Are you ready to sell your house in Sydney and looking for an estate agent to assist you? Before you just sign up with one, ask these 20 questions to ensure that you are confident and comfortable with the best possible agent you can find.
1. Are you a full or part-time real estate agent?
You will enjoy better attention and more time from a full-time real estate agent. It is highly likely that you will find more potential home buyers with someone that is practising full time as well.
2. How many houses have you sold in the last two years in this neighbourhood?
The best option is an agent that has a proven track record in your particular neighbourhood in the specific price range you are looking for. The more information an agent is willing to share the better. Look at factors such as the number of houses sold, days on the market, sale to list price comparison, and types of properties sold.
3. How many sellers do you currently represent?
It is a matter of different things for different people. The best option is that you would want to use a busy agent that is hands-on and enjoys the wisdom of the crowd. Some people may argue that a busy agent may be too busy for you while an agent with little clients or no clients can invest all their time to market your home. Remember to ask why they do not have any clients at the moment!
4. What stages of the selling process will you deal with in person and what parts will be delegated to others?
The majority of agents delegate the work. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This question will test the skills and knowledge of the agent’s knowledge of the selling process. It will also give you an indication of the extend of the agent’s involvement and responsibilities during the entire process.
5. Are your rates flexible?
If the answer is no, yours should be too. All real estate agents fees are negotiable. Rates vary from a certain percentage of the sale price to a specific flat rate for the entire sale process.
6. What price do you think I can ask for my house in the current market and why do you say so?
This answer will clearly reveal the skill and knowledge of the agent and how they think about the pricing process of your home. A worthy real estate agent will refer to aspects such as current market data, the amenities, features, and condition of your home, and the currently available list of properties that are comparable to your house. The moment a computer-generated valuation is used, rather smile and say goodbye.
7. Is it possible for you to provide me with a comparative market analysis (CMA) of houses currently on the market?
Any agent should be able to provide you with a CMA. The thoroughness or lack thereof will tell you more about the agent and his skills. If you find any competition houses that you are familiar with and know are not up to your house’s standard, do ask the agent why the particular property is comparable to your house. The answer will be instructive.
8. What do you have in mind regarding marketing and advertising for my home?
You should know how frequent and the manner in which open houses will be staged and the ratio of online and offline marketing and advertising will be done. Photos are important yet it is important to know who and how many photos will be taken. Make sure to compare the marketing strategies from one agent to another.
9. How long do I have to list my home with you?
As a general rule the ideal time is three months or less. If you are at liberty to cancel the listing agreement at any time, you need not to worry about the period you sign up for. You will be able to cancel it at any time for whatever reason.
10. How long have you been working as a real estate agent and what is your education and what qualifications do you have?
An estate agent by law need to take a certain amount of classes to keep their licences in good standing. Dedicated professional real estate agents will have more than the required amount of classes in their pockets. As for experience, the general feeling is that an agent with at least three to four years of experience that will provide them with the opportunities they need to gain a good understanding of the property market.
11. Is your license in good standing and have a client ever filed a complaint against you?
There are websites where you can check these answers. A truthful agent will have no problem providing you with these links.
12. Would you mind to provide me with references of previous clients and their contact details?
Make sure if these references are family members or not. In addition, do not hesitate to contact the references provided.
13. Will you stage my home yourself or will you make use of house stagers?
In the current market conditions all the help you can get is valuable. If an agent makes use of a staging agent, it is a good sign. Ask the agent to point out the areas where you can make improvements to increase the marketability of your home. Read stage your home for sale in Sydney.
14. How frequent can I expect communication between us?
Ideally you have to be updated on anything that happens regarding the transaction. Obviously this means that you will be contacted frequently. Additionally you should be contacted will every single offer that is made. You should be able to contact your real estate agent via email and by phone at all reasonable times. It is advisable to find out when the best time is to contact your agent, and when he is not available or reachable.
15. Why should I choose you over any of the competition’s real estate agents?
A good agent will fire right away with an answer. The majority of prospecting clients are looking for agents who are experienced, honest, communicate clear and effectively, are brilliant negotiators, readily available, reply and return calls promptly, analytical, affable, and able to get results successfully.
16. Would you mind if I first look at the documents you would require me to sign?
The two main documents you should focus on are the listing agreement and the sales agreement. The listing agreement should have a cancellation clause if you are unhappy with the service you receive for whatever reason. If there is no clause ask to have it added. When a cancellation clause is available, the duration of the agreement is not exceptionally important. Above all, it is vitally important that you clearly understand any document that you are required to sign. If you are uncertain, ask questions to clear your doubts. Ultimately it is always a good idea to have an attorney to review any document before you sign it.
17. How much can I expect the closing costs to be?
If sellers understand the process of selling their homes better their anxiety levels are way lower than usual. The answer will serve as a guide.
18. What other services do you offer apart from the contracts, negotiations, and escrow?
Be certain of what you are paying for. The contract, the administration, and unforeseen events are the absolute minimum you should get.
19. Do you have your own website or blog?
Just about every professional agent has a website or a blog. Make sure you visit the site and get a feel of the brand and the agent. Be aware that there are not many agents who do not have blogs and there is nothing wrong with it. If the agent has a blog, visit it and pay attention to the posts and comments. It will give you a better understanding of the type of person the agent is, his personality, and expertise.
20. Are there any questions that I should have asked that I did not and are important to know?
This all-encompassing question will provide the agent with the opportunity to provide you with the information you need to know. It is also the ideal opportunity to try and prevent surprises later on.