Selling your house is a significant life decision––even more so than buying because, if you’re moving out, chances are you’re also moving in to someplace new, meaning you will have to deal with the challenges of home buying, too. Don’t let these major financial events overwhelm you.
An excellent real estate agent is essential to your home selling experience. They provide industry knowledge and insight, in addition to hands-on experience and the necessary negotiating skills that come in handy when it’s time to work with potential buyers. No matter where you are on the home selling journey, it’s never too early to enlist the help of a real estate agent. The earlier, the better, because a good agent can set you in the right direction––especially if you are selling for the first time. Here are some essential questions that you should ask potential real estate agents before as you think about selling your house.
How many sales did you close last year?
A real estate agent’s reputation doesn’t guarantee a quick sale. Still, their experience with previous buyers and sellers provides some assurance that they are, in fact, professionals who know what they’re doing when selling your home. Ask potential agents about how many clients they’ve had in the past six months and try to establish the general price range of the homes they have sold.
When is the best time to put my house on the market?
If you happen to have the luxury of selling according to your schedule (for example, you’re not being pushed to sell your home to take a new job in another state or country), you should be using the time to do some research. And the best way to do so is with your agent’s help. Ask them to share a comprehensive selling/buying schedule based on your location. Springtime is, typically, the most popular time to put a house on the market––but that might not be the case in your neighborhood.
How do you arrive at the listing price?
There are few questions that a seller wants to know more than how much they can get for the sale of their property. If the number your agent puts forth to you is priced too high, your home will likely sit around on the market for too long, scaring off potential buyers. Alternatively, if the price is too low, you may find yourself missing out on a sizable payout (or, on the plus side, it could trigger a bidding war with buyers).
Always make sure that your agent is knowledgeable about the local market and what other similar-sized homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for. Making sure will help you both to arrive at a reasonable, agreed-upon listing price.
How do you intend to sell my house?
A great real estate agent will have a comprehensive and effective sales plan in place once you’ve taken them on to represent the selling of your property. And it’s perfectly reasonable to ask what that plan looks like. You’ll work together with your agent over the weeks (and possibly months) of the selling journey, so be sure to have plenty of questions ready. What are their advertising strategies? Do they have a large social media following with which they can share your listing? Do they work on weekends? These are the sort of questions you can use to gauge how proactive your agent is at getting the job done.
Can you help with the staging of my house?
To make the best possible impression on buyers, you should present the best version of your home. And while your real estate agent is not necessarily a home staging expert, a great one should be able to suggest improvements to areas that need help. If they don’t have the answers, they should know of a reliable, professional stager who does. Always expect a confident and competent agent to provide you with workable skills to increase your home’s salability.
How much will it cost to sell my house?
If you’re selling your home to move into a bigger, more expensive home, chances are your budget will be stretched to the max anyway, so you’ll want to ensure that all of your post-sale costs are kept low. Ask your real estate agent plenty of questions about the inevitable fees––broker’s commission, closing costs. Find out what those numbers mean for your bottom line. And if they come in too high, you might want to consider doing some comparison shopping.