6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Property

6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Property

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?

Once you decide to sell your home, you have to figure out a listing price that will garner interest and net a solid return on investment. One of the first questions you will likely ask your agent is how much they think you can sell your home for, but the most important follow-up question is how did they arrive at that number. A price that’s too low may make the house fly off the market, but you will be leaving money on the table. On the other hand, listing a price that’s too high will discourage buyers.

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?

Photo courtesy of Marie Babin Team

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?

The condition of your house can have a serious effect on how quickly you sell and the offers you get. However, it’s easy to spend time and money on things that actually don’t matter much to the buyer in the end. The goal is to invest the least amount of money possible on things that will result in the highest return on the sales price.

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?

Effective marketing is the key to higher demand and a higher selling price. Your real estate agent should have a clear and defined marketing strategy for selling your home, and it shouldn’t just be to get the listing online. Instead, ensure that your agent has a game plan for staging the house and getting professional photos taken.

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?

If you’ve ever noticed a home go back on the market after pending, it’s usually because the buyer backed out. Either they couldn’t get financing, or they changed their mind during the inspection contingency period. You should ensure that your real estate agent is going to try to prevent this from happening. The best way the agent can vet the buyer is by requiring a pre-approval letter with the offer. Not only will this information ensure that the buyer will be financially qualified, but it can also help the agent negotiate the selling price.

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.

Are you looking to sell your home?

Your Destin real estate agent should treat your sale like it’s their own. Asking them important questions during your first meeting will show you how much they care and whether they are qualified and if their communication style matches your own. If you’re ready to work with a top-tier team on the Emerald Coast, reach out to the Marie Babin Team to start the selling process.

*Header photo courtesy of Marie Babin Team

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