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6 Questions that Sellers Should Ask Agents

“A successful real estate partnership…is like a good marriage”

Listing your home with the right agent is a delicate process. Selling your home is a big decision and often times major life change so it’s important to have the right agent on your side. At the Bishop Real Estate Group, we have a saying, “A successful real estate partnership between client and agent is like a good marriage- both sides should be happy and either one can walk away if they’re not.” Before you start working with an agent, you should ask them questions to decide if the partnership will work for you.

Before you jump in bed with any old agent (so to speak), you should use your first meeting with them to ask them questions. Here are a few questions you may want to ask:

1. What Experience Do You Have?

The first question you want to ask any real estate agent is about his or her experience. Many agents are new in the field or only work part-time in real estate, and they won’t be able to offer the same assistance that a seasoned agent or team can.

Experience can come in the form of the number of homes an agent has sold, but you can’t overlook experience in your locale. Agents that have a wide range of listings in your local area likely have a long list of potential buyers that they can showcase your home to, allowing for a quicker sale.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

The Bishop Real Estate Group is a trusted team of real estate advisors and consultants who have been actively involved in California real estate for over 13 years. The team has the experience and knowledge of being Northern California residents, born and raised in diverse regions to provide expertise to all our clients. We have consistently been a top performer in the real estate market and have earned the respect of being a leader in the industry. We have successfully completed thousands of transactions in the Sacramento Valley while always embracing the philosophy of ‘Integrity is Everything!’

2. How Will My Home Be Marketed?

Selling a home is all about marketing. Ask your agent what his or her plan is to market your home to ensure that it will be sold quickly. Homes need to be marketed to:

  • Online audiences
  • Local residents
  • Current potential buyers

Quality photos for listings and ensuring online visibility of a home is a must in today’s real estate industry.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

We understand the importance of online marketing in today’s market. We have contracts with many of the top real estate sites to ensure that your home is always visible and in front of potential buyers. And while being online is a must, we also haven’t forgotten about the basics– property signs, flyers, print ads, and open houses– so that our listings are marketed across all mediums.

3. What Are Your Sales Statistics?

A real estate agent may be nice, but that doesn’t mean that they will ensure your home is sold for the highest price possible. All agents have sales statistics that are tracked to ensure that they meet their own performance goals. A few of the statistics to ask about are:

  • List-to-price ratio
  • Average time on the market

These are the two most important ratios. The list-to-price ratio indicates how close to the asking price the real estate agent’s clients receive. The average time on the market will vary from one city to the next, but this statistics indicates the total amount of time it took before the home was sold to a buyer.

Furthermore, if an agent has been getting a lot of listings in your area but hasn’t been selling them in a timely manner or they may be selling them far below list price, then this agent may not be the right agent to sell your home.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

We have a very high list-to-sell ratio at 98% SP%LP and our average days on the market is 88 days.

4. Does the Agent Represent the Buyer and Seller?

Some agents will represent the buyer and seller during a sale. The issue with an agent representing both sides of the transaction is that interests can be conflicted. Agents will work to get their buyers the lowest home price possible, which won’t allow you, the seller, to get the most value out of your home.

Agents should have a protocol in place when representing both sides of a real estate transaction. Ask about this protocol if your agent works with both the buyer and seller during the sale/purchase of the home.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

We believe that just as you can’t serve two masters and an agent can’t serve both a buyer and a seller on the same property. If a TBREG agent is representing the  seller but has a  potential buyer, they will hand the buyer off to another TBREG agent so that both sides have their own advocate and own representation.

5. What Price Range Do You Work In?

Agents should be experienced in the price range in your city. Selling a $1 million + estate in Granite Bay is different than selling a $300,000 home in Rocklin.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

We have sold homes in every price range…from $32,000 condo to a $2.8m estate. Just this year we have a selling range of $1.5 million.

 

6. How Much Do You Know About Home Loans?

Your goal is to make your house sell for the highest price possible. Home sales require agents to know the home loan process in an effort to help potential buyers meet with lenders. If you want your home’s sale to go smoothly, inquire about the agent’s education or experience with home loans and if they work with any reputable lenders that can help close the deal.

Buyers need to have their finances in order, but a good agent can help buyers that are dealing with less-than-reputable lenders close the deal.

The Bishop Real Estate Group’s answer:

We always stay up-to-date on home loans: TRID,  interest rates, loan programs, and what lenders are offering. We know all about timelines, appraisals, contingencies, and will always make sure that the lender is staying on schedule. Furthermore, we have a trusted list of lenders who we’ve worked with in the past to help our clients when they are shopping for the right loan.

Looking to sell a home? Call the Bishop Real Estate Group today to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent.

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