Learn the 12 Most Important Question to Ask a Local Realtor Before You Hire Them.
Ok, so you’ve made the decision to sell your house in Gilbert AZ. Now it’s time to choose a Realtor to help you sell your house. As you can imagine there are many Realtors here in Gilbert, how will you know who is the best? I’ve compiled a list of very important questions that you should ask a potential real estate agent before you hire them.
1. How much do you think my house will sell for?
This is kind of a no-brainer but believe it or not many people don’t even bother to ask this question! Oftentimes people that want to sell their home will just state the price that they think their house is worth and their less than competent Relator will just go with it. This is a huge mistake. You should make your Realtor provide you with a CMA (competitive market analysis). This is a report that will take a variety of factors into account and provide you with an estimated price range for your home. It’s really important to make sure that the Realtor that provides you with this report has seen the interior of your house before they give you the report. Several things can make two similar houses worth vastly different amounts. The last thing that you want to do is hire a lazy real estate agent who just “runs the comps” without actually digging into the details of your property. Remember it’s important to figure out what your house will reasonably sell for. Many less than reputable Realtors will give you a price higher than the market will bear in hopes to get you to sign a listing agreement. They hope that you will jump at the higher price without doing any research. Generally speaking these types of agents will get the listing and then constantly be pestering you to lower the price on your house because the price that they originally gave you is far greater than anyone will pay for your property.
2. Approximately How Long will it Take to Sell My Home.
While no Realtor is a fortune teller they do have insider information about how long homes sit on the market. A good Realtor will provide you with a comprehensive home value report that has a realistic price range. The real estate agent should then help you choose the price that will fit your needs based on how long you want to have your home listed for. Obviously the lower that you list your home for the quicker it will sell. Agents should be able to tell you how long homes in your price range have taken to sell in the past. This should give you a reasonable idea of how much to sell your home for and how long it will take to sell.
3. What Potential Problems do You See Arising With the Sale of My Home?
A good agent will know all of the common issues that cause a real estate transaction to fail. They should be able to quickly outline the most common problems and how to combat them. A great Realtor will give you suggestions on cost effective improvements that you can make to your home to make it sell faster and for more money. Make sure you ask your real estate agent for advice on what to do to minimize any problems that may arise.
4. Are You a Full Time Realtor or Do You Just Work Part Time?
This is one of the most important questions that you can ask a potential Realtor. You would be surprised at just how many real estate agents only work part time. There are many retirees and stay at home moms that know they can make a few extra bucks on the side by getting into real estate. There are other agents who got their license just so they could help out their friends and family but have another job that pays most of their bills. Now, let me ask you a very simple question. Do you want to hire an agent that does real estate as a hobby or do you want to hire an expert that makes a their living off of real estate transactions? Chances are that you chose the latter. It makes sense that you want a professional to represent you in one of the largest financial transactions of your life. Not to say that there aren’t some part time agents that are good at their job but generally speaking a full time agent will be much better and getting your home sold.
5. How Do You Plan to Market my House for Sale in Gilbert?
A Realtor will typically wear many hats but the two skills that a real estate agent must possess to sell your home are marketing and negotiation skills. You would not believe how many bad agents there are out there that have no idea how to market a home. So many Realtors will just show up to your house, snap a couple of pictures on their phone and throw up a quick listing on the MLS. This is fine if you want to sell your home for less than it’s worth and have it sit on the market for a long time. It is a proven fact that well marketed homes sell faster and for more money than their poorly marketed counterparts. A good agent will have a detailed marketing plan for your home. Most great agents will present this marketing plan to you when they come out to see your home and meet with you the first time. If they don’t that by itself is probably a bad sign! Make sure to ask any potential Realtor to outline in writing how they will market your house. Their plan should include multiple points and marketing channels if you want this experience to go smoothly and your home to sell for top dollar.
6. Are You Going to Do An Open House?
Chances are that you have been to an open house yourself, if not I’m sure you have seen them advertised. An open house is a great opportunity to showcase your home to potential buyers. Lazy agents never do open houses. They usually have some lame excuse like, “open houses don’t work” or “it’s not worth the time and hassle”. These are big falsehoods. You want maximum exposure when you are selling your home. Even if the people that come to your open house don’t end up buying it they will probably tell their friends about it and word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing. The other value in an open house is additional advertising. A great Realtor will advertise the open house to try to attract as many potential buyers as possible. This means that significantly more people will know that your home is for sale. Even if they don’t come to your open house, just seeing the open house advertised will often entice a potential buyer to set up a private showing with your Realtor. There really is no downside to doing an open house when you are trying to sell your home. Ask your Realtor if they plan on doing an open house and if they would be willing to do more than one open house if your home doesn’t sell right away.
7. How Much Commission Will You Charge to Sell My House?
All real estate agents work on commission. Most charge a small percentage of the amount that your house sells for. This percentage typically ranges from 5-8%. There are some Realtors that charge a flat fee to sell a home but this is not common and generally speaking is not a good deal for the seller. An agent should disclose to you exactly how much they will take when your home sells. Some of the best agents have a negotiable commission structure where they charge a different percentage based on what services you have them provide. At first glance many sellers want to choose the agent with the lowest commission. Don’t make that costly mistake. You should ask yourself, why is this agent charging less than everyone else. On the flip side when you come across an agent with a higher commission you should again ask yourself why. Typically speaking with all things in life you get what you pay for. If an agent is charging less than everyone else then they are probably going to make less of an effort to sell your home. If an agent is going to charge you a higher commission then they are probably going to work harder for you. Usually the agent that charges the most will be taking on additional costs to market your home – that’s why they charge more. If they are indeed doing extra things to market your house it is reasonable to suspect that your house will sell for more money and sell faster.
8. How Often will You Update Me on My House for Sale?
Surely you have heard horror stories of Realtors that are charming during the listing appointment but then fall of the face of the earth. That is really unfortunate because you know they are not working hard to sell your home. A professional agent will be in contact with you on a regular basis. They should be updating you at least every week on how your home sale is going. Ask them how often they will update you and what information they will provide with each update. You should be looking for a real estate agent that will stay in contact with you through thick and thin. Agents should be providing you with important stats such as number of views you home has received on the MLS and on Zillow as well as any other online venues that they are using to market your property. They should let you know when other homes similar to yours go under contract and inform you of any new competing homes that come on the market. Remember, you are paying your agent good money to sell your home. Do you want to give that money away to someone who isn’t going to work diligently to sell your house? I think not! There are too many lazy agents out there that neglect their clients. Don’t let yourself fall victim to these unscrupulous agents!
9. How Should I Get In Touch With You After We List the House?
Chances are that you are going to have a question or two (or 10) after you list your house for sale. It’s important that you hire a Realtor that is going to be easy to contact. There are old school agents out there that are only available via phone calls and there are newer “millennial” agents that only do business by email. You are probably going to want to stay away from either of those types of agents. A good real estate agent in Gilbert will be available by call, email, text message, FaceTime chat, and FaceBook Messenger. Do you really want to have to wait for a call back or email response when you have an important question? Probably not. Choose a pro that makes themselves available to you via multiple methods of contact. Another important factor when it comes to communication is availability. What hours does your new Realtor work? A part time agent may only be available every other day between 10AM and 2PM. The agent that you want to choose will be a full time Realtor that is available 7 days a week from sun up to sun down. Now remember to be reasonable, your agent probably has a family and personal life. It is unreasonable to expect them to be available 24/7 but it is perfectly rational to want to know exactly what times they will be available to answer your questions.
10. Do You Have Your Own Website Where Buyers Can View My Listing?
It’s nearly 2019 and even so many Gilbert Realtors don’t have their own website. In my professional opinion this is completely unacceptable! An agent should have their own site that has a professional look to it and enables potential buyers to view your home online. This is a bare minimum requirement if you ask me. Realtors spend big bucks to advertise their personal brand so there are many instances where people will go direct to the Realtor’s website to find houses for sale. A tech savvy agent will have a lead capture form on their site so that they can personally reach out to anyone who views your home. Don’t you think that someone is more likely to buy your house if your agent calls them to make sure that the potential buyer gets all of their questions answered? If you want to sell your home for top dollar, you should! Some really awesome agents will even build you a custom website for your home. This is a huge plus because it will allow many more people to find your listing. Ask you agent if this is a service that they provide. Technology is changing the way that people do business and you want to make sure that your agent is on the cutting edge!
11. Are You Going to Be My Personal Agent or Are You Going to Hand Me Off to Someone On Your Team?
There is an unfortunate trend going on in real estate today. Many agents are switching to a team model. They do this because it allows them to take on more clients than they could typically handle. I have heard horror stories of people who have hired an agent only to find out that they are a part of a team and therefore end up dealing with many different people. This can be confusing and very frustrating for a home seller. You hired the agent that met with you and you deserve to get personal attention from that agent. Teams will often employ a “closer” to go in a meet with prospective sellers and “close the sale” much like a used car salesman. That is not what you want! They don’t have your personal best interests in mind. They are only after the almighty dollar and you are just a number to them. It’s ok to hire an agent that has an assistant or some administrative staff but what you don’t want is an agent that is going to share you between several different agents on their team. You may get one answer from one team member and a completely different answer from the next team member. You want an agent that has a high level of accountability. Pick a Realtor that cares enough about you to actually handle your transaction personally!
12. What Improvements Can I Make to Help My House Sell?
Think back to when you purchased you home. You probably looked at several houses before you chose the one that you live in now. I would imagine that there were things in some of the houses that you viewed that turned you off. These things could be as simple as dirty carpet or a cluttered house. They could also be more serious like peeling paint or a wobbly porch step. Assuming that you have followed the steps listed in this article you have probably chosen a great agent. This agent (if they are indeed great) will have a vast knowledge of what helps and what hinders a house sale. If they don’t volunteer information to help you get your house ready make sure that you ask them. Sometimes something as cheap and simple as painting a bright colored wall white can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home. A clean house sells better than a dirty house. Rearranging your furniture can really open up a house for sale. Make sure that you discuss all of the simple ways that you can improve your home to make it sell faster and for more money. Some agents even have cleaning crews and handymen that they will send into your home to help you with these home improvements. Remember, you want to make your home as attractive as possible to all potential buyers.
I hope that this guide on the important questions to ask a realtor before listing your house for sale in Gilbert has been beneficial to you. I promise you that if you follow these simple 12 steps you will have a much more pleasant home selling experience. If you are ready to talk to a Realtor now simply fill out this contact form and one of the best Realtors in Gilbert will get in touch with you immediately.