Six Questions You Need to Ask Your Listing Agent in 2014
So you’re ready to list your property and jump into the Edmonton real estate market? Congratulations! Nothing is more exciting than making a change or heading down the road to selling a property. One of the most important steps you can make in this process is choosing the right listing agent as they can make a huge difference in how well things work out for you. Before you settle on a listing agent, make sure you ask the right questions so that you can be confident about their ability to do this job well. Below are six important questions to be clear about before you begin.
1. Is This Your Full Time Job?
You want an agent who knows what they’re doing and who will be able to be dedicated to you and answer your calls when you need them to. A part time agent is not necessarily a red flag; perhaps they have personal decisions that keep them out of the full time work force. However, you do want to be sure that if they work at this part time, it’s not because they’re not able to make a large enough income from real estate to support themselves.
2. How Many Days Does it Take You to Sell a Home?
This might seem like a bold question to ask, however, the listing agent should be able to answer bold questions about their success rates. Ask them how many of their listings actually sell (in 2013 only 69% of MLS® listings in Edmonton sold). Compare the numbers and explanations you get from different agents. This should give you an idea regarding your agent’s selling skills.
3. Do You Have a Marketing Plan Outlined?
It’s important to be clear about what your agent will be actively doing to get your house sold. An agent with a solid game plan right out of the gate is more likely to get your place sold quickly and for the asking price you’ve decided on. Be on the lookout for an agent who is vague about their marketing plan or doesn’t really seem to have one at all. Find an agent who is on the ball in this area.
4. Who Will I Be Working with Directly?
It’s important to be clear about what the channels of communication are. Does your listing agent have an assistant, or another agent that handles most of the communication with clients, or will you have a direct line to the agent when you need to speak to them? How are showings arranged and what about collecting feedback after showings? Everyone does things differently so make sure you’re comfortable with the way your agent handles their business.
5. Can You Provide Recent References?
You’ll want to speak with clients that your listing agent has recently worked with to see what their experience was like. It’s important that you speak with people who recently listed a property in the current market. These people will be able to shed light on your agent’s abilities.
6. How many listings do you have right now, and how many did you sell last year?
You’ll want to find the right balance between experience and overload. An agent with 20 or 30 listings at any given time probably has systems in place to handle that volume, but do they have time to meet each client’s individual needs? Will your home sell using the same system or plan as others in your neighbourhood, or do you have more personalized needs when it comes to service and marketing? Does this agent really have time to take on another listing when you’re ready to hit the market?
Listing a property is an exciting experience. It’s the end of an era and the start of new beginnings. Finding the right listing agent can make this experience a really enjoyable one. If you’re thinking about selling, we’d love to talk, contact us anytime.
About Sara MacLennan
Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.