Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Signing a Listing Agreement
When you’re ready to sell your home, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is who to list it with. You want to be sure that you have chosen the right Realtor, someone who will represent your interests and get the best price for your home.
But how do you know if a Realtor is the right fit for you? In this article, we will explore some of the top traits to look for in a Realtor, a few things to keep an eye out for, and give you a comprehensive list of questions to ask a Realtor before you sign a listing agreement.
What to Look for in a Good Realtor
1. Experience – This is probably the most important trait to look for in a Realtor. You want someone who knows the ins and outs of the real estate market, and who has a proven track record of successful home sales.
2. Local Knowledge – It’s also important to choose a Realtor who knows the local market well. They should be familiar with the neighborhoods where you’re looking to buy or sell, and they should have a good understanding of local market trends.
3. Good Communication Skills – This is key since you’ll be working closely with your Realtor throughout the home buying or selling process. They should be able to clearly communicate their thoughts and ideas, and they should be good at keeping you updated on what’s going on.
4. Honesty – This one is important! You want a Realtor who is honest and upfront with you, is trustworthy, and who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
5. Integrity – Along the same lines as honesty, you want a Realtor with integrity; someone who will do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
6. Negotiation Skills – A good Realtor will be able to negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible price for your home.
7. Access to Resources – A good Realtor will have a network of resources that they can tap into to help you with your home buying or selling needs. This might include everything from home inspectors to loan officers.
8. Persistence – When it comes to selling your home, you want a Realtor who is persistent and who isn’t afraid of a little hard work. They should be willing to go the extra mile to market your home and find the right buyer.
9. A Positive Attitude – This is important since the home buying or selling process can be stressful. You want a Realtor who is positive and upbeat, and who will help you stay focused on your goals.
10. Good Listening Skills – This is another key trait to look for in a Realtor. They should be good at listening to your needs and wants, and they should be able to understand what you’re looking for in a home.
Red Flags to Look for in a Realtor
Now that we’ve gone over some of the top traits to look for in a Realtor, let’s explore a few things to keep an eye out for. These are red flags that should make you think twice about working with a particular Realtor.
1. Pressure to Sign – You should never feel pressured to sign a listing agreement with a Realtor. If they are pressuring you to sign, it’s probably because they aren’t confident in their ability to sell your home.
2. Lack of Communication – As we mentioned before, communication is key in the relationship between you and your Realtor. If they are not returning your calls or emails in a timely manner, it’s a red flag that they might not be the best person to work with.
3. Promises They Can’t Keep – Be wary of Realtors who make promises they can’t keep. For example, if they tell you they will sell your home in X number of days, but then it doesn’t happen, it’s a sign that they might not be as competent as they claim to be.
4. Pushy Sales Tactics – You should never feel like you’re being sold to by your Realtor. If they are constantly trying to upsell you on things or pressure you into making a decision, it’s not a good sign.
5. Lack of Professionalism – This one is pretty self-explanatory. If a Realtor is not acting professional, it’s a sign that they might not be the best person to work with.
6. Secretive – A good Realtor will be open and transparent with you about their business practices. While they are under certain obligations for how they divulge information, if they are being secretive or evasive when you ask them questions, it’s a sign that they might not have your best interests at heart.
7. Inexperienced – Experience is important when it comes to choosing a Realtor. You want someone who has been in the business for a while and who knows what they are doing.
8. Poor Reviews – Checking online reviews is a great way to get an idea of what others have thought about working with a particular Realtor. If you see a lot of negative reviews, it’s probably not a good idea to work with that person.
9. High Turnover Rate – A high turnover rate is usually a sign that something is wrong. If a Realtor has had a lot of clients come and go, it’s probably because they were not happy with the service they received.
10. They are Hard to Get a Hold Of – As we mentioned before, communication is key in the relationship between you and your Realtor. If they are hard to get a hold of, it’s probably because they are not very organized or efficient.
How Do You Interview a Realtor When Selling?
Interviewing a Realtor prior to signing a listing agreement can help you find out more about the agent, their expertise, and whether you’ll make a good team. To help you learn more about a potential Realtor, we’ve put together a list of questions you can ask them:
1. How long have you been in the business?
2. How many homes have you sold in the past year?
3. What is your marketing strategy?
4. How do you plan on communicating with me during the process?
5. What are your thoughts on home staging?
6. How do you handle negotiations?
7. What is your commission structure?
8. Do you have any past clients I can speak with?
9. What do you think is the most important factor in selling a home?
10. What are your thoughts on open houses?
11. How long have you worked in this neighborhood?
12. What is your list-to-sell ratio?
13. What do you think is the biggest challenge in selling my home?
14. What do you think is the best way to prepare my home for sale?
15. What are your thoughts on pricing my home?
16. Do you have any buyer’s agents working with you?
17. What do you think is the most important thing I should do to sell my home?
18. What are your thoughts on selling my home as-is?
19. What are your thoughts on using a real estate agent?
20. What do you think is the best way to find a real estate agent?
21. How do calculate the listing price?
22. What are your thoughts on home inspections?
23. What do you think is the best way to handle repair requests from buyers?
24. What are you going to do to market my home?
25. How often will you provide me with updates on the sale of my home?
26. Have you ever sold a home like mine before?
27. What were the average days on market for your recent listings?
28. How do you plan on following up with potential buyers?
29. What is your policy on working with out-of-state buyers?
30. Are you familiar with the home buying process for VA or FHA loans?
31. Do you have any experience with selling historic homes?
32. What do you think is the best way to market a unique home?
33. Do you have any experience with new construction homes?
34. How do you handle marketing a newly built home?
35. Have you ever sold a fixer-upper?
36. What are your thoughts on selling a home that needs work?
37. What is your policy on showings?
38. How do you plan on handling open houses?
39. What are your thoughts on accepting or rejecting offers?
40. What are your thoughts on counteroffers?
41. Are you comfortable working with buyers who are also represented by an agent?
42. What are your thoughts on working with out-of-town buyers?
43. What do you think is the best way to communicate with sellers?
44. How often will you provide updates on the sale of my home?
45. What is your policy on communication if the sale of my home falls through?
46. What do you think is the best way to prepare my home for sale?
47. Will I be working directly with you or your associate?
48. How long should I expect the process to take?
49. What is the state of the current local real estate market?
50. Do you have any advice on how to sell my home in a slow market?
These questions should help you get a better idea of what it would be like to work with a particular Realtor. If you don’t feel comfortable with their answers, it’s probably not a good idea to work with them.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right Realtor can make a big difference in how quickly and easily your home sells. Be sure to interview several agents before making a decision, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.
To help ease the process of finding a great listing agent near you, FastExpert curates a list of the top-performing agents in your area. We also provide you with reviews from recent clients to give you an idea of what it would be like to work with them.
If you’re ready to get started, enter your zip code below to see a list of local real estate agents. From there, you can compare reviews, current sales of homes in your area, and more to find the perfect agent for your needs.