Whether you’re interviewing listing agents, meeting with your listing agent for the first time, or following up with your agent after listing your home, there are some definite points that you should go over so that you can learn what to expect as a seller in your local real estate market. I’ve included some questions that you should ask before you list your home. If you’ve already listed your home, it’s not too late to ask these questions! Your real estate agent has hopefully already answered most of these questions. But, if he or she hasn’t, these topics will play a big role in selling your home in the coming weeks.
1) How long is it taking to sell a home in my market? (In other words, what is the DOM, or Days on Market, for the homes that have sold?)
2) What is the ratio of homes that have sold compared to the homes that have been listed? In other words, what is your home’s chance of selling if you list it? Keep in mind that a lot of homes are listed but don’t actually sell.
3) What are homes selling for versus the price they are being listed for? Your agent should be able to tell you a percentage difference for the asking price compared with the final sales price of homes in your area. Depending on where you live, this percentage difference can be a small amount or a considerable amount. This question is important because it leads to the next question.
4) What should I list my home for? This amount will partly depend on how much you owe on the mortgage, among other things. But, your agent should be able to do a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis) to show what comparable homes in your area are listing for – and selling for. Be sure to give your asking price some negotiating room. In this market, buyers are insulted if they’re not able to negotiate a good bit of money off the asking price, since buyers are really wanting to take advantage of market trends and “get a good deal”!
5) What services can you and your company provide me in order to give my home exposure to buyers? Your agent should be able to provide you with a list of services offered. These usually include newspaper or television ads, which generally don’t promote much of a response from buyers. So, be sure this list also includes internet sources, such as websites that receive good traffic from home buyers. The internet is becoming the most effective way to market homes, since 8 out of 10 home buyers start their home search online. This question is going to prompt a lot of other questions, so be sure to spend time on this topic with your listing agent.
6) Is there anything I need to do before we list the home? Your agent may recommend steam cleaning the carpet or doing some yard work. Unless your home is brand new, there will probably be a few things you need to do in order to spruce up your home and get it ready for showings.