Before signing a listing agreement with a real estate agent, you should ask them a few questions, such as if they are experienced in the area and type of home you are selling. There many new real estate agents and agents who work part-time that know nothing about your specific situation.
What is Your Experience?
Have they been an agent long enough to have experience or do they have a reliable advisor? How many properties has he or she sold? What is the proportion of homes in your region that are similar to yours? Are they aware with older residences needing maintenance, condominiums, or whatever type of property your loved one needs to sell?
You want a real estate agent with general experience, someone who knows your area well, and somebody familiar with selling homes similar to yours.
What will you do to advertise my home?
How quickly your family's home sells is partially dependent on marketing. By driving higher demand, you create more interest from potential homebuyers. This can lead to a quicker sale at a higher price point. Be sure to choose a real estate agent with an effective marketing strategy and proven success record.
You want to make sure your agent is postings your home on multiple websites. The MARIS MLS that services St Louis and the surrounding area syndicates listings to a network of national portals and are shared via broker reciprocity on nearly all brokerage sites. So, what's important is what will the agent do beyond placing your property in the MLS. Do they have a plan for social media? Do they have an extensive buyer list or sphere of influence to expose your property quickly?
What else do they have for sale? What are their other properties like? Are there great pictures of the house or are they blurry, taken with a cell phone, or focused on the stuff rather than the home and the neighborhood around it? The attention to detail that their existing listings may bring to your property is up to them.
What do I need to do in order to prepare my house for sale?
A common pitfall for sellers is wasting time and money on things that aren't important. You should always aim to spend as little money as possible only on items that will give you a return.
Real estate agents who know their stuff will be aware of what will make your home more attractive to buyers. Plus, they'll understand exactly how much that fixer-upper is really worth. And finally, the best agent won't shy away from listing your "As-Is" property complete with all its faults and glorious potential—especially if it's priced and marketed correctly.
What is the average number of days it takes you to sell a property?
The average duration from when your home is first listed to when you accept an offer is the number of days it takes for you to sell. Compare their count with those of other agents... A higher-than-average number of days indicates that the agent is overpricing his or her listings. A lower-than-average number almost always implies they're underselling the homes they put on the market.
What is your commission rate?
Commissions are not fixed and may range from as little as 3% to as much as 10%. Alternatively, they might be a flat fee.
It is typical for the real estate agent listing your home to set a commission price that they will then split with the buyer's agent. They typically want to offer the buyer's agent 3% or more, and whatever is left pays them to represent you. In some cases, the listing agent may also find the buyer and collect all of the commission themselves.
Some real estate agents' offices have a policy to charge an extra transaction fee on top of the commission. This is usually $300-$500, but we do not charge this "junk fee".