The past few weeks we’ve gone on several listing appointments. We’ve got some great new listings coming to the market in the next few weeks by the way, so stay tuned. We don’t take every listing for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the seller is upside down on the mortgage and they don’t want to short sale, or perhaps the market isn’t quite where the seller wants it to be so they wait. Each seller has his or her own reasons for deciding if and when to sell, and we merely help them in the process on their schedule. How to Interview an Agent to Sell Your Home.
One trend we have been seeing is sellers asking a lot of questions. Some have a pre-printed list of questions and others are asking questions based upon ideas that came about from interviews with other agents. If you’re unsure of which questions to ask, our website www.TopAgent.com has a list of 49 questions to ask before hiring a real estate professional.
Our list has been online for over a decade so it could probably use a little freshening up and we will, however there are still some good ideas in there. As we freshen it up the number of questions could change. One question on that list is How Many Listings Did Your Team Sell Last Year? This is a much different question than how many homes did you sell last year.
Recently we went on an interview and the seller had interviewed several agents. The first agent came in about 20% higher than we were. When I asked who that agent was I had never heard of them. She worked for a company with little market share so I looked her up in MLS and found that she had Zero listings sales. The seller interviewed another agent who had 5 listing sales. While not a lot, that’s a lot better than Zero. The agent with 5 sales came out similar to our numbers.
The first agent either doesn’t know the market, or needs a listing. Listings generate buyers, so if you take an over-priced listing it may not sell, but the listing agent may gain some buyers from it. We call this buying a listing in the industry. We don’t like to do this as we want to help each seller, not use them. I’m not saying this agent was buying the listing, they just may not have known better.
Working with a seller is much different than a buyer. Buyers are the easiest part of the business. Working with a seller requires more training and knowledge. New agents typically get eaten alive by sellers. They need to know if their home is priced correctly in the market, if any new listings have entered the market that is competition, how each showing went, where the home is being marketed, open houses, and what type of calls the agent is getting. They want to know all about the home up the street, and why Fred the neighbor says they priced their home too cheap. They want to know why all the cars are stopping at their neighbor’s home. They’ll have 3 people from work who say they want to buy the home and ask agent to follow up with them.
When a contract comes in it gets interesting. Since they just had 4 showings they’re convinced all 4 will be writing full price offers and follow up with each of them. Once a contract is accepted it gets really interesting and all the anxieties about inspections and contingencies come out. It takes an agent who can handle a seller’s emotions. It takes an agent with a lot of experience working with sellers or both the seller and the agent will end up frustrated.
Asking the right questions before hiring someone to list your home will prevent this frustration later. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, you’re not interviewing the right agents. Hiring the right agent is perhaps the most critical decision you will make in the entire process, so spend the time upfront and it will save you in the long run.
Good luck and Happy Selling!