20 Questions To Ask When Interviewing A Realtor
1. Do you use a professional photographer?
Great photos are what stop buyers in their tracks online and make them look at your home. I don't care how great of a camera an agent’s cell phone has, nothing beats the eye of a professional photographer!
2. Will my home have a high quality virtual tour? Can you show me an example?
A high quality immersive virtual tour will make buyers spend even more time looking at your home. The longer they look, the better chance they will want to see it in person and make an offer!
3. Do you have an enhanced presence on Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia?
This is where most buyers start their search. Without an enhanced presence your home will be at the bottom of the list of available homes in the area. Buyers with questions about your home will be directed to other Realtors that might not have ever stepped foot in your home instead of the agent you hired!
4. How are you going to market my home?
Key words- My home. Not yourself or other homes. The way a $50,000 home is marketed to is completely different than a $500,000 home. They should have a specific marketing plan for your home, not just sticking a sign out front and hoping it sells. You are paying a large amount of money for them to market YOUR home. Ask them how they are going to spend that money marketing your home. There are a ton of Realtors that brag about huge advertising budgets. 9x's out of 10 those budgets are usually spent on marketing themselves. A giant billboard with your agent's face on it is not going to sell your particular house.
5. Are we going to deal with you or someone on your team?
There are a lot of large teams in the industry where you might never even speak to the listing agent. They have a less experienced agent from their team or an assistant handle pricing, marketing, and negotiating offers on your home. A rookie mistake in any of these fields could cost you big time! For example, I had a client interview an agent from a big name team to list their home. He sent someone from his team to meet with them. They told the client the most they could sell their home for was $79,000.00. We listed it for $115,000.00 and sold it for $113,600.00. That could have been a $35,000.00 mistake!
6. Are you going to pay for staging my home?
Staging is a key ingredient to selling a home. The way you live in a home and the way you sell a home are 2 different things. Not staging your home correctly could cost you $1000's. The home should be staged for photos and flow. Pictures with a bunch of clutter or rooms filled to the brim with furniture can turn off a potential buyer in an instant! When you list with us, staging is included at no charge to you as a seller.
7. What is you average list price vs. sale price ratio?
Pricing your home right when it hits the market is extremely important. Too low and you could leave money on the table. Too high and buyers will look right past your home and buy your neighbor’s that is priced correctly.
8. Will you remain a Seller’s agent throughout on all offers?
You are hiring your Realtor to represent you and your best interest in selling your home. Some agents will ask to switch from a Seller’s agent to a Dual agent if they bring an interested buyer to your home. By law dual agents are not allowed to give their opinion, advice, or guidance to any parties involved in a transaction. You’re paying a ton of money to be represented by a professional to look out for your best interest. Why in the world would you give up the representation you are paying for?
9. How many homes have you personally sold as a Listing Agent in the last two years?
A typical agent specializing in the listing side usually will list at least 30 homes a year. If the answer is less than 12 you need to find out why.
10. How much money will you spend marketing my home?
There is a vast difference between what an agent will spend marketing themselves and their brand vs. what they are willing to spend to market your home. What is the direct amount to be spent on selling your home in their custom marketing plan? A good Realtor will typically spend about 1% of the anticipated commission marketing the home.
11. What demographic will buy my home and how will you find those buyers?
They should be able to tell you the type of person, income level, and stage of life that would be most interested in your home.
12. Can I contact some of your past clients or where can I go to see reviews from them?
There is no better way to get a feel for how good someone does their job than talking to their past clients. If you are going to look at reviews online don’t go the the agent’s website. Go to places like Google, Facebook, or Zillow where the agent can’t delete any bad reviews they receive. Don’t let one bad review scare you away from using an agent but several should indicate you might want to go with someone else.
13. How many days on market is the average for my type of home in my town?
A great agent should know this number. It is a good gauge as to how long you should expect your home to be on the market if it is priced properly.
14. What mediums will you use to market my home?
The answer should be a combination of traditional, print, social media and internet and then each explained. This is their chance to show you that they are truly a marketing expert.
15. Do you have a personal website where my listing will be showcased?
If they don’t have money to have a robust personal website how are they going to have the money to properly market your home?
16. What can I do to make my home worth more without spending a lot of money?
Any Realtor worth hiring will be an expert in how to get the absolute most money for your home and know what repairs or updates will get you the maximum return when you sell.
17. Will you list my home for discounted commission?
The answer to this to this question is no. Discounting the amount of commission the Realtor will receive will cut out the marketing dollars they have to properly market your home and offer to other agents with potential buyers. A lot of Sellers make the mistake of going with an agent that they were able to negotiate a discounted commission from when they met them. Real Estate Agents are the professionals you are paying to negotiate on your behalf. If they will buckle under the pressure of negotiation on commission,what do you think they are going to do when they are negotiating the price and terms on your home?
18. What type of Social Media presence do you have? Do you have a professional Facebook page? Instagram? Twitter?
Social media is the new and hottest platform being used to market homes. The newest studies show people are on Facebook an average of 4 hours a day. If the agent doesn’t have a robust Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page with tons of content and followers that they are marketing their listings to then they are missing out on the potential to showcase your home to 1000’s of potential buyers.
We Use Facebook LIVE To Showcase Homes
Last month, Dwellings reached 628,657 potential buyers on Facebook alone promoting our clients' homes!
19. What is the minimum amount of days that I can be under contract with you?
This can vary by broker, but 60 is the typical minimum. Never sign longer than 90 days with any listing agent. That way you can evaluate what they are doing to market your home and decide if you want to extend the listing with them.
20. Why should I use you vs. _____________________?
This is their time to shine and convince you why the are the best Realtor for the job. They should be able to convey what sets them apart from everyone else.