Top Questions to Ask a REALTOR Before You List Your Home
1) How Well Capitalized is Your Business?
REALTORS are independent contractors. Marketing is expensive – training is expensive – running a business is expensive. You don’t want to hire an agent/broker/real estate company that is under-capitalized, because they cannot spend the money they need for continuing education, marketing, lead generation and promotion of your home.
2) Do you have a CRM (customer relationship management) system? How many contacts are in your CRM and how often are they contacted?
Yes, real estate data is important. Company files, personal files, and the MLS are full of important, usable, data. But what about people? You know, those who buy and sell real estate. Top agents compile a running database of those interested in buying or selling real estate, and are not starting the marketing of your home from zero! They already have buyers looking in the price point and area of your home and will market your home to those "live" leads, thus giving them a head start over anyone else.
3) What percentage of your business is listings vs. buyer sales?
While most REALTORS work with both, many specialize in listing or selling. The "ideal" real estate business runs a 50/50 mix.
4) What is your average percentage of sold-to-list price?
Some agents just want to have a sign in someone’s yard in order to get buyer calls, and will take the listing at any price - forcing drastic price reductions along the way and therefore resulting in a low sales-to-list price. You’re looking for the professional, who will price the home right from the start and who does not have time to play games.
5) What is your area’s average time to sell (Days on Market)?
Market conditions often dictate how long homes will sit on the market, but you want to know that the agent you choose knows their stats and market facts.
6) What is your success rate? (i.e. percentage of listings taken to sold)?
The added value that a listing agent can bring to the table includes marketing the property to generate maximum exposure and traffic, but also helping the seller negotiate the contract, and, most importantly, deal with road blocks and eventualities to make the transaction close! There is no substitute for experience to be able to get some deals done...
7) What percentage of your listings do you sell yourself?
As a listing agent, it is great to sell your own listing. However, this happens less than you would expect – on average about 10% of the time. If someone promises much more, I would question it.
8) What percentage of your listings expire and why?
The number one reason listings expire is they were overpriced (discussed in #4 above). There are many other reasons: seller/tenants make it difficult to show, unruly animals, unkempt property in poor condition, and poor marketing.
9) What is the current market ‘absorption rate’ for my property?Absorption is the technical term that describes the relationship between demand and supply in your particular market. If the absorption is above 6 months' inventory, the market is over-supplied and prices tend to decline. If it is below 6 months, there are not enough listings and prices tend to rise. Your REALTOR should be very familiar with the market dynamics in your area.
10) What’s your "compelling value proposition" and why should I hire you and your company?
Not all REALTORS are made equal. Your REALTOR has to be able to articulate how he/she is different to others and why he/she is the best person to help you sell one of your most valuable assets!
11) What is your strategic marketing plan for selling my property?
What is your REALTOR's plan to promote your home and make sure it gets maximum market exposure and maximum showing traffic?
12) Realistically, what is the highest price we can expect for our home and what will we need to do to achieve it?
The goal is to get your home sold for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, with the least inconvenience to you. The real estate professional should be able to demonstrate how they arrived at the recommended list price and what you’ll have to do to bring your property to the top of the market.
Wish to hire a top listing agent? Call The Alan Donald Real Estate Team at 843-900-0155 or fill out this online form to be contacted by one of our team representatives.