Selecting the right agent could be one of the most important decisions you make in the sale of your home. Most sellers don't know they have hired the wrong agent until their home hasn't sold or negotiations with the buyer breaks down. Knowing your agent's track record, including a printed list of their home sales in the last year, average days on the market, and sales price-to-list price ratio is crucial in determining if this agent has the skills and business strategies to get your home sold.
You should also ask your agent for a list of recent sellers that they can call. Ask any sellers you contact three key questions:
1. Did they do what they said they were going to do?
2. Were they worth the fee that they charged?
3. Would you recommend them to your friends?
Answers to the above questions will paint the picture of how this agent works with their clients. Be careful about hiring an agent who quotes you the highest market price, or lowest fee to represent you (they may be in the least likely position to get the job done for you!). Like many other industries, 'you get what you pay for' in selecting an agent. If an agent can't negotiate their fee and services with you, how good are they going to be at negotiating your profit when an offer comes in?. Top successful agents with a proven track record charge a full-service fee. At the end of the day, cost is related to the value and results an agent creates for you. Real estate is one of the few industries where you typically do not pay any up-front fees to the agent (like an attorney would charge) and they only get paid if they create the results you are expecting. What a great business model for sellers and one that definitely benefits you!
Here is an example of some important questions to ask your prospective agent: