Part II of the Moving an Aging Parent from Long Distance blog series talked about my doing homework regarding finding real estate agents for Mom and Bill. The next step is to help them with the interview process when the agents come to the house.
Who knew there were so many questions to ask realtors before you choose the one who is right for the job? I created a list of questions, and suggested that Mom and Bill print the questions, and then write down the answers from each agent they interview. Here are the questions:
- How many homes in this area have you sold in the past two years?
- For recent sales what is the average number of days on market, and average selling price?
- How many active listings do you have now for homes in the P.C. area, and how long they have been listed?
- How many of such homes that would be considered "comparables" to ours?
- What is your sales ranking within your company?
- Have you won any sales awards in the past two years?
- Do you have your own website? What is your website address?
- What is your marketing plan to sell my house? (You want to make sure they will advertise weekly for you, do direct mail, send e-flyers, produce four-color brochures, and present you with a marketing campaign designed specifically for you. Ask them these questions:
- Specifically, how will you sell my home?
- Will you do "open houses" How many?
- Will you be doing a direct mail campaign?
- Where and how often will you advertise?
- How will you market my house online?
- Does my home need staging?
- How will you keep us informed of what's happening?
- How will you price the house?How long do you think it will take to sell? (There is really no way to know for sure so beware of any "assurances.")
- What are the terms of the listing agreement? (See if they will be comfortable with a 90-day listing. You want to keep the agreement to a minimum.)How much do you charge? Is your fee negotiable?
- Will you please provide references?
- What haven't we asked you that we need to know?
I feel a little more confident that after they ask these questions, they will have a better feeling about which one of the agents is the right one for them. I also volunteered to talk with each agent over the phone before Mom and Bill make up their mind. It goes without saying that if they don’t like anyone of them; it’s back to the drawing board for me.