#1. How often do you communicate about the listing status?
You would be surprised how many agents do not call you back when you contact them. You want to have an agent who responds quickly. I had an agent who went to vacation without telling me and went MIA for a long time. You want to make sure that your agent is very responsive. Sometimes, the slow responsiveness is a deal breaker.
#2. How do you qualify buyers?
This question may not be obvious. You want to make sure your agent knows how to qualify a buyer. I have seen many times where a deal fell apart since the buyer did not qualify for a financing. In most cases, you can find out if a buyer qualifies for your house upfront.
#3. If the contract is accepted and signed, is the Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) deposited?
This question is critical. If the deal goes through, this does not come up. However, if the deal does not go through, you want to make sure your agent confirmed that the buyer’s EMD was deposited in the broker or title company’s bank account. If the check is not deposited, it may be difficult to get the EMD for your damage when the buyer defaults on the contract.
#4. How soon can I sell if we list with your suggested list price?
This question is a tricky one. Some agents tend to inflate the sale price to get a listing. However, the actual sales price depends on market conditions, property conditions, and location. If you ask this question, the agent may give you a very specific or general guideline. If you did not get a specific answer from your agent, you want to ask to see how long any comparable in the price in your area took to sell. That is how you can see if the suggested listing price is realistic.
#5. Can you negotiate the inspection items?
This question shows how skillful your agent is. Of course, this will depend on market demand and supply. However, in a normal market, your agent should be able to negotiate the inspection items with the buyer’s agent. Inspection items can add up and be very costly.
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