12 Questions to Ask an Agent/Broker Before You List
ROSSI’s 42 Years Experience
Additional Questions following these 12, as suggested by our readers.
1 How is your real estate business capitalized?
Marketing is expensive – training is expensive – running a business is expensive. You don’t want to hire an agent/broker/real estate company that is under capitalized.
Great comment from CaraLynn Downing Telford – Pretty good. ..however I don’t think my clients need to know how my business is capitalized!
CaraLynn – Thank you for your comments and bringing attention to this important detail. I put this question in first position because it will only be asked if you and your company are unknown. Sellers don’t want your profit and loss statement, they simply want to know you’ll be there tomorrow.
Here is the best answer I’ve heard, “That’s an excellent question as I’m sure you want to know that the company you choose is successful and solvent. My business is fully capitalized through (your number) years of success and backed by my broker whose company has served the community for over (?) years.”
2 How many names are in your contact management system and how often are they contacted?
Yes, real estate data is important. Company files, personal files, and the MLS are full of important, useable, data. But what about people? You know, those who buy and sell real estate. Top agents compile a running database of those interested in buying or selling real estate.
3 What percentage of your business is listing… sales?
While most work with both, many agent/brokers today specialize in listing or selling.
4 What is your percentage of list to sell price?
Some associates, simply wanting to have a sign in someone’s yard, will take any listing at any price thus resulting in low list to sell price. You’re looking for the professional who doesn’t have time to play games.
5 What is your & the area’s average days on the market?
While market conditions often dictate how long homes will sit on the market, you want to know that the agent you choose knows their stats.
6 What is your percentage of listings taken to sold and closed?
7 What percentage of your listings do you sell yourself?
It is great, as a listing agent, to sell your own listing; however, this happens less than you would expect – on average about 10% of the time. If someone promises more, I would question it.
8 What percentage of your listings expire and why?
The number one reason listings expire is they are overpriced (discussed in #4 above). There are many other reasons like; seller makes it difficult to show, unruly animals, unkempt property in poor condition, and poor marketing.
9 What is the current market ‘absorption rate’ for my property?
10 What’s your ‘compelling point of difference’ and how will that convince me to do business with you and your company?
In my book, Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa, 9 Secrets To Put The Bite Into Your Marketing, I have a complete Chapter titled Dare to be Unique and You Don’t Have to Compete. As in most jobs, everyone just follows the leader – “Me Too”. You’re looking for the stand out.
11 When will I see a strategic marketing plan for selling my property?
Simply put, the steps the associate and company will do to get your home sold.
12 What is the highest price we can expect and what will we need to do to our property to achieve it?
Michael Roddy, CRS ReMax Houston, TX – Give great additional Questions
The goal is to get your home sold for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, with the least inconvenience to you. The professional will be able to demonstrate how they arrived at the price point and what you’ll have to do to bring your property to the top of the market.
Great questions and information. A few additional questions that I have on the comparison sheet given to seller’s to ask of prospective listing agents is: 1) Are you a full time agent? 2) How many potential buyer’s do you talk with in a week? 3) How many buyer’s are you currently working with? 4) Do you provide an offer evaluation checklist? A negotiation checklist? A transaction checklist? 5) Do you have a Listing Representation Guarantee? A communication guarantee? 6) What designations have you earned? Do you have a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation (which is performance based)? Some of these may be appropriate to add and some, you may not be comfortable with, however, they work well for me and the REALTOR Criteria Comparison sheet that is presented at every listing presentation.