Most of the time, most people show interest in only two agent questions: 1.) How much money can I get for my house? and 2.) How much will your commission be? Very few sellers ask questions beyond these two and usually end up hiring the first agent they come across or on the basis of appearance or gut feeling. But selling a house is way too big a transaction for that. The first conversion with an agent should be treated as a job interview with you, the seller, in the employer’s seat. When you approach it in that way, use these questions to ask your agent when selling your Santa Clara County home.
What is your experience?
Agents simply may not be all that forthcoming about their experience and track record, so you have to ask. A home sale (and purchase) is usually the largest, most expensive business transaction any of us will ever be involved in. Your agent, then, absolutely must have the requisite knowledge and experience. You will need an agent with enough experience under her belt to competently handle everything from listing to closing. She will also need familiarity with the area, local inventory, and local real estate trends.
Do your work with properties in this price range?
Now, while an agent may have plenty of experience, it may not be the kind of experience you need for your selling situation. So one of the questions to ask your agent when selling your Santa Clara County home should be about price-range knowledge, experience, and expertise. Your agent must be able to see the home you’re selling from the buyer’s perspective – and that, obviously, includes price. This kind of insight makes an agent a far better negotiator.
Do you represent one or both sides of the transaction?
This is one of the questions to ask your agent when selling your Santa Clara County home many people overlook – often to their detriment. Many agents work only on the buying or selling side, but some work on both simultaneously.
Ask this question ahead of time to find out whether your agent could end up on both sides of the deal. Although it won’t necessarily represent a conflict of interests, such a situation could, nevertheless, be less than optimal for you as the seller. At the least, it could make you uncomfortable, never being sure whose interests the agent is really looking out for. At worst, it could result in less than the best deal for you because the agent also wanted commission and fees from the buyer. But forewarned is forearmed, so ask.
What is your marketing plan?
No matter how much real estate knowledge and experience an agent has, without a viable marketing plan, she won’t do you much good. A sale takes marketing, so you need to know ahead of time how your agent plans to market your home.
And these days, it usually takes a lot more than sticking a few photos on the traditional listing sites. To achieve the necessary visibility for a speedy and profitable sale, your agent should be conversant with other, less-traditional marketing channels, such as Facebook and even Pinterest. Also, make sure to ask whether the agent has experience with setting up virtual tours for marketing purposes because these are becoming increasingly important for buyers.
Selling your home can be a lengthy, frustrating process involving negotiations and various pitfalls. But with the right agent – one selected using these questions to ask your agent when selling your Santa Clara County home – it can be much smoother.