Listing your home involves more than simply putting the word out that it is for sale. There are numerous steps that need to be taken in advance and specific ways you will want your home to be marketed and shown. The resource you will use for the things you will need to determine is the real estate listing agent. When you are trying to decide which agent you would like to list your home, there are a number of questions you should ask your prospective agents and answers you should expect that will help you make this decison.
Q - How long have you been licensed and working in the business?
A - In general, you will want a more experienced agent, although there are some benefits to using a newer agent as well. A newer agent will have more time and attention to devote to your listing but you should be sure they have excellent support from their broker.
Q - How many listings do you generally maintain?
A - If the agent has a very large number of listings to manage, some may lack attention and management. However, if the have assistants or staff behind them, they will be better maintained.
Q - Do have a personal or brokerage site in which my home will be marketed?
A - Every broker should maintain a site in which your home will be marketed using descriptions and pictures. A number of agents also maintain their own personal sites where your home can be listed as well.
Q - Will you syndicate my listing on the Web and to how many sites?
A - Syndication is used to send out your listing details and pictures to other sites, in particular, high profile sites such as Trulia.com, Zillow.com and Google Base. Since 90% of buyers use the Web to search for homes, you will want to have maximum exposure.
Q - What kind of Comparative Market Analysis, or CMAs will you use to determine the listing price on my home?
A - What you need to look for regarding CMAs is that they will do one using recently sold properties as well as another using currently listed homes in order to determine the competiton.
Q - What do you recomend I do to the home to get it ready to be viewed?
A - When comparing responses here, you must realize that this is really a matter of opinion. Some will recommend you hire a stager while others will give you tips on self-staging.
Q - What are your listing's average Days on Market, or DOM, compared to the average of the market?
A - This will tell you whether their listings stay on the market for a period longer or shorter than the average. This can be a result of marketing but usually has more to do with price. If their DOM is lower than the average, you can expect that the agent recomends lower prices, whereas if their DOM is longer than the average, you can expect over-pricing.
It will prove counter-productive to get too wrapped up in a chart or questions and answers. Asking these questions is more useful in getting a feel for the agents and seeing if you get along with the agents, and using their responses to gauge their honesty.