Author Topic: Questions for Listing Agent  (Read 2336 times)

FastStache

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Questions for Listing Agent
« on: May 11, 2014, 07:13:10 PM »
I am planning on working with a realtor that I got from a recommendation.

He is going to discuss what his plans are for selling the house, advertising, fees, etc.

What are some good questions for him?

Zamboni

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Re: Questions for Listing Agent
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2014, 11:37:17 PM »
I recommend that you talk with 3 realtors, not just one.  If someone will do an outstanding job, then that will be pretty obvious to you after meeting with 3 people.  Are they prepared for their meeting with you?  Have they sold homes in your neighborhood recently?  Do they typically sell homes in your price range?  Do they know which properties near you are currently on the market?  Have they visited those properties with buyers or a group of agents?  If schools are a question, then are they strong advocates for the local schools?  You shouldn't have to ask these things; they should just naturally come out in the meeting.

They are in sales and should sell you on why they will be a great agent.  You can ask about all kinds of things such as how many listings they have, what the average time on the market is for homes in your area, what you need to do to make your property more buyer-friendly, etc.  But the main thing you want to see is that they are professional and prepared.  If they are meeting with you in your home about becoming your agent, then they should have a packet that shows they have done their homework on specific local comps along with specific pricing and marketing recommendations for your property. 

Fishingmn

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Re: Questions for Listing Agent
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 08:47:51 AM »
I'm a Realtor - Here are some things I'd ask about:

  • Staging - I believe that most houses sell at fair market value and there's no way to prove any agent can sell for "top dollar". Any agent that makes the claim that they will get you more money or are an amazing negotiator has ZERO way to prove it. The ONLY way to increase the money you will get is to improve the condition of the home before selling which can come in the way of updates, upgrades, staging and cleaning. Personally, I hire a staging consultant at my expense to advise all clients and think this is one thing that can really help get more money - ask about this
  • Photography - Latest statistics say that 93% of all buyers use the internet to find a house. In my MLS we get 18 pictures to tell the marketing story of a home. You want great pictures and a professional photographer that uses a tripod, light meter, wide angle lense and virtual tours. Many Realtors take their own pic's and don't even use all 18.
  • Syndication - Almost all listings are automatically sent to dozens/hundreds of real estate websites but there are a few (like Edina Realty locally) that are battling with Zillow/Trulia over syndication and aren't sharing their listings. This is a negative.
  • Commissions - Personally I think the staging and photography are differentiators but since I also believe that houses sell at fair market value then you should hire the least expensive agent who offers the services you want. Yes, you want a Realtor that communicates with you regularly and knows the market but otherwise I'd go with the least expensive. I never charge 6% while even offering professional staging and photgraphy

Hope that helps - any house that's priced right and shows decent as compared to competitors should sell quite quickly right now.

Zamboni

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Re: Questions for Listing Agent
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 02:08:10 PM »
^I'll second the concern about photos.  But instead of asking, I'd go to other listings that the agent currently has online.  Are the photos of good quality?  Or are they dark, blurry, etc?  When photos are only of the exterior, then I assume that's because the interior is either too cluttered or just wrecked.  But when there are photos of the inside of the home and they are blurry, have weird glare, are too dark to see anything, and look like someone took them with a camera phone:  I just don't get that.  It's amazing how often they are poor quality like that.

ritchie70

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Re: Questions for Listing Agent
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 12:10:44 PM »
One more on the photos. Go look at the realtor's listings and see how the listing looks and how the photos look.

I've been casually looking at real estate listings for a while, and some of them have bizarre wording or phrases in the description that make me think the listing agent is on drugs.

Others have blurry dark photos, or photos of unmade beds and bathroom counters covered in bottles with dirty towels on the floor.

Then there are the ones with a single photo of the front of the house. That tells me nothing at all - I can (and will) get that from Google. Show me the inside, please.

My favorite has an annoyed looking woman staring up at one of the skylights in the kitchen. It's a decent photo otherwise, but who is this woman, why is she annoyed, and why is she in the photo at all?

Even if the home owner doesn't want to really sell, the Realtor should be getting good quality photos, and they should be working with the homeowner to declutter at least long enough to snap some photos.

SDREMNGR

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Re: Questions for Listing Agent
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 07:04:23 PM »
Ask him to provide the listings of the last 5 listings he worked on.  You can get a sense of how well he markets the property, how many listings he actually has (too many?  too few?), and ask him to defend how he came to the listing price.

Also, find out how his "team" works.  Many agents don't really work their own listings after it's listed.  It goes to his support staff that handles things.  I think the best agents are the ones that handle their own inquiries with the support of an assistant.  The solo people are usually either inexperienced or not getting enough listings to have support.  You want the ones that are busy but not so busy that their support staff does all the work.  That's just my view on it.

I am a broker and I would say that the following are the most important things to consider.

1. Correct pricing.  This will be 50% of the work.
2. Good marketing.  This means that the pictures look good, the info is correct, it is easy for prospective buyers to view and make offers on the house (you'd be surprised how hard it is to view some houses or get in touch with some agents).  The people who know what they are doing are easy to reach are worth their weight in gold. 
3. Experience.  I'd say they should have done at least 10 deals a year.  Any less and you are a part timer or not very good at your job.