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39 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make. Choosing the right real estate professional can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your home sale.

Asking the right questions will help you determine if your realtor is the best fit for your needs.

In this guide, we’ll explore 39 crucial questions to ask your listing agent when selling so you can make the most informed decision.

General Questions to Ask Your Listing Agent

1. How long have you been in real estate?

Experience is key in the real estate market. An experienced agent understands market trends and conditions and has a track record of successful sales.

Be cautious if your agent has less than 2 years of experience, as this might be a red flag.

2. How many homes did you sell in my area last year?

Local market knowledge is crucial. Realtors who have sold homes in your neighborhood will be familiar with the community, housing market, and what prospective buyers are looking for.

Asking how many homes they sold last year is a better gauge of their expertise than asking how long they’ve been in real estate.

For example, a real estate agent with 5 years of experience who sells 50 homes a year could be way better at their job than an agent with 20 years of experience selling 3 homes a year.

3. What is your marketing strategy for selling homes?

Any marketing plan should include professional photography, virtual tours, social media promotion, and listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Those are just the basics. Ask about anything your agent plans to do differently than other realtors in your area. Make sure they have effective tactics to guide you to a successful sale.

“Our marketing strategy truly sets us apart from other realtors. We have a fully integrated marketing team that supports us across many different platforms, including, but not limited to social media, print marketing, property websites and most importantly our YouTube channel which has 10,000 subscribers! Our team really can do it all, and that makes a huge difference in getting top dollar for your listing”

Kellie Lasater

4. Can you provide references from past clients?

Speaking with past clients can give you insight into the agent’s communication style, professionalism, and ability to close deals successfully.

Online reviews can also be a great source of feedback about your agent.

5. What was the toughest deal you closed last year?

This question will help you get to know your listing agent and how they operate.

Ask them about their most challenging transaction to see how they respond. How did they handle it? What could they have done differently? Do they blame the home sellers or themselves?

6. Do you practice dual agency?

Dual agency is legal in some states. If it’s legal where you live, ask your agent if they practice it.

Dual agency means your agent would serve as the listing and buyer’s agent. A good agent will explain the pros and cons of dual agency and help you determine whether it’s a good idea for you.

7. Can you show me your website and social media profiles? 

Take a look at your agent’s website.

Is it professional?

Do you like how they present their listings?

Your agent’s online presence is important to consider. If they do a great job marketing themselves, it’s likely they’ll do a great job marketing your home. 

Gateway Realty Group Social Media Reach

When looking at social media profiles, consider the same questions. Do you like how they appear online? Do they create professional, helpful content?  

Experience and Credentials

8. Are you a full-time or part-time agent?

Full-time agents are typically more available and committed, providing a higher level of service than part-time agents.

Compared to part-timers, full-time realtors are likelier to have the appropriate systems and operating procedures.

You’ll want to hire someone focused on selling real estate. If selling real estate is their part-time job, you’ll get their part-time attention.

9. What professional certifications or designations do you hold?

Certifications from the National Association of Realtors and other real estate organizations indicate specialized knowledge and professionalism. Be sure to check your agent has a valid real estate license. Do they hold a salesperson license or a broker’s license?

10. How familiar are you with current market trends?

An agent who stays updated on market trends, including interest rates and housing market conditions, can offer better pricing strategy and timing advice.

St. Louis county mo median time on market

Marketing and Sales Strategy

11. Will you help stage my home, or do you work with a stager?

Not every home needs staging. If your home is vacant or you have a unique taste in furniture, you’ll want to stage it.

The seller typically pays for home stagers, but some agents offer staging to win the listing.

Ask your agent if they think staging is necessary for your home.

Although staging deals with the interior of your home, remember curb appeal, too!

Make sure your home looks great from the outside and inside.

“I have a passion for design as much as I do real estate. I love helping my clients get their house ready for market. Staging is one of the biggest attributes in my opinion in getting top dollar and helps set me apart from other agents. We have helped clients in numerous ways from painting, packing, and rearranging furniture. I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty!”

Mindy Bushman
Mindy Bushman

12. What methods do you use to market listings?

Effective marketing strategies can include open houses, virtual tours, and targeted online advertising to attract potential buyers.

Ask your agent what kinds of organic and paid social media they plan on leveraging.

13. How do you plan to market my home specifically?

Ensure the agent has a tailored marketing plan for your home, emphasizing its unique selling points to attract the right buyers.

“Every home is unique, and so are our marketing plans! Not only do we focus on highlighting the best features of your home, we also showcase the lifestyle that comes with it. From highlighting the “lake life” in Lake St. Louis to “city life” in Downtown St. Louis, we are experts at making your listing stand out among the competition!”

Madison Hayes
Madison Hayes

14. Can you provide examples of marketing materials and past listings?

Reviewing an agent’s previous marketing efforts can give you an idea of how effective they are at their job. This includes pamphlets, flyers, videos, photos, blog posts, and social media content.

The more ways you target buyers, the better chance you’ll get a higher selling price.

15. What online listing services will you use?

In addition to the MLS, your agent should utilize real estate websites like realtor.com, Zillow, Homes.com, and social media platforms to maximize exposure.

Pricing and Valuation

16. How will you determine my listing price?

An accurate listing price is crucial for a successful sale. Your agent should provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) to support their pricing recommendation.

Think about the following factors that will help you set the right price:

  • Your home’s location
  • Your lot
  • Nearby amenities
  • School district
  • Upgrades & features
  • Neighborhood
  • Age & style
  • Square footage

Keep in mind that these factors won’t always be weighted equally. A good real estate agent will explain the most influential factors in estimating your home’s value.

For example, if your house is smaller compared to nearby comps but is a brand-new home with modern finishes, that could have a bigger impact on price than the lot and square footage.

17. Can you provide a comparative market analysis (CMA)?

A CMA will show comparable sales in your area, helping you understand how your home compares to others on the market. However, the CMA is just an estimate of your home’s value.

The final sales price will depend on how well your agent handles marketing, staging, and photography. That’s why choosing the right agent is important!

18. How many homes have you sold in my price range?

Make sure your agent has experience in your area and price range.

For example, if an agent recently sold 5 houses in your neighborhood under $400,000 but plans to list your home at $850,000, you’ll want to consider how the agent will market your home differently.

If an agent doesn’t have experience within your price range, they may not be a good fit for you.

19. How often will we review the price if my home doesn’t sell quickly?

Flexibility in your pricing strategy is important if you don’t get offers.

If you don’t receive any offers after 10-21 days on the market, it might be time to reevaluate your listing price.

Regular reviews with your agent ensure you stay competitive in the market.

Communication and Availability

20. How often will you communicate with me?

Consistent communication is key. Ensure your agent updates you throughout the selling process with regular phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings.

The home-selling process can take a few weeks to a few months, so make sure you feel comfortable with the communication cadence you and your agent agree upon. How much will you want to hear from your agent? Make sure you’re on the same page.

21. What is your preferred method of communication?

Understanding their communication style lets you stay in touch and receive timely updates. 

Some agents are very old-fashioned and only communicate via phone and in-person meetings. Others are very capable of texting, emailing, and video chatting.

If your agent has a separate work email address and phone number, ask them how often they check it.

22. Are you available on weekends and evenings?

Real estate is a 24/7 job.

Availability during non-business hours is crucial for showings and meetings. Many potential buyers will want to view your home outside regular working hours.

Many people spend weekends on the home search if they’re booked during the week. Keep that in mind, and make sure your agent will be available.

23. How many people are involved in handling paperwork?

Some real estate agents handle the paperwork themselves, while others have multiple people working for them to help with transaction coordination.

Some agents get support directly from their brokerage when handling paperwork. If your agent has multiple people to handle the paperwork, it’s a good sign.

At Gateway Realty Group, we have a full-time transaction coordinator whose sole focus is keeping paperwork organized!

Every agent operates differently, so you’ll want to know how they handle paperwork and who will communicate with you during your home sale. 

Open Houses and Showings

24. How will you handle showings and open houses?

Discuss how the agent plans to conduct showings, including their approach to safety, convenience, and maximizing exposure to buyers.

25. Will you be present at showings?

Depending on your market, it may or may not be common practice for the listing agent to attend showings. Having the agent present can ensure potential buyers receive accurate information and immediate answers to their questions.

Sometimes, it’s not necessary for the listing agent to be present at all showings. If you’d prefer to have your agent present, however, be sure to bring it up during the interview.

Your agent might also have a showing assistant to help them show your house if they are unavailable.

26. How should I prepare my home for showings?

Your agent should provide guidance on staging, decluttering, and making minor repairs to enhance your home’s appeal to buyers. Get your home ready to appeal to home buyers in the best way possible.

Negotiation and Offers

27. How do you handle multiple offers?

A good realtor will have a strategy for managing multiple offers to get you the best price and terms. The real estate market in 2024 is crazy.

When homes are priced competitively and move-in-ready, they tend to sell over the list price with multiple offers. If your goal is to net the most money possible, you’ll want to find an agent experienced in multiple-offer situations.

This will give you the best chance to negotiate the highest price with the best terms.

28. What is your strategy for negotiating the best price?

Understanding your agent’s negotiation tactics can give you confidence that they will advocate for you at the highest level possible. If your main priority is getting the highest sale price, you’ll want your agent to use their best negotiating tactics.

Make sure your agent is protecting your best interests.

29. What terms should we negotiate aside from price?

Price is important, but it’s not everything. Depending on your situation, you may want to pay attention to other terms of a sale contract:

  • Whether the buyers are financing with a home loan
  • Type of loan
  • Deadline for home inspections
  • Municipal inspections
  • Appraisal contingency
  • Timeframe for commitment & underwriting

The sales process has multiple components. Many contract terms are negotiable, so make sure your agent can negotiate the best price and terms.

30. Can you explain the process of handling offers and counteroffers?

Transparency in the offer process ensures you know what to expect and can make informed decisions. Every real estate transaction is different.

Some sales do not involve back-and-forth negotiation, and others involve numerous counteroffers before reaching the final price and terms.

Once you’ve signed the sale contract, there might be more negotiation after their home inspection. Make sure your agent has a game plan for handling this.

Fees and Listing Contract Terms

31. What are your fees and commission rates?

Clarify all costs, including the agent’s commission rate, to avoid surprises at closing. If there are any fees in addition to the agent commission, make sure to clarify that before you sign anything.

Real estate commissions are negotiable. If your agent offers different commission levels, ask what services you get at each level.

32. Should I pay a buyer’s agent commission?

Paying a buyer’s agent is not required, but it’s usually a good idea. This will allow you to reach the widest pool of buyers. Pay attention to how your agent explains whether a buyer’s agent commission is a good idea.

Though you may save a few thousand dollars by not offering a cooperating compensation, keep in mind your home will not be affordable to as many buyers if they don’t have the funds to pay for their own agent.

33. Are there any additional costs I should be aware of?

Discuss any potential additional fees, such as marketing expenses, staging fees, and closing costs.

34. What is the duration of the listing agreement?

Ensure the listing agreement’s duration aligns with your timeline and expectations. The expiration date of every listing contract is negotiable.

35. Can I cancel the contract if I’m not satisfied?

Understanding the cancellation terms can provide peace of mind if the relationship doesn’t work out.

If you hire the right real estate agent, you shouldn’t need to worry about canceling the contract. 

But have a backup plan in case things don’t work out.

Closing Process

36. How will you assist me during the closing process?

Your agent should guide you through the closing process, help with paperwork, coordinate with the selling agent (aka buyer’s agent), and ensure a smooth transaction.

37. What should I expect during the closing?

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare and reduce stress during the final stages of the sale.

Common Pitfalls

38. What are the most common mistakes sellers make?

Your agent can help you avoid common pitfalls, such as overpricing, poor staging, or inadequate marketing.

39. How can I avoid these mistakes?

Practical tips from your agent can ensure you navigate the selling process smoothly and achieve a successful sale. Listen to your agent’s advice, and ask them to explain further if you need clarification.

Hire the Best Agent For YOU

Choosing the right realtor is crucial for a successful home sale.

By asking these key questions, you can ensure you find a knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated agent who will work in your best interests.

These are just some of the most important questions to consider. The more specific questions you ask, the better you gauge whether you’re working with a good agent.

Above all else, make sure to hire an agent you like, trust, and feel comfortable working with.

Ready to sell your home? Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start your home-selling journey with confidence.

We’re here to make sure your home sells for more money in less time with the least hassle. 

Photo of author

Madison Hayes

Madison Hayes brings a wealth of real estate knowledge and expertise to Gateway Realty Group. She graduated from the University of Missouri with two bachelor’s degrees: business management and international studies. Madison has lived and worked throughout the St. Louis metro area, including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Madison was named to the 2020 30 Under 30 list for Coldwell Banker, a network of over 94,000 real estate agents. Her other accolades include the International President’s Circle, Missouri Top 50 on Social Media, Rookie of the Year, and 2022 Keller Williams Top Producer.