9 important questions to ask a prospective real estate listing broker

It’s that time of year in which people are scurrying about handling holiday parties and buying gifts, but it’s also a time when people are considering changes in their lives. Including, a possible move, which could lead to the need to sell a home. Lots of clients we speak to each year start this thinking mode process in about Sept or October but they want to get through the holidays before making a change… because as we all know, other than public speaking, for most Americans – we hate to move.

When you’re ready to take that plunge and you start interviewing agents – and we always recommend you try to interview at least 3, because studies have shown that most people hire the 1st agent they talk to, but the satisfaction rates don’t always match up. So, in the vein of wanting to give anyone who reads this the “gift of knowledge” we provide for you 9 major questions you should include in any interview with a real estate listing broker, no matter what marketplace you live in these are pretty universal questions that should get very telling responses from the person being questioned. They’ll help you be prepared too about your own expectations, because what we’ve also found in our more than a decade each of experience here in Team Reba is that most people don’t realize selling a home is MORE stressful than buying a home. We want to make it easier on you… so, here goes!

 9+ questions you can use to qualify and interview your prospective listing agent.
1. What methods of advertising do you use, and why? Can you tell me which will likely be the most effective? How comfortable are you using Internet advertising methods?

2. Do you think my home will need prep work or staging to get it ready for market? What types of things do you typically suggest for sellers and why?  Do you have resources to help me with any preparations?

3. What is the typical timeline for selling a home that you have represented and how does that compare to the local marketplace? What percentage of selling price do you typically get compared to list price?

4. Do you offer any particular programs or services for each home that you sell such as a home warranty, professional photos, etc? Does your fee determine whether additional services are included or not?

5. If you don’t provide these additional professional services yourself – do you at least have companies you can refer me to that may help me prepare my home more effectively?

6. Are there any special considerations I should have while selling my home such as security, prep for showings, how to handle children or pets, etc?

7. How often will you communicate with me about the sale of my home? What kinds of reports or updates can I expect, and how frequently will these happen?

8. Will I get a chance to review and approve any of your advertising or marketing materials such as the flyer, MLS ad, or otherwise? If not, why? If I am not satisfied with a piece, will you work with me till I am?

9. How will you determine the price that should be advertised for my home? Will you include me in those pricing decisions and explain to me any reasoning for a price above or below my own estimate? Will you guide me through the offer review process ahead of time so I’m not overwhelmed when an offer(s) comes in?

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive but it will definitely open up a lot of good (or what should be good) conversation between you and the agent you are interviewing. If the agent is unable to respond to any of these questions then you should seriously reconsider whether or not you will use him/her regardless of if it is a “family friend” or otherwise. In today’s marketplace it is important that you make the right choice the first time, if you can. The buying public is much more sophisticated today than even 10 years ago because of the Internet and because of the onslaught of home focused television shows and channels like HGTV.

Use these tips and you’ll have a better experience in your home sale and you’ll also have a much more marketable home to offer.

If you’d like to attend one of our upcoming seminars about selling a home in today’s market – put January 18th, 2014 on your calendar as we’ll be offering our popular “No Fluff Seller’s Class” from 10am to Noon at our RE/MAX office in Seattle. Located at: RE/MAX Metro Realty – 2312 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

Thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS and let’s welcome 2014 with a BANG!!!!

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Reba Haas

I've been a real estate agent in the Puget Sound region since 2003 and came to the industry with a background in sales in the tech sector. I'd been interested in real estate for a long time and my mom also happens to be a 25+year veteran agent in Kansas. I didn't grow up around the industry but I have definitely taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, in my own area with some pretty positive results. I've got a great team of people working with me. There is tremendous power in a team and it helps to have different perspectives at times when it comes to running a business. All in all, we make a great team! We hope you'll get a chance some day to utilize our varied and excellent skill sets in a future real estate transaction. But, even if we never get to meet you, we hope you'll enjoy and appreciate the information we have to offer here.

1 Response

  1. November 16, 2014

    Can I tell a realtor to set the price for a house that will be in the market, or is the realtor supposed to decide?

    Real estate brokers (we’re not all REALTOR members) are not allowed to make the decisions for clients, BUT, you should have a consultative relationship with the person you’re hiring. Meaning, unless you have extensive real estate experience, it’s wo…

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