Questions To Ask Every Listing Realtor

The task of selling a home in Colorado Springs can be daunting. In a hot market many Sellers find the ability to sell a home themselves. Use of a real estate agent can simplify the task but every Seller should interview 2 or 3 agents before making a decision of who should sell their home. Here is a list of interview questions you can use when selecting a real estate agent to sell your home.

What Is Your Experience?

How long have you been in business as a full time agent? You should expect at least 3 years in full time occupation.

Ask the agent where they rank in their local board. The MLS produces a ranking report. If the agent does not provide one, be suspicious. You do not want an agent who ranks in the bottom 75% of the rankings, because they probably lack motivation and experience. If they do not know the ranking list exist, they are inexperienced!

Remember that the highest producing agents are really teams of agents. Most of the large teams require that all transactions be closed in one name, in order to make the results look better. To find the true results, ask how many people work on their team. Count all of the administrators as well. Divide the sales results by the number of members on the team. 100 sales, and 10 team members means only 10 sales per member. Also keep in mind that you may have trouble contacting the real team leader, and things may be dropped through the cracks with the other team members in larger teams.

Small teams and individuals within the top 25% of agents, will yield you the most personal experience.

What Is Your Average List-to-Sales-Price Ratio?

This statistic may no be accurate but listen to the answer. Listen to what is said and what is not said. You really need to ask the question: what is the Average Original List price to Sale Price. Many agents will tell you they will get a very high price. This makes them sound like they will get you them most money. These agents will quote a high number in order to get the listing. Then when you become worn down and the sale does not come, the agent will convince to lower to price for the sale. There are also agents who will convince you list for a lower price so their statistics look good.

Be aware, in a hot market, the ratio will almost always be above 100%. So keep in mind, many times the figure in itself has little meaning.

How Will You Market My Home  

Do you offer professional photography? Video? Aerial photos? As a seller, you will want your agent to advertise on a weekly basis. Although the MLS draws in more than 90% of all potential buyers, your agent should find creative ways to bring others in. This includes open houses, directional signs, and advertising outside of the MLS. Since almost all buyers begin their search on the internet, professional photos, video's and aerial photos are very important. You want the buyer to want to see your home first.

As a seller, you also want your home to rank high on a Google search. Internet users migrate to information which does not require registration to view the info. Will your agent offer a web address on the sign which advertises your home? Is the address registration free? Forcing registration will force potential candidates away.

Do You Have References?

You might find references on an agent's Web site. Every agent should have a list of clients whom you can call and get direct references. Always keep in mind, an agent will not be providing references where the client is unhappy.

How Available Are You?

An agent should routinely answer their phone when you call. If not, they should return your call quickly. They should also be available on your time schedule, not theirs. Try calling the agent after hours and see if they answer or return your call quick. This is a great test without having to ask the question.

What Things That Make You Different From Other Agents

Examples can range from marketing to knowledge. Acceptable answers are:

•Strong repeat record of satisfied customers
• Extensive online marketing
• Availability
• Professional photography
• Strong negotiation strategies
• Assertive (doesn't take "no" for an answer)
• Strong communicator
• Good listener
• Strong communicator

What is important to you and why that is important to them.

Review the Documents and Check the Fees

As a potential client, ask to see a sample listing or purchase agreement and ask the agent to point out your cancellation rights in this document. If the agent hesitates to explain the purchase agreement to you, hire another agent. A confident agent will not lock you into a long contract or hold you over after the contract cancels or ends. Does the agent offer a "fire us at any time" clause? If the agent wants to lock you in, go elsewhere. Some agents will try to give you some explanation for their reasoning but the fact is, you should not have to work with somebody you do not like.

Also see if there are hidden fees like a $300-$500 administrative fee (additional profit.) Many larger office agents have high overhead to the Brokerage and pass these expenses back to you. Why pay them? Many big name brokerages charge the agent a 10% franchise fee, a 0%-20% transaction fee, a monthly desk fee, and an office rental fee. Who do you think ends up paying for all of these fees? If you think it is you, you are right!

Ask the agent how much he or she charges. Many agents are willing to discount. Most larger offices do not allow their agents to accept lower commissions. Remember a fair days work should result in fair compensation, but some fees are just too high.

In short, many times the fees are negotiable.

Affiliation with Related Professionals 

All agents build teams of professionals, from title companies to escrow officers to mortgage lenders, home inspectors and appraisers. Ask if the agent's company is receiving any compensation for a referral. Many larger brokerages have an in house title company who pays the brokerage a cut on the closing. If so, you might want to choose another real estate professional. Agents are required to disclose this information. The alarming answer to this question is when you see a form titled "Affiliated Business Disclosure".

Does the Agent Understand Your Goals?

Remember, the agent should be working for you. Not the other way around. If the agent is asking you to do some of their work, run! You might ask the agent to reiterate your goals and objectives. If the agent does not appear to have a thorough understanding of what you want, despite your attempts to explain what you want, then hire somebody else. Some agents do not listen very well. You want an agent who will listen to you and communicate with you. The best way to find out if the agent comprehends your desires is to ask the agent to repeat it back to you.

What Is Your Education Level

Agents perform many of the legal aspects of real estate at a similar level as attorneys. An agent should have some law experience. There are many industry certifications such as GRI, MRP, ABR, CRS and more. These certifications can help an agent better understand the law. The agent should also have some college level law courses to also understand the underlying law. Many agents rely on their broker to give them this information. Does your agent have any understanding of the law?


What are the negatives of my home?

Don't expect sunshine here. If you get it, run. A good agent will honestly tell you what negative feedback you might consistently get. (The street behind your home is too busy, you need have your carpet professionally cleaned, etc.) Many times an experienced agent will also tell you that the market will allow grace for a specific issue and to disregard the issue.

How Will You Keep Me Informed of the Showing Progress?

Good agents will have a showing company which will schedule your home showings and garner feedback from the showing agents, then pass this information back to you. Many smaller agents answer the phone themselves or only offer showings to be set during business hours when their office is open. Look for an agent who thinks more globally. If a buyer's agent cannot set a showing because they cannot contact the listing agent's office, the Buyer may not see your home before offering on another home.

There are many more issues to consider. Remember, it matters who you choose. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the listing of your home.



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