QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR AGENT AS A SELLER
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
By Ali Kaya
If you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, you may be thinking of what exactly to ask the agents you'll be interviewing. As you know, hiring the right agent for you and your home may make or break your listing experience, and potentially the results you expect to get as well! It is vitally important for both parties in the conversation to ask questions, mainly to gather more information about what to expect from each other. Being more informed can only give you an advantage moving forward, so ask away!
Now with years of experience in the industry selling and buying basically every kind of residential property type you can, I've compiled a short yet effective list of questions that you should ask your agent when selling your home. Of course there are more questions to ask, however these are a solid foundation into what you can expect from not only the agent as a person, but most importantly their value to you and your family. After all, not every agent is the same! Some individuals have a tendency to stick to the basic questions of "how much can I list for?" and "how many years have you been an agent?". While these may be great questions to ask, it generally asks very little of the agent your speaking to, in which case is a detriment to you. So, let's add to those questions when we meet. Here we go!
QUESTION #1: What type of homes have you sold or are comfortable with marketing?
This is such an effective question. People generally stick to years of experience rather than actual experience. This most times is a big mistake. An agent can say they've been a Realtor for 20 years but haven't sold a home in nearly 8 years. Whereas another agent may only have been a Realtor for 3 years but is selling 5-6 homes A MONTH. That's a big difference in actual experience! The main reason for this question is to see if you're home is something that the agent is comfortable with marketing. A career Kitsilano condo specialist may have a hard time selling your $6,000,000 White Rock mansion, and vice versa a luxury home specialist may have trouble selling your Coquitlam town home. You may ask "why"? Because the markets of those homes are vastly different. Thus, you need someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in getting those specific kind of buyers through the door and falling in love with your listing!
QUESTION # 2: What's your marketing strategy?
This is the second most important question you can ask your agent in my opinion. When listing your home you only get paid if the home sells, so finding out how exactly your agent will accomplish that is vital. Marketing aggressively and not passively is key in listing your home, and that's what I specialize in. Marketing plans vary from agent to agent so ensure they are an agent that is hard working and goes above and beyond for you. The last thing you want are cellphone pictures of your home, a Vistaprint black and white brochure and hope for offers. This ties into the previous question as well, as each type of property and each home is unique and has different points of interest for potential buyers. Finding those points and being able to market to a specific group of buyers only comes with experience in doing so. You can find out how I market my listings on my marketing tab on the home page. I check off every box from video, photography, online, social media, print, and other means to ensure your home gets the value and results it deserves. It's because of this that I have never had a listing not sell, so please be sure to know what your agent offers you.
QUESTION #3: How much communication will I have with you?
The number one thing that frustrates me is when I hear stories from clients that past agents never updated them, or rarely contacted them after listing. It's because of this that I urge all sellers to ask their agents up front how much communication they will have between each other. We work together in selling your home, but at the end of the day us as agents work FOR YOU. Find an agent that values honesty and open communication. I personally update you on everything to do with your listing, whether that be marketing, showings, open houses, plans to market, offers, negotiations, closings, moving dates, and any other aspect of getting your home sold; so I expect this from every agent, and you should too. Aside from that, it's important when working with a team who you will have contact with. Is it the team leader? The assistant? One of the associate agents? Make sure you're informed on who to contact and who will contact you, it makes your experience that much more smooth and stress free!
QUESTION #4: When were your comps taken?
The final question in this article is a simple yet informative one. Comps (comparable) are how we as agents calculate what price we should market your home at. It's a decision based 85% on market comps, 10% on experience, and 5% on gut feeling. So, you can see just how important comps are. Be sure to ask if the comps are up to date and relevant to your home ( i.e. date of listing, date sold, number of rooms, square footage, lot size, year built, etc). This should ensure that your home is not only competitive in the market, but hopefully has an upper hand. A final word of advice for all sellers, if the market dictates a certain price, that's generally the price you should stick to. Over pricing your home by a big margin will only impact your listing in a negative way. Remember, we are in the business of selling homes, not listing them!
Those are just 4 simple questions to ask your listing agent to ensure you, your family, and your home get the work and value that it deserves. There is also a ton more great content on buyers, sellers, renovations, tips and tricks and market updates so be sure to read more! Aside from that, thank you for checking out this article and I sincerely hope you received some value out of it. If you're looking to sell or buy anywhere in the Lower Mainland you can contact me anytime, I'd love to have the opportunity to work with you. Talk soon!
- Ali Kaya