7 Questions to ask a Realtor: Listing

The last post I wrote addressed finding a Realtor to help you buy a home.  Finding an agent to help you sell your home of course has much of the same criteria. However, there are a number of questions to ask to make sure you find the right person for the job. 

  1. What sets you apart from the crowd? This is a fairly vague, open-ended question that is asked of agents all of the time. However, you would be surprised how many agents can’t come up with a good answer. If they can’t tell you why you should use them, it’s a pretty good indication that you shouldn’t.  
  2. What are the area stats? Real estate is a numbers game. We talk about listing prices, selling prices, list to sale price ratios, number of days on market, and on and on. You want an expert to sell your home and an expert should be prepared to speak intelligently.   
  3. What are your stats? What percentage of your listings sell vs. expire, or are terminated? What is your average list to sale price ratio? By no means does that dictate the results you are going to get, but past performance is a good predictor or future results.
  4. What will you do to market my home? Toronto is a seller’s market, and the reality is that most homes sell. You don’t want to just sell your home though, you want to sell your home for the highest price possible. The way to get the highest price possible is to get the most number of people interested and marketing the home correctly is the way to get more people interested. You would be surprised how many agents take a few pictures with their phone and just put the property on MLS. Ask the agent what their marketing plan will include, and the answer should most definitely include a multitude of custom online and print pieces. 
  5. What can I do to get top dollar for my home? Some people may not want to do any work to prepare their home for sale; however, most of us want to get the highest return possible. One in 10,000 homes are staged and decorated perfectly, but most of us actually live in our homes while we are selling… and it shows.  If an agent can’t give you some good advice on ways to improve the presentation of your home, either you are perfect, or that agent isn’t.  Suggestions for de-cluttering and staging are crucial.
  6. What price would you list my home for and why? Now, if this is the first time that the agent has been in your home, it may not be fair to expect an exact answer on the spot. This is a question that is very specific to your home and there should be some thought and research that goes into it. When you do get a specific answer, it is important to not just go with the highest one. You want to SELL your home for the highest price, not LIST it for the highest price. A home that is priced inappropriately can be the only mistake an agent makes, but it will cause your home to either not sell at all, or not sell for the highest price possible.
  7. Will you sell my home for less commission? This is a bit of a trick question.  This seems like a question that you would want the answer to be a quick “yes” for, right? Wrong. If an agent is quick to drop their commission, how do you think they are going to do when they are negotiating the price of your home? If they are willing to cut their rates, how much value are they putting in their services?  You want someone that is confident in their skill set and can express to you the value that they can provide. The real goal here is to net the most money possible, not just save money on commission!

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