Hiring an agent? Ten questions to ask when planning to sell

1. How long has the agent worked in residential real estate sales and does he/she sell full time?

2. Is the agent licensed to sell real estate? This may seem like a no-brainer, but …. it doesn’t hurt to ask what his/her credentials are.

3. How many homes did the agent sell in the last year?

4. Ask for a list of the addresses and selling prices for homes that were sold in the last year. How many days on average did it take to sell a home?

5. How did the home sales of the agent compare with the overall market in that time? This can help you determine the agent’s track record and if his/her efforts are in keeping with local market conditions. Since markets vary due to location depending on the desirability and availability, how fast your home sells is not solely dependent on an agent’s marketing efforts.

6. Look at asking prices versus sold prices. Are there large differences? If so, why? One of the greatest values of an agent’s expertise is his/her help in determining the best selling price for your home so that you get as much value as you can and sell your property quickly. But there are other factors to consider such as: the desired closing date, mortgage pre-approval, etc.

7. What is his/her marketing plan? Does the agent have a “team” in place that will be working many aspects to get your home seen and sold?

8. What will be the agent’s communication plan with you? How will he/she update you on progress with the sale (text, email, phone, etc.?) and how often? Make sure to establish your goals and expectations and outline how they would be met.

9. Can the agent offer you good recommendations on other services such as: contractors for repairs, home inspectors, real estate lawyers or mortgage lenders? If so, ask if they are given compensation for the referral.

10. Will the agent be representing you exclusively? Make sure you know if there is a possible dual representation and that your interests are protected.