If video isn't your thing, look below for a text explanation of the top 5 (plus a bonus) questions Joe Muck thinks you should ask any listing agent.
When interviewing somebody to sell your most prized possession - your home - it's important the interview process is handled with care. Any good agent will have a good listing presentation, even if they don't bring any documents to the meeting. So what are some questions that matter most to the appropriate closing of your sale?
1) How will you market my home? This is arguably the most important question to be answered. Proper marketing involves appropriate pricing and marketing techniques that will bring the most buyers to see your home giving you the highest potential to receive the best offers in the shortest amount of time. As a Realtor, we of course will list your home in the MLS. That alone will syndicate your home to hundreds of websites and potentially hundreds or thousands of local buyers. Therefore, the presentation of your home in the MLS and any other media is very important and ultimately the responsibility of your agent. Don't settle for just the MLS input! Social media, nationwide websites, local websites, postcards, door hangers, personalized phone calls, email blasts, and dozens of other ideas are ways to further market your home. And when it comes to social media, make sure it's being posted on a business page. Only a business page can boosts posts. If he/she is only listing it on their personal page, they're only reaching their friends list.
2) How will you negotiate the best deal for me? What is your negotiating experience? In the event your agent is a less experienced realtor, it's still possible they'll be a great negotiator. Let them detail their process and experience before ruling them out as your realtor simply because they have not sold a home yet or only sold a couple. We all started at 0 and we all started our first day on a job, even you, so give them a chance. In fact, I might be harder on somebody with experience in real estate since they should be able to easily answer how they'll negotiate a deal for you.
3) What is your average list price to sold price ratio or percentage? This may be counterintuitive from my last point. Not really. If they don't have sales, they can't answer this question. And that's a better answer than somebody who has a habit of price reductions. It's been a seller's market. Sometimes, we miss the mark on pricing and are forced to do a price reduction. But if your agent has been in the industry for two or more years, they should have the ability to demonstrate sales sold at or above list price over the last couple of years. Exceptions may occur if you're a luxury home, farm house on acreage, etc. If the agent doesn't have this data readily available, let them send it to you that evening.
4) How many days on market do your listings average? Similar to #3, it's been a seller's market. If the home is marketed correctly, you have had lots of showings and people through your open house. Again, every home isn't going to sell in one or three days, but there is no time for somebody who has been averaging 30 days on market per home over the last couple of years.
5) Who and how will you communicate with me? Is there a plan or will it just be fly by the seat of their pants? If your agent has a team, most likely a team member will reach out for non-negotiating actions such as letting you know the appraisal was ordered, or the appraisal is back, etc. Whoever will be calling is somewhat irrelevant. Just make sure there will be a plan to reach out to you and keep you in the loop. And if the home doesn't sell fast, make sure they seem communicative and will be giving you honest feedback from showings. Showing agents leave feedback. This is supposed to be the feedback of their buyer(s) and ultimately those are the people that truly determine the value of your home. They're the ones deciding how much they're willing to offer to purchase your home.
BONUS) Are you a Realtor or licensed agent? Realtors have a specific code of conduct we must follow and risk losing our license by not following these rules. This is especially important with contract negotiations and processes.