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Comments and Questions:

  Interviewing a Realtor to List Your Home - Back
You have been told to interview several agents before listing your home. Sounds like a good idea. But, do you know what to ask them, or how to evaluate their answers?

The most important question to ask is "how much can you sell my home for?" If the agent takes a look around the property and then proposes a figure, he or she may not be the right person. A true price evaluation requires that an agent conduct a thorough inspection of your home, note special details and then prepare a comparative market analysis. This should show recent sales of comparable homes in the area, a list of properties for sale in the neighborhood, and an analysis of homes that haven't sold and their prices. Using this information, a reasonable price can be set for your property.

It is also reasonable to ask for references of owners the agent has dealt with in the past. Don't just accept a list of names; ask for the names and numbers of the owners of the most recent properties sold. They may not answer some of your questions because they may feel uncomfortable saying unflattering things about someone to a stranger, but almost all of them will answer honestly if you ask them "Would you list a property with this agent again?"

It would also be fair to ask the agent how many homes they have sold in the last year (and how many remained unsold). Such questions as how long they have been selling real estate, do they do it full time, do they have any professional designations all can be important. A reasonable time they expect it will take to sell the home along with their plans to market your property will give you a better idea of how much thought and preparation they have put into selling your particular situation. It is also important to you that your agent be up to date with the Internet and e-mail to market your property to out of town buyers.

In short-don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. After all, if they can't sell you on themselves, you probably won't be comfortable dealing with them selling your home.

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