What to Ask Realtor When Selling: 20 Essential Questions for Your Home Sale

by | Aug 12, 2023 | Selling Your Home | 0 comments

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Selling a home can be both exciting and daunting. You may be eager to move on to your next adventure, but selling your home can lead to uncertainty and be stressful. Fear not, as this blog post will guide you through the essential “what to ask a realtor when selling” questions. These questions will help you evaluate your realtor’s experience, assess their marketing strategy, understand the selling process, and more. By the end of this post, you’ll feel confident and prepared to embark on your home-selling journey.

Short Summary

  • Evaluate a realtor’s experience in terms of years, number of homes sold, and local market knowledge.

  • Assess their marketing strategy to ensure they take advantage of online presence, professional photography & staging, and targeted advertising efforts.

  • Understand the selling process, including pricing strategies & negotiation tactics for maximum sales profits.

Evaluating Your Realtor’s Experience

Real estate agent discussing a real estate transaction with a client

When entrusting your home sale to a real estate agent, evaluating their experience is crucial. A knowledgeable and seasoned realtor can make all the difference in achieving a successful sale. Working with experienced real estate agents in this competitive market can be a game-changer.

Let’s delve into some key areas to assess, including their years in the industry, the number of homes sold, and familiarity with your neighborhood.

Years in the industry

The number of years a realtor has been in the industry can indicate their expertise and ability to sell your home efficiently. An agent with recent selling experience can provide the most up-to-date local market data, enabling you to determine the best original listing price for your home.

You can gather information to compare a realtor’s number of homes sold to the average in your area and make an informed decision when choosing a real estate agent through several approaches.

  1. Ask the realtor directly: The easiest way to find out how many homes a realtor has sold is to ask them during the interview process3. They should be able to provide you with this information and discuss their track record.

  2. Look for industry statistics: The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides various real estate statistics, including the percentage of agent-assisted home sales versus for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transactions2. This can give you a general idea of the average number of homes real estate agents sell in your area.

  3. Consider using platforms like HomeLight: HomeLight is a real estate referral platform that can help you find top-performing agents in your area. They provide information on the number of homes each agent sells, allowing you to compare their performance to the local average1.

Number of homes sold

When inquiring about the number of sold homes a realtor has, ensure that their response does not include homes where they assisted buyer clients in purchasing. The information you’re seeking is the number of properties they have listed and sold.

One useful metric to consider is the list-to-price ratio. This ratio is a useful metric that compares a home’s listing price to the price it sells for. Ideally, this ratio should be no less than 90%, as it accurately reflects the realtor’s ability to price and negotiate the sale of homes1. A higher ratio indicates that the home sold close to or above its listing price, which can show effective pricing and negotiation skills. It is important to note that this ratio may vary depending on market conditions and other factors, which compare a home’s listing price to the price it sells for.

Familiarity with your neighborhood

A realtor’s familiarity with your neighborhood is essential in accurately pricing your home and understanding the area’s unique selling points. To gauge their knowledge of your locality, ask for a list of their transactions in the neighborhood for the past 12 to 24 months. If they have had no dealings in the area during that period, further inquiry might be warranted to assess their familiarity with your neighborhood.

Remember, a local agent with expertise can be a valuable asset when selling your home.

Assessing Your Realtor’s Marketing Strategy

Real estate agent discussing marketing strategy with a client

A realtor’s marketing strategy plays a pivotal role in showcasing the unique selling points of your home and attracting potential buyers. In this section, we’ll explore the critical components of a realtor’s marketing strategy, including their online presence, professional photography and staging use, and targeted advertising efforts.

Online presence is essential for realtors to reach potential buyers. This includes having a website.

Online presence

In today’s digital age, a solid online presence is crucial for marketing your home effectively. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram and real estate marketing tools such as kvCORE, AppFolio, and BoomTown can help your realtor reach a broader audience and establish connections with potential buyers.

How real estate marketing tools discussed can help your agent market your home.

  1. kvCORE: kvCORE is a comprehensive real estate platform designed to streamline and automate various aspects of the real estate business. It offers a range of tools and features to help real estate agents effectively market and sell properties.

  2. AppFolio: AppFolio is a property management software that caters to real estate agents and property managers. While primarily focused on managing rental properties, AppFolio also offers robust marketing capabilities that can benefit real estate agents when selling houses.

  3. BoomTown: BoomTown is a real estate marketing and lead generation platform designed to help agents attract and convert leads into clients. It offers a range of features to enhance the marketing of your house and drive more qualified leads.

Additionally, email marketing tools like Mailchimp and CRM platforms like Pipedrive and HubSpot can support realtors in managing their contacts and leads. Be sure to inquire about your realtor’s online presence and utilization of these platforms to maximize your home’s exposure.

Professional photography and staging

High-quality photographs and staging are vital elements of a successful marketing strategy. They can significantly impact the level of interest your home receives from prospective buyers. Most agents provide professional staging services as part of their fee, and it is the realtor’s responsibility to provide a professional photographer.

Ensure your realtor understands the importance of professional photography and staging when marketing your home.

Targeted advertising

Targeted advertising is a powerful way to reach potential buyers more likely to be interested in your property. Various forms of targeted advertising exist, such as search engines, displays, social media, and email marketing.

The advantages of targeted advertising include heightened visibility, higher conversion rates, and improved return on investment (ROI). Discuss with your realtor their approach to targeted advertising and how it will benefit your home sale.

Understanding the Selling Process

Real estate agent discussing the selling process with a client

Selling your home involves several key steps, from setting the right price to negotiating offers. This section discusses the importance of understanding the selling process and the factors to consider.

Understanding the market and current trends is important to set the right price.

Pricing strategy

Setting the right asking price for your home is crucial for maximizing your offer price and expediting the sale. Overpricing or underpricing your home can have negative consequences, such as discouraging potential buyers or leaving money on the table.

A reliable method for determining the listing price is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which uses recent sales data from comparable homes in the area. Be sure to discuss your realtor’s pricing strategy and how it will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your home sale.

Preparing your home for sale

Preparing your home for sale is essential, as it can affect the speed of the sale and the final selling price. Your realtor should conduct a thorough walkthrough of your home and provide recommendations on necessary repairs and upgrades. Simple and low-cost fixes, such as decluttering, cleaning, and incorporating inexpensive plants and flowers, can significantly improve the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Consult your realtor about the best steps to prepare your home for sale.

Negotiating offers

The negotiation process is a crucial aspect of the home selling process, and understanding the factors to consider when evaluating offers from potential buyers is essential. When assessing a request, it is important to consider the market value of the home, the appraised value, the assessed value, and the buyer’s bottom line.

Discuss your realtor’s approach to negotiating offers with potential buyers and how they will ensure the best possible outcome for your home sale.

Communication and Availability

Real estate agent discussing communication and availability with a client

Effective communication and availability are critical factors in any successful real estate transaction. This section discusses the importance of understanding your realtor’s preferred communication methods and their availability for showings and meetings.

Realtors typically prefer to communicate via email or text, allowing them to respond quickly.

Preferred communication methods

Your realtor’s communication style can significantly impact your home-selling experience. Preferred communication methods, such as phone, email, text messaging, and video conferencing, can affect response times and the overall efficiency of the process.

Discuss your realtor’s preferred communication methods and ensure they align with your expectations.

Availability for showings and meetings

A realtor’s availability for showings and meetings can significantly impact the home sale process. Full-time realtors are more likely to be responsive to your needs and able to accommodate your schedule.

Be sure to inquire about your realtor’s availability, including their work schedule and any potential conflicts that may arise.

Fees and Commissions

Real estate agent discussing fees and commissions with a client

Understanding the fees and commissions associated with selling your home is crucial for making an informed decision about your realtor. This section discusses realtor commission rates and any additional fees involved in the home sale process.

Realtor commission rates vary depending on the market and the services provided. Generally, the commission.

Realtor commission rates

Bankrate provides information on real estate agent commissions, stating that the commission ranges between 5% and 6% in most states. However, it also mentions that states like California and Massachusetts, where properties are more expensive, may have different commission rates2. This commission is usually divided between the seller and the buyer’s agent.

When discussing commission rates with your realtor, ensure that you clearly understand how their fees are determined and how they compare to industry standards.

Additional fees

In addition to commission rates, other fees may be associated with selling a home, such as closing costs, transfer taxes, and title insurance. Be sure to inquire about any additional fees your realtor may charge and factor them into your overall budget for the home sale process.

Listing Agreements and Cancellation Policies

Real estate agent discussing listing agreements and cancellation policies with a client

Listing agreements and cancellation policies should be clear and transparent for the seller and the realtor. This section discusses the types of listing agreements and the realtor’s cancellation policies.

An exclusive right-to-sell agreement is the most common type of listing agreement. It gives the real estate agent exclusive rights to market and broker a transaction on behalf of the property owner. This agreement is binding.

Types of listing agreements

There are different types of listing agreements, such as exclusive agency listing agreements and exclusive right-to-sell listing agreements. Each type of agreement has its implications and benefits for sellers, so be sure to discuss the options with your realtor and choose the one that best suits your needs. Additionally, utilizing a multiple listing service can help increase the visibility of your property to potential buyers.

It is important to understand the differences between the two types of agreements and the implications of each.

Cancellation policies

Understanding a realtor’s cancellation policies is essential if you need to terminate the listing agreement for any reason. Be sure to discuss these policies with your realtor and ensure that they are clearly outlined in the listing agreement.

Knowing your options and the potential consequences of canceling a listing agreement can help you make an informed decision if the need arises.

Seeking Referrals and Testimonials

Real estate agent discussing referrals and testimonials with a client

Gathering referrals and testimonials from past clients can provide valuable insights into a realtor’s performance and client satisfaction. This section discusses the importance of seeking referrals and testimonials and how to obtain them.

Referrals and testimonials can be a great way to build trust with potential clients.

Requesting client referrals

Client referrals objectively assess a realtor’s services and performance, offering insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to request client referrals from your realtor and ask their previous clients about their experience working with the realtor, including the level of satisfaction, the negotiation process, and the promptness of the response to any questions or concerns.

Getting an honest opinion from the realtor’s previous clients is important.

Online reviews and testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials can help potential clients make informed decisions when choosing a realtor. These reviews can provide insights into a realtor’s expertise, customer service, and overall success.

Be sure to research online reviews and testimonials for your realtor and consider the overall sentiment when making your decision.

Realtor’s Network of Professionals

Real estate agent discussing a realtor's network of professionals with a client

A realtor’s network of professionals, such as inspectors and contractors, can be beneficial during the home sale process. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of evaluating their connections and the advantages of working with a realtor who has a strong network.

When selecting a realtor, it’s important to consider the quality of their network.

Importance of a professional network

Developing a professional network can be beneficial as it can offer access to resources and knowledge that may facilitate the home-selling process. A realtor’s network should encompass home inspectors, appraisers, mortgage brokers, title companies, and attorneys. These professionals can provide valuable services and help ensure a smooth home sale process.

A strong professional network can be a great asset when selling a home. They can provide.

Evaluating a realtor’s network

To evaluate a realtor’s network of professionals, consider the following criteria: validity of real estate license, experience and expertise, trustworthiness, local knowledge, responsiveness, negotiation skills, and professionalism.

By assessing a realtor’s network, you can ensure that the professionals they work with are reliable and have your best interests in mind.

Buyer Representation

Real estate agent discussing buyer representation with a client

Buyer representation should be discussed when working with a buyer’s agent during the home sale process. In this section, we’ll consider the pros and cons of dual representation if the realtor represents both the buyer and seller.

Dual representation

Dual representation refers to a situation where a real estate agent represents the buyer and the seller in a transaction. While this can streamline communication and potentially reduce commission costs, it may be challenging for the real estate agent to impartially and equitably represent both parties.

The agent must be aware of the potential conflicts of interest that can arise when representing both parties and when working with other agents.

Pros and cons

Working with a realtor during the home sale process offers several benefits, such as access to a vast network of potential buyers, proficiency in pricing and negotiating, and support with paperwork and legal requirements.

However, there are potential drawbacks, such as the expense of their commission, conflicts of interest, and the possibility of a prolonged sales process. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of working with a realtor and decide what works best for your situation.

Preparing for Closing

A person holding a pen and paper, preparing to ask their realtor important questions about selling their home, including what to ask realtor when selling.

Preparing for closing involves understanding the steps and requirements leading up to the finalization of the home sale. This includes opening an escrow account, conducting a title search, obtaining title insurance, hiring an attorney, negotiating closing costs, ensuring clients have proper identification, clearing the title, obtaining final mortgage approval, reviewing the closing disclosure, scheduling a final walk-through of the property, signing all paperwork, and making final payments.

By being prepared and understanding the closing process, you can ensure a smooth and successful home sale.


In conclusion, selling your home can be a complex and challenging process. You can ensure a successful and stress-free home sale by asking the right questions and thoroughly evaluating your realtor’s experience, marketing strategy, communication style, and network of professionals. Remember, the key to a successful home sale lies in partnering with a realtor who understands your needs, has a strong track record, and is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you interview a Realtor to sell?

When interviewing a Realtor to sell your home, you should ask about their training and background, professional experience, suggested selling price, data on houses they sold within the past year, their marketing plan, recommended prep work before going on the market, and references you can contact.

This information will help you determine if they are the right fit for your real estate needs.

How do you thank your Realtor for selling your house?

Thank you for your hard work in selling our house. Your marketing, negotiation, and attention to detail have resulted in a successful outcome for us.

I’d be delighted to provide a review or testimonial if needed.

What do you say when new realtors talk to clients?

Introduce yourself, explain how you got their information, and ask if now is a good time to chat.

Get an understanding of what triggered their home buying or selling process.

How can I determine if a realtor has enough experience in the industry?

Look at the realtor’s years in the industry, number of homes sold, and familiarity with your neighborhood to understand their experience.

This should give you a good indication of their expertise in the field.

What factors should I consider when evaluating a realtor’s marketing strategy?

Consider the realtor’s online presence, use of professional photography and staging, and targeted advertising initiatives when evaluating their marketing strategy.


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