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Licensed REALTOR® in Victoria, BC with Pemberton Holmes + Mavrikos Collective

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11 Best Questions To Ask a Real Estate Agent (When Selling)

March 30, 2023


…and why it’s important to ask the right questions before selecting a listing agent! 


How Does The Selling Process Work? 

Your listing agent should be able to map out the selling process clearly. This way, you’ll know the steps and what to expect from the start. From your first meeting with a real estate agent to getting to the closing table. The right real estate agent will get you the highest dollar value for your home and ensure that the home-selling process is as smooth and seamless as possible for you.


How Did You Arrive At Your Suggested List Price? 

Your REALTOR® will prepare a comparative market analysis to determine the market value for your home based on similar properties in your neighbourhood. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s good to ask to get an understanding of how they arrived at their listing price range. You can ask them to see active, pending, sold, expired and cancelled listings in your neighbourhood that are similar to your home. 


The listing price can make a difference in how much showing activity your house gets, the days on market, and the ultimate selling price. A real estate agent’s goal will be to get you the highest price for your home in the least amount of days so that the selling process is as seamless as possible for you.


Will You Also Represent The Buyer? 

Nope. In BC, the listing agent is not allowed to represent both the buyer and the seller. Representing both the buyer and seller is known as dual agency. In almost all real estate transactions (there are a few exceptions), a potential buyer will have their own buyer’s agent and home sellers will have a listing agent. Both sides will represent their client’s best interests and keep their information confidential.


How Will You Market My Home? 

A comprehensive marketing plan can help ensure that your home is exposed to as many potential buyers as possible. That can include determining a target audience for your home. Who is likely going to be the buyer? Is it someone who is looking to purchase an investment property or a young family looking for their forever home? After determining a target audience, an agent can tailor their marketing strategies toward that buyer.


Another way is to market the unique features of your property. There are features about your home that you love (which is likely what drew you to your home in the first place). Your real estate agent may also have a perspective on what makes your home unique or attractive to potential buyers. For instance, do the location, amazing view, or nearby amenities make it more desirable? 


In my opinion, one of the most important marketing aspects is hiring a professional photographer and floorplan company to get high-quality professional photos, videos, virtual tours, and floorplans to show your home the best way. This is what will initially motivate potential buyers to book a showing after seeing the online and print advertising.


More ways to market your home include advertising on multiple channels like the MLS®, social media, hosting open houses, and through digital and print advertising to reach the most people. You can check out my real estate services page if you’re interested in more marketing services.


What Do I Need To Do To Get My Home Ready?

If you can, remove any personal items, excess furniture or anything that could distract potential buyers from imagining themselves living in your home. Make necessary or obvious repairs, de-clutter, and clean before listing your home for sale.


First impressions matter. Boost curb appeal by making sure the garden or front lawn looks good, the doorstep is free of debris, the doormat is welcoming, and the exterior lights are on for evening showings. Small things can make a huge difference in making your home seem welcoming and inviting. 


Staging is another option that can help maximize your home’s value. If you don’t have the budget for a professional stager, you could re-arrange your furniture to create an attractive or more spacious layout. 



What Are The Closing Costs Associated With Selling My Home?

Real estate agent commissions, any mortgage prepayment penalties, capital gains taxes, lawyer or notary fees for conveyancing, and moving expenses are some of the most common expenses. If you’re looking for a more thorough cost breakdown, you can check out the 7 Common Costs When Selling Your House blog post.


Can I Cancel Our Listing Agreement? 

This will depend on the terms agreed to in the multiple listing contract. Often, listing agreements are for six months. However, you can discuss the contract length with your real estate agent, and if you have a specific situation where you’d like a shorter listing agreement, then you can work together to find a length of time that best suits you.


How Often Will We Communicate?

Communication is key during the selling process. You should ask the real estate agent how they plan to keep you updated with buyer feedback, offers, and any other information pertaining to your home sale. It’s good to have this discussion before listing your home so that you and your real estate agent are on the same page with preferred communication methods, styles, and times of the day. 


Will I Be Working Directly With You? 

You’ll want to know ahead of time if you will be dealing with one real estate agent or if it will be a team effort. There is no right or wrong answer to this, but it’s good to know what to expect when you hire a listing agent or their team to list your home. 


What Common Mistakes Should I Avoid When Selling My Home? 

Your real estate agent should clearly explain common mistakes so that you or they don’t make the same mistakes with your home. Each real estate agent will have their own opinions, but one of the common mistakes is overpricing your home. If the price is too high, buyers may overlook your home. 


Another mistake is being inflexible with showings. The more prospective buyers and eyes that you can get on your home, the better. If it’s too difficult for a buyer to view your home, they will move on to another property. 


How Long Will The Home Selling Process Take? 

You should know what to expect before selling your home. If you need to sell by a certain date, you should communicate this with your listing agent so that they can adjust their marketing and pricing strategy. 


In general, how long the selling process takes will depend on a variety of factors, like the location of your home, the property type, local market conditions, the condition of your home, and the listing price. 

Overall, it’s a good idea to interview at least 2-3 real estate agents to determine who has the experience and knowledge to sell your home and who you’ll enjoy working with!


March 30, 2023

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