Agent Advice: 10 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling a Home


|6 min read

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How do you know what questions to ask a Realtor when you want to sell your home?

Choosing the right real estate agent is crucial for a successful and stress-free experience when selling your home. To ensure you find the perfect match, it’s essential to ask the right questions during the interview process. Remember, this is YOUR selling experience, and it should be tailored to your individual needs.

Let’s dive into the 10 questions to ask Realtors when selling a home.

1. What services do you offer?

It’s essential to understand the range of services an agent provides. Ask about their expertise in staging, marketing strategies, and other promotional efforts. Additionally, inquire about professional photography or video tours, website development, virtual tours, and open houses.

A comprehensive marketing plan will help attract potential buyers and increase your property’s visibility. Remember 97% of homebuyers start their search online, so having a strong digital presence is key to attracting the most buyers. This opens you up to a multiple-offer situation, often selling for a higher purchase price!

>>LEARN: The Best (and Worst) Time to Sell Your Home

2. How will you add value to my home?

One of the key questions to ask a Realtor when selling a home is what value they bring to the home sale.

A savvy agent should have a clear strategy to enhance the value of your property. Inquire about their insights on home improvements, staging tips, or recommendations to maximize your property’s appeal. Their knowledge and experience can help you make informed decisions that lead to a higher selling price.

Often sellers worry about spending money on the front end, which is completely understandable! It’s reasonable to be concerned about putting money into a home that you’re leaving and to be mindful of your budget.

Ask your agent if they have a program to front renovation costs. Sellers have the potential to earn a 20% return on investment. That’s money that you would be leaving on the table if you didn’t utilize the program.

In addition, staging a home is a critical element of a home sale. According to a recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 81% of homebuyers say staging helps them visualize the property as their new home.

Lastly, 92% of realtors agree landscaping adds value to a home. The exterior elements of a home provide the first impression for buyers and also for anyone perusing listings online. It’s essential to enhance your curb appeal to draw buyers to your home.

Remember, it’s critical that your realtor is available and that there’s easy access to showing the property.

>>DISCOVER: 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

3. Are you knowledgeable about problem-solving and financing?

A skilled agent should be well-versed in problem-solving and financing options. Ask if they can assist you in navigating any challenges that may arise during the selling process. Additionally, inquire about their familiarity with financing options such as bridge loans, seller/buyer delayed financing, or 1031 exchanges.

Furthermore, their network of partners, such as lenders, tax professionals, contractors, insurance agents, and legal team should be part of their appeal. An agent may not have direct knowledge in these areas, but they should be able to point you in the right direction for needs regarding real estate.

Having a professional with a wide network of partners adds to your success, limits your liability, and gives you peace of mind for wealth planning.

>>MORE: How to sell a house with a mortgage

4. Can you help me with another purchase?

Using the same agent for selling and buying can simplify the complicated process. Discuss your options with the real estate agent. It’s essential to know if your agent can assist you in the purchasing process.

Also, talk about your timeline between the sale of one property and the purchase of the next property. It’s critical, to be honest about your expectations before you sell your home. This can save you money by avoiding a short-term rental.

If you’re able to buy a home before selling, it gives you an opportunity to potentially add value to the home you are in the process of selling. Homes that are vacant, staged, and have updates sell for a higher purchase price. 

A well-connected agent can guide you through the complexities of simultaneous selling and buying. There are ways to secure financing, with getting your property into a contract before it is on the market to leverage the purchase of your next home.

There’s also the option of asking for seller concessions on your next purchase to make the process easier. Buying and selling at the same time is a lot to juggle. Having a competent partner in the process can save you money, time, and stress!

>>LEARN: How to buy and sell a house at the same time.

5. Can you ensure my home/escrow closes on time?

Time is money! Closing on time is crucial to avoid unnecessary complications. Closing times are contingent on several factors – due diligence period, appraisal timing, and loan closing.

A critical question to ask the Realtor when selling is, what is their track record in meeting deadlines and ensuring a smooth closing process? Inquire about their strategies for addressing potential delays and how they plan to keep all parties involved on schedule.

Additionally, be honest about your own availability, and consider ways to cut back on commitments. It is crucial to be available to step out and review documents daily when you are in the home selling or buying process. If you are unable to review documents in a timely manner, you may slow down the sale of your home.

>>DISCOVER: The Ultimate Guide to Closing Costs

6. Can you provide references or testimonials?

Asking for references or testimonials from past clients can provide valuable insight into an agent’s performance and professionalism. Alternatively, platforms, like FastExpert, offer reviews for thousands of agents, making it easy to understand what it’s like to work with that individual.

Hearing about others’ experiences will give you a sense of what to expect and help you make an informed decision. You can also check out the agent’s social media or Google them for more information.

In the process, you may want to reach out to their competitors before making a decision. Interview a minimum of two agents to compare different styles and what the realtor offers. Ask the same questions to each Realtor when selling, and then compare answers.

Choose an agent that can be your partner throughout the transaction. Not only should they be professional and have a strong track record of sales, but it’s also essential that you pick someone you vibe with. You will talk to your realtor often, and the process will be easier and more fun when you feel understood and connect with the Realtor.

>>See Why Clients Love FastExpert Agents<<

7. How will you communicate with me throughout the process?

Open and effective communication is key to a successful agent-client relationship. When questioning the Realtor about selling your home, discuss your preferred communication methods, whether it’s phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings.

Ask how often they will update you on the progress of your property sale and any new developments. Be certain that you are comfortable with the Realtor’s methods and style of communication.

Additionally, your agent should be able to respond quickly and professionally to all parties involved in the real estate transaction. It is essential to communicate directly with other agents and lending partners efficiently and get back to you promptly with any questions you may have.

>>Got Questions? Ask a Licensed Real Estate Agent for Advice

8. What is your experience in this local market?

An agent with extensive knowledge of the local market will have a better understanding of pricing trends, buyer preferences, and market conditions. Inquire about their experience in your specific area to ensure they have the expertise needed to sell your property effectively.

Additionally, work to understand how the realtor negotiates and how the agent will navigate the real estate transaction.

You may want to discuss these questions:

How often are there multiple offers on a home? What is their strategy when there are competing offers? Is the local market a sellers/buyers market? What are some ways they can use this to an advantage when selling your home?

>>LEARN: Estimate the value of your home.

9. What is your fee structure?

Discuss the agent’s commission and any additional fees involved. Remember that all commissions are negotiable, so be open about your expectations and discuss the potential for adjusting the commission based on the services provided.

When discussing the commission rate, keep in mind that the money the agent spends on marketing and other services is taken out of the real estate agent’s commission payment. In addition, the commission payment is split between the realtor and their brokerage.

Moreover, there are costs beyond the services of the real estate agent. It’s essential to understand all of the closing costs associated with the sale of your property. Your agent should be able to clearly explain each of these costs and prepare you for what to expect financially.

>>MORE: What is the average commission in each state?

10. Are you a member of any professional organizations?

Being a member of professional organizations such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) demonstrates an agent’s commitment to upholding ethical standards and continuing education.

This will benefit you with the knowledge that the agent is in line with current laws, and limits your liabilities. Inquire if they are affiliated with any such organizations, as it reflects their dedication to their profession.

You can also ask if they support any local organizations. This is a way to see if they are committed to the community as a whole or get a sense of their values.

>>DISCOVER: How much does it cost to sell a home?

Final Thoughts

Finding the right real estate agent to sell your property is crucial for a successful and stress-free transaction.

By asking these essential questions during the interview process, you can gain valuable insight into an agent’s expertise, services, problem-solving abilities, and commitment to your success.

Remember, it’s important to maintain open communication and discuss all aspects of the selling process, including fees and commissions. With the right agent by your side, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the real estate market and achieve a successful sale. Good luck!

Megan Kilmer Revest Homes, Inc.

Megan Kilmer is a Santa Cruz County local with a passion for housing. Megan has a background in Social Services and is an expert on goal setting and motivation. With a wide network of trusted local resources, she is a problem solver! Need to buy, sell, lease, manage, or finance a real estate project? She's got you!

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