What to Ask a Realtor When Selling a House

white clay figure of an agent holding a house

Yay! You’ve decided to sell your home. That’s so exciting! This is a huge decision for you and likely one you haven’t made lightly. We know some of what you may be thinking. You’ve poured money, sweat, and love into your home and you want others to value it the way you do. And then there are all the questions you want to ask a real estate professional:

Do we have to declare that we buried our dead cat in the backyard; should we ask our neighbors to not go streaking again during the open house; what if we think the place is haunted; since when do fuschia and orange not “go together well”?

Obviously, we can’t answer all of your questions in this little post, but we do want to make sure you are asking certain other questions, namely aimed at choosing the right real estate agent. So this is what to ask a realtor when selling your house:

  1. Give it to me straight, Doc, what is the home worth? And how did you come up with that number?

    Your agent should have no trouble with these questions. At Seller’s Choice, we have the pulse of the community, trends, and a myriad of other data points. With whomever you choose, it’s important to request a comparative market analysis (CMA). This will show you what comparable properties are selling for, how long they were on the market, what features they have and how they compare to yours, and lots of other helpful information. As a heads up, don’t be tricked into going with an agent that wants to set the asking price significantly higher than market value. Homes with inflated prices sell slower and usually at the same final amount as they would have with a lower starting price. It’s a realtor’s trick to get your business.

  2. So what’s the plan? How will you go about selling my home?

    Every agent has a marketing strategy, even if it’s a bad one. Some agents will get an MLS number for your property, take some cell phone pics, and call it good. A superior service includes high quality photos or videos or even video walkthroughs. Will there be other agents invited to an open house? You want a realtor that is going to give a darn. Does the agent demonstrate knowledge of staging and recommend upgrades? A simple paint job can have a great return on investment, but so can many other improvements. Somewhere between a feng shui inspired exorcism and a once-over with a vacuum is the sweet spot a good agent will help you find. We also strongly recommend looking over their previous work for the quality of the photos, staging, and verbiage in the listing. You know, make sure they can spell exorcism correctly.

  3. So how does this all work? Talk to me about the contract and expectations.

    This is where asking questions can save you a lot of frustration. You want to know exactly what you’re signing in the agreement. For example, how long will the contract last, what if you sell it to your friend without the agent’s help, is there a discount if you use them as a buyer’s agent, what does the service include as far as staging expenses and availability, what if you are unhappy with their service? You’ll also want to know the estimated timeline. How long will it take to sell your property, at what point will the realtor reduce the price if the property is not selling, what is the realtor’s track record with sales and timing?

  4. There are thousands of real estate agents. Why should I choose you?

    This is their chance to earn your business. Watch for their passion. Find out if they are going to be available to you and to potential buyers. Full-time realtors usually have more availability, but confirm just to save yourself some disappointment. And don’t be scared away just because a realtor has lots of clients. Often the best agents are busy for a reason. With this pointed question, realtors will likely talk about their successful experience and service provided. These are both paramount to earning your trust with such a huge decision. Maybe, though, ask to speak to a previous client or two. Use Ronald Reagan’s policy of “trust but verify,” because, let’s be real, some sales people might sell themselves much better than your house.

You likely picked this property because you loved it. You sweat on the floor remodeling or on the yard mowing or on the computer paying the mortgage. Even if the home has just been an investment, don’t settle now. You want an agent that is going to stage and list your house so well that you’re tempted to keep it. Pick someone that is knowledgeable, accessible, passionate, experienced, energetic, and gifted as a salesperson. You and your property deserve it!

And now that you know what to ask a realtor when selling a house, it’s back to your other questions, like Where is the best place to hang our mistletoe; Is it recommended that we bake our special brownies right before a showing? Why do people keep suggesting I paint over my Jeffrey Dahmer mural, and Are we allowed to come to our own open house in disguise and make a big deal out of all the features in front of everyone? There are too many questions to handle here, but contact Seller’s Choice Real Estate and we’ll do our best!

Ready to Sell your Home?

When you’re ready to take your next step to sell your home in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, be sure to contact Sellers Choice for your best choice in real estate needs. The agents at Sellers Choice Real Estate will aid you in completing all of the steps mentioned above, as well as help you take any additional steps to help you sell your home quickly and without any added stress.