It's important to interview whatever real estate agent you're going with so that you feel comfortable with the job they're going to do for you. Of course, you want to ask questions such as how long you've been in the business, if this is your full-time job, and how many homes on average to sell per year. But there are some unique questions they usually don't get asked. I want to talk about these five questions and what kind of answers you should expect.
#1. Are there any additional costs aside from commission?
It's important to ask your agent how much they will cost. But, you also want to ask if there are additional charges. Are there any additional fees for photographs, floor plans, marketing materials, and anything else the agent will need in order to advertise your home.
#2. What type of contract do you use?
There are several different types of listing contracts:
Sole Selling Rights - Meaning that the real estate agent you go with is the only one allowed to sell your home, which also means that if you find the buyer or the buyer has their own agent, your agent may not accept that offer.
Multi-agency - meaning that you can use as many agents as you like and only pay commission to the one who sell the property. This might sound great, but you'll usually pay higher fees and this approach only works depending on the type of property you have in the state of the market.
Sole Agency - It works the same as sole-selling but if you find your own buyer, you won't have to pay anything to the real estate agent. If the contract is open-ended, the agent still might be able to claim a commission even years after the contract is over.
A ready willing and able purchaser – this means you'll have to pay the agent for finding a buyer even if you decide not to sell.
It's best to have a basic listing contract where the agent will sell your property and the commission will be split between the listing agent and the buying agent regardless of who brings the buyer.
#3. Does the contract include a tie-in?
Make sure that your contract gives you the flexibility to terminate the deal without dealing with a penalty. If you're unhappy with your agent you should have a clause or addendum that allows you to cancel or fire your agent.
#4. What happens if I want to take my home off the market and sell with another agent?
This happens so it's important to ask about any liabilities in the future.
#5. What if we disagree on something?
Of course, you don't want to disagree but things happen. What happens if you are unhappy with your agent? You want to make sure that you're not being bullied by her agent to accept an offer simply because the agent thinks it's a good one. It is ultimately your choice on which offer to choose. Don't to be bullied by your real estate agent.