has completed, the more likely it is that he or she will know how to effectively deliver on meeting your goals. 

What is your average list price to sales price ratio? 

Of course, any agent’s average ratio will depend heavily on the current market climate. A good buyer’s agent should be able to negotiate a sales price that is lower than the list price (assuming you’re not in a white-hot seller’s market, of course). Conversely, a strong listing agent should have a track record for negotiating sales prices that are close to, if not at or even over, the list price. 

When meeting with a listing agent to discuss listing your home, look for higher ratios that are close to 100 percent. For a buyer’s agent, look for a ratio that is 99 percent or below. Of course, there are times when the current market value has no effect on the asking price, in which case, you can disregard the ratio and not give it too much weight. 

Can you provide references? 

If the agent you’re meeting with has a plethora of online reviews, or if you personally know friends or family who have worked with him or her, you may not need to ask this question. And, some experienced agents may feel personally insulted if you ask them this — but most newer won’t. And why should they? After all, who wouldn’t love the opportunity to have a potential client speak to some of their biggest cheerleaders and supporters? 

What are the 3 biggest things that separate you from your competition? 

A good agent will be comfortable answering this question and should have a list ready with several reasons why he or she is best suited for the job. Of course, everyone has their own qualities they’re looking for, but most consumers report that they’re looking for agents who say they are trustworthy, honest, and excellent negotiators, among other qualities. 

Your agent may say that he or she is a good communicator, always available to answer questions by email, text or phone. Or perhaps he or she maintains a positive outlook regardless of trying circumstances. In the end, it all comes down to the characteristics you are looking for in an agent. 

How much do you charge for your services? 

Traditional agents typically charge anywhere between 1 percent and 6 percent to represent one side in the transaction, either the buyer or the seller. A listing agent may charge 3 percent for herself and another 3 percent for the buyer’s agent, for a total commission of 6 percent. 

While these figures may not mean much to the buyer, since it’s not coming out of their pockets, as a seller, you’ll want to pay close attention to how your agent is compensated. This is one way Reali is different. 

At Reali, our agents are salaried employees rather than commissioned agents. Reali offers our sellers superior service, local agents, and advanced technology. Sell your house with Reali and save thousands. Wondering how much you could save? Ready to get started? Schedule a free listing appointment today.

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