My parents have sold several homes over the years, but leave the experience with only a lukewarm feeling towards their agent. It seems like they generally are disappointed with the process and the outcome. They are going to sell their home in Arizona this summer and we would love some suggestions as to what questions they should ask when they interview agents this time around. I am not sure it will help, but I figured I would at least try. I am confident you have some questions that will help them find a quality agent. Thanks for the insight.
Andrea, Grand Junction
This is a funny question, as it is still surprising to me that more sellers don’t ask more questions. I guess they just generally assume I know what I am doing, however, this could be a very costly assumption depending on who they are interviewing. Real Estate is such a relationship based business model that often times the relationship outweighs the expertise and if you take this stance it can cost you thousands of dollars. I also think most people are not very good at asking questions or don’t want to seem pushy. I must admit that I am not a great question asker, as it is a real art and gift. Asking the right questions is “THE” key to finding a good real estate agent. Here are a few:
On average, how many homes have you sold each year for the past 3 years?
You are looking for an answer that is somewhere north of 25 homes. Any less than 2 per month and it would be hard to call it your profession.
Is Real Estate your full time Job?
You want to hear “YES”. If not, end the interview.
What will be your marketing strategy for my home?
You want to see a comprehensive strategy with several marketing avenues in place with an emphasis on consistency and frequency of message.
What separates you from your competition?
This should tell you a lot. They should know their competition and better yet, know their marketing plan, office processes and how those are superior.
How will you communicate with me?
This one may be the most important. If you get an answer that feels like there is no plan that means there is no plan. Again, end the interview if the answer is not specific on when and how you can expect communication.
What negatives do you see with my home?
If they are unsure of what negatives exist or what the barriers of sale may be, then either they are not willing to confront the issues or they don’t have the skill set to identify them. Again, unless they provide you with some insight, end the interview. Even the most perfect house, has flaws.
Will you provide references?
Ask for them and call them. You are interviewing. Do your homework or don’t blame the agent if it does not work out!
Notice, the question about how much the house is worth is not on the list. Make your decision based on the answers to questions similar to the ones listed above, not what value the agent tells you your home should sell for. Trust me, if the answers to the above questions all fit, then you and the agent will be able to find a real market value for your home and have a great relationship through to closing. I hope this helps your folks and that the process is enjoyable. Part of making the ride enjoyable is doing your homework up front so you are comfortable with the driver. Then you can sit back and relax knowing you are in good hands.
The Kimbrough Team