As a For Sale by Owner, you will get inundated with Realtors wanting to help list your home for sale. This is a natural course of business (if you use a flat fee service to get on MLS – the Realtors cannot solicit you reducing calls, emails and texts – visit www.fsbomadeeasy.com for more info). As you are selling the home on your own, it does not hurt to interview some of the Realtors in case you need some help in the future. This will save you time and weed out those you may want to use and those you will not use.

Here are some of the best questions to ask when interviewing potential agents – some obvious and some not so obvious.

  • Are you licensed in this state?
    • You will want to make sure the Realtor has a current and valid license. There are state sites that can also help you verify their credentials.

 

  • How long have you been a Realtor?
    • The length of time someone has been in the real estate industry is important. Realtors who have spent time in real estate have been through the various markets and understand how to adjust to accomplish the goals of selling the homes they represent.
    • A newer Realtor does not always mean they cannot help you.
    • Many new Realtors, who are professionals, have done their research and can be as productive as a seasoned pro. As you ask follow up questions, you will get a feeling where both the seasoned Realtors and new Realtors fit in your needs to sell your home.
    • A good follow up question to this is “are you a full time or part time Realtor?”
      • You may get a Realtor in business for 20 years who is part time, and you may get a Realtor who is new and full time. This is where your gut feeling, and additional questions come into play.
    • Are you part of a team or will you be the Realtor I am working with?
      • There is no wrong answer to this question, but you will want to know who will be handling the process of your home and who you should speak with. Communication is key.
      • A team does not mean you will get more help, just simply means they are part of a group of Realtors under someone else.

 

  • What MLS board are you currently with?
    • There are many MLS boards. You will want to make sure that the Realtor is part of the board for the area your home is located.
    • There are usually major MLS boards and smaller, region specific boards. Both can be useful, but make sure you get maximum exposure.
  • Can I get referrals?
    • Realtors typically have past clients happy to give them a glowing review. Much like online reviews, they do not always reflect how good or bad something is.
    • If the Realtor is reluctant to provide referrals is when there is red flag.
  • What are your average listing Days on Market (DOM)?
    • This number will vary depending on the time of year and the type of market we are in – buyers or sellers.
    • High days on market is not good but ask for them to explain.
    • If they seem way too low, ask how they can sell so quick for every property. Also ask how many sales they have had. They could have very few deals, which would give them a low average days on market number.
  • Have you sold a home in my neighborhood?
    • Some Realtors specialize in geographic markets. Many times, you will get a “NO” to this answer but does not mean they are not the right person for the job. Follow up with, “have you sold homes in this area?”. This will allow them to explain their market and what they have sold that compares to your neighborhood.
  • Have you sold any homes in the price range of my home?
    • Like the geographic area question, many Realtors specialize in price ranges they can acquire buyers or know how to market them.
  • How do you plan on marketing my home?
    • Like many of the other questions, you may feel as if there is a template of answers from all Realtors.
      • “We have social media” – everyone does
      • “We have email marketing campaigns” – everyone does
      • “We have buyers already” – watch out for this answer. Most people lure sellers with their “IN HOUSE” buyers who then decide on a different home after you sign the agreement.
      • “We have a database of people we market to”
      • “We will host open houses” – this is for them to collect buyer’s info more than to sell your home.
      • “We will do your photos and drone work” – everyone does
    • Realtors all have the same access to all the same tools. It is a good question to ask, but the boiler plate answers provided will not be able to help you decide if their marketing plan is different. Fancy flyers and listing presentations are for you, not how they will market your home.
  • How much will you charge to list my home?
    • The Realtor may tell you that it will be 6% – 3% for the listing side and 3% for the buyers agent side and that is typical – yes it is typical or industry standard, but YOU AND YOU ALONE WILL BE THE DECIDER OF WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO PAY.
    • Do not get drawn into the Realtors who say “NO ONE WILL SHOW YOUR HOME FOR LESS” – this statement alone is breaking so many rules.
    • Tell the Realtor what you would like or were thinking of paying both sides. You are the client, and it is YOUR EQUITY THE FEES ARE COMING OUT OF.
    • Never sign up with a Realtor pressuring you for fees. You are using your home to provide revenue for them. If they are high pressure to sell you as their listing agent, they may be high pressure through whole process. You must feel comfortable with all aspects of the Realtor.

 

  • What price do you think my home should be listed for?
    • A Realtor coming to get you to list your home should have done a comparable market analysis giving them a rough idea of your home listing price.
    • When they arrived at the home, they should have requested a tour of the home to verify some things that will affect the comparable market analysis
    • As you interview several Realtors, you will start to see numbers close to each other.
    • WATCH OUT FOR ABOVE MARKET NUMBERS OR REALTORS WHO AGREE TO ALL YOUR PRICING (sometimes you may be right on with value but watch out for those too agreeable – have them show their valuation on paper).
      • Realtors will come in with high numbers to get you to list with them, only to come back soon after for a price reduction.
    • How much will I get at close at the price you suggest?
      • Realtors should be able to provide NET SHEETS to give a rough estimate of your proceeds at close. You may need to provide some info to help fill in some costs.
      • Realtors should provide multiple NET SHEETS to show what you would get at different offer prices.
    • Once my home is listed, what happens?
      • Find out what you need to do to prepare home to get listed
      • Find out when the sign and lock box will be installed
      • Find out when the photos and drone video will be done
      • Find out when the first open house will be
      • Find out what the process is when you get an offer
    • How do I contact you if you list my house and when are you available?
      • Make sure you have easy access to the Realtor listing your home
        • Phone/Text
        • Office Line
        • Email
      • There will be many moving pieces and people coming and going into your home. You do not want an absent Realtor.

There seem to be many questions to ask when you are interviewing a Realtor. On paper it seems drawn out, but you will find in natural conversation many of the questions above will happen. We just provide a guide and insight on what to look for when interviewing potential listing Realtors.

If you have a question about buying or selling your home, please reach out to Joseph Walter Realty at 248-294-7849 or via email at info@josephwalterrealty.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Joseph Walter Realty

Joseph Walter Realty is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.

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