Questions Every Seller Must Ask at the Listing Interview

You've decided it's time to sell your home.  Now it's time to choose an agent who will assist you with the process and help you get the best offer for your home.

 

Most home sellers contact agents who are experienced, knowledgeable, and have sold multiple homes in their neighborhood. However…

  1. What really differentiates one experienced agent from another?

  2. How can you be certain you’ve selected the best realtor for you based on a two-hour meeting?

  • Ask each agent you interview the same key questions and compare their answers. You will then find the decision making process much easier.      

 

Through my 22 year journey as a realtor and hundreds of pre-listing appointments, I understand that for a homeowner to determine exactly which questions to ask is no easy task. To that end, I offer you the following questions as a guide to assist you in finding a top-performing, service-focused real estate agent, as well as how I answer these questions when asked:

  1. Who will I be interacting with on a regular basis, and who will respond to inquiries about my property?

  2. I answer ALL my calls myself.  Clients, buyer agents and independent buyers speak directly to me for all matters, the only exception is appointment scheduling for inspections.  My trusty assistant handles organizational tasks to maximize the time I am available for clients and to respond to listing inquiries. You will not be bounced around between a “team of agents”.  You will interact with me throughout the entire sales process.

 

  1. What kind of response time can I expect to calls, emails and texts?  Not just messages from me as the home seller, but also inquiries from perspective buyers?

  2. Real estate is not a 9 to 5 job, and good realtors know they must be “on call” nearly all the time. I am available from early in the morning until late at night, 7 days a week via phone, email and text. It is my primary goal to respond to most inquiries within minutes, and all within one hour unless I am in an appointment. If you copy my assistant, and I happen to be with a client, she will either answer your question or let you know when I will be free to respond.

 

  1. How does the agent deal with unexpected and/or difficult situations and negotiations?

  2. Past clients often joke that nothing rattles me. The truth is, after 22 years in real estate, there is rarely a situation that I haven't encountered before. I've seen it all and I know how to calmly address any possible crisis. Often, I will be able to give you a few options on how we could proceed.

 

  1. How will the agent respond to buyer agents when they call with questions after seeing my home?  Do most buyer agents think the agent initially prices a home too high, too low or just right?  What is the agent’s negotiating style when an offer is presented?

  2. I have worked very hard over my career to network with other agents and maintain an excellent reputation within my industry. When buyer agents see my name on a listing, they know the property will be in optimal condition and will be priced fairly.  Agents look forward to showing my listings – I make it easy for them to access me, and I negotiate fairly and respectfully.  In addition, I provide highly detailed listing materials that provide all the data needed to craft a strong offer for their client.

 

  1. What is the agent's average percentage of original asking price to sold price and average days on market (DOM)?

  2. My average list-to-sold price is 97.4%. Important to note that is based on the original list price. My average listing duration from 2013-2016 is 25 days on market. We can discuss why these two numbers are so important when you contact me.

 

  1. How many of the homes that the agent listed did not actually sell (withdrawn, expired, etc.)?

  2. My record of listed homes that actually sold is among the very best in the industry. Over the last 4 years I can count on one hand the number of my listings that actually did not sell, and this was typically due to a seller’s change of plans and not the result of any dissatisfaction with my expertise, marketing, or quality of service.

 

  1. Who are 3-5 of your recent clients that I might contact to learn about their experience working with you?

  2. I automatically provide a list of at least half a dozen recent client references to every prospective client.

 

  1. Who will meet inspectors, repair men, and turn on the lights for showings when I can't be there myself?

  2. At no additional cost to you, I attend all home inspections.  I am available to meet contractors and turn on/off lights for showings.

 

  1. Who will attend the settlement with me?

  2. I attend all settlements myself. I will only schedule settlements for a time when I can be present.

 

  1. Finally, here is a suggestion rather than a question. Find out from other realtors what it is like to interact with the realtors you are interviewing. The real estate industry is unique in that agents compete but also cooperate, and agent cooperation is crucial to a successful transaction. When asked directly, most realtors will give a fair, honest assessment of another agent. You will then have the chance to crosscheck this feedback when speaking to the agent’s client references.

 

Selling your home is a big financial decision, and the experience can easily become a very stressful situation with the wrong realtor guiding you. However, if you ask the right interview questions, carefully assess the answers, then you will be on your way to selecting a knowledgeable, calm, reassuring agent who will guide you smoothly through the selling process.


 

          Respectfully,

          Dave Aronheim