Choosing a reliable and knowledgeable Real Estate agent can mean the difference between selling your home quickly for a high price and your home sitting on the market for months. Asking your agent a few questions will help you determine if they are the right person to help you with selling and make the process less stressful. After all, you are trusting them with one of the most complex financial decisions in your life, and you definitely want to make a strong return on investment.
Before hiring an agent based on the recommendations from friends or a review website, sit down with your agent and ask them these six questions to ensure you have an expert on your side.
1. How do you decide on the suggested listing price?
Your real estate agent should be able to justify their suggested price with a comparative market analysis of Destin real estate. By comparing your home with others nearby that have sold recently, you and your agent can determine an accurate and competitive selling price. Not only is it important for you to know that you have a realistic asking price, but your agent will also be able to use the justification when negotiating with buyers.
2. Have you sold homes like mine before?
You want to work with an agent who has sold homes similar to yours and in the same area or neighborhood. Although anyone can find out almost everything they want to know about a community online, an agent with experience in local real estate will know the selling points much better and be able to justify a higher price to buyers. After all, their specialized knowledge of the local market is why you want to hire an agent in the first place.
However, even if your agent is new to your neighborhood, they can still show you that they’ve done the work to get the information they need. This includes networking with other agents in the area who have listed homes for sale.
3. What do I need to do to get my home ready?
Whether it’s repainting the walls, replacing the shutters, or sprucing up the landscaping, there are some home improvements that won’t make a difference to the sale price and others that can increase it quite a bit. Your real estate agent will know what buyers expect to see in your area, so they can advise you about what will make the biggest return on investment.
4. What is your marketing strategy?
Staging enables potential buyers to visualize what their future home might look like, and it also prepares the house for higher-quality photos that will get more interest online. Some agents will put the listing in the local newspaper among other homes for sale, and you should find out whether this is included in their fee or if you need to pay out of pocket.
Another way to understand their marketing strategy is to look at the materials they used for previous sales. Ask the agent to share examples with you from their portfolio. Understanding the marketing strategy will show you that the agent is well-versed in getting homes seen and sold and doing everything they can to sell your home quickly and for a high price.
5. How will you vet the buyer?
As for the inspection contingency period, there are ways you and your agent can set up your sale for success. Start by having a pre-listing inspection done before selling, and then make sure the buyer understands the information in the inspection report.
6. How will you communicate with me?
The process of selling a home isn’t always smooth, so having an agent who stays in contact with you and isn't afraid to have difficult discussions will make the whole undertaking easier. Whether you talk with your agent over the phone, text, or email, ask them how often you should expect to hear from them. A good agent will help you stay informed throughout the whole process.
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*Header photo courtesy of Marie Babin Team