The 10 most important questions to ask when interviewing a listing agent
Finding a realtor who gives you the best return on investment is imperative. Your collaboration with the listing agent could last for weeks or even months (gulp). So finding someone you can trust is important.
By asking the right questions, you can position yourself to make one of the most important financial transactions in your life: selling your home at a price you deserve.
Bonnie Fleishman, a top-rated real estate agent, reaffirms this fact in an interview with HomeLight. “Use somebody you feel confident is going to give you the best advice,” she said.
Wondering how you’ll be able to tell? Here are 10 must-ask interview questions:
1. Can you share your list-to-price ratio?
Depending on the location and market, look for an agent with a higher than 90% list-to-price ratio. Make sure that the agent is not using dubious strategies such as underpricing to improve the ratio and ask follow-up questions to understand their motivation behind the listing price.
2. Are you a full-time or part-time listing agent?
Ask a potential realtor how many homes they’ve sold in the past year and how long they’ve been in business. Not being able to seal a deal in the past several months should be a red flag; either they’re doing this part-time or simply aren’t competent at the job.
3. What’s your marketing strategy to sell houses?
Putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign isn’t enough to get buyers through the door. Ideally, listing agents should have multiple marketing techniques in their arsenal, including advertising, the MLS listing, social media marketing, and open house hosting, among others.
4. Can you point out some of my home’s drawbacks?
If a candidate is honest, they’ll be able to point out some credible flaws as well as solutions to fix them. For example, they may recommend on-trend remodeling tips to make your kitchen more attractive and accessible for potential buyers.
5. When did you sell the last four homes?
This follows the full-time/part-time question. By analyzing an agent’s recent sales history, you can determine whether you’re dealing with an active real estate agent. You should, however, consider if a sluggish market has slowed sales (certainly not the case in 2021).
6. Will you provide at least three references?
You always need to ask for references! After all, this is an interview, and you can’t just rely on online reviews (which can technically be forged). Again, requesting the last three to five references should help you to find the right person to sell your home.
7. Do you represent buyers or sellers?
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a real estate agent who has more experience working with buyers. Someone with extensive experience listing houses would be a win-win.
8. Are there other service professionals you’d recommend in your network?
Hiring a real estate agent has its perks. You get access to their wide network of other professionals, such as landscapers, painters, electricians, engineers, movers, attorneys, and more. An active agent is often connected with professionals in complementary fields.
9. Who will be returning my messages or calls when I contact you?
Aside from unexpected circumstances, it shouldn’t take days or even hours for you to receive a response. If your potential agent has a small team, make sure you establish a point of contact. Should the agent be busy with a family event, seminar, or trip, they ought to notify you in advance.
10. How much do you charge?
This is when you inquire about the candidate’s commission rate. If they’re willing, you can negotiate the charges. However, you’re paying for their expertise and professional experience, so save this question for the end and make sure you understand all the services you’ll be receiving.
Hire a good listing agent by asking these questions, and you’ll end up with an advisor, business partner, therapist, and possibly even a friend—someone who will help you to secure the best ROI for the biggest investment of your life.