10 Questions Every Real Estate Agent Must Ask A Home Seller
Real estate agents are always used to fielding questions from their clients. They answer a wide range of questions when they are working with the seller and are also responsible to provide answers to queries when carrying out any negotiation. Most real estate agents believe that the path to a successful real estate career is by being able to answer all of these varied questions.
To a certain extent, it is true. If you are in a position to answer all of the questions, it definitely means that you have all of the required information. Having the information at your fingertips means you can provide the home sellers with the right solutions to get their homes sold quickly and at the price they wanted.
However, no real estate agent should forget that each home that they handle for sale is a real estate transaction not only for the home seller but also for the agent themselves. As such, there are a few certain key questions that a real estate agent must ask a prospective client to ensure that they are able to provide the best service to the seller and are also able to utilize their time and effort in an adequate manner.
We will go over a few of the best questions to ask a prospective seller. Your success in business always depends on your ability to ask the best questions. This is seen in your willingness to go on your presentation prepared.
Questions Real Estate Agents Must Ask The Home Owner At The Listing Appointment
When you meet a prospective home seller for discussing the listing, it is necessary to ask these crucial questions first. By asking these questions, you gain two major advantages:
The primary advantage is that you are building a rapport with the seller. Most agents focus on talking about themselves and their real estate success. This is no doubt important, but it is equally necessary to use this meeting to gain more insight into the seller's mind in order to provide better services to them.
The other advantage is that you can gauge how motivated the seller is and should you take up this listing or not? Your time and effort are equally valuable, so by asking these questions, you will have a better idea of how to proceed with the client.
Q1. What Made You Decide To Sell Your Home?
Most successful real estate agents believe this is the vital question to ask a home seller. The reasons for selling the house would vary, but it would give you an idea about how motivated the sellers are to put up their home for sale. It is really important to evaluate the motivation behind the sale as this could be the crucial difference between a serious seller and someone who is probably testing the waters.
For instance, if the seller is expecting a child and the family needs a bigger home, or if someone has got a promotion or found a new job and they wish to relocate closer to their workplace, then it is definitely going to convert into a sale. However, in other cases, the seller may just be looking to find the value of the house or may only be considering the sale of the house in the future.
As a licensed real estate agent, it is better to know right from the start whether you are working with a motivated seller or not. If you find a seller who is not exactly ready to sell, you could always ask what would help them reach that decision, and how can you help them with the process.
Q2. What Was The Price At Which This Home Was Purchased?
Your second question to ask the home sellers is how much they paid for the house. This is the gateway question to start asking them about how much they want for the house now. It would give you a clear indication of how the property prices have changed in that particular neighborhood. It would also give you an idea about how much the sellers are willing to negotiate from their expected listing price. For example, if the property was purchased at very low prices during a market beneficial for the buyers, then your clients may be willing to go a little low on their asking price as they would still be making a profit from the property sale. On the other hand, if they purchased the property at a high value and if the current market is not beneficial to the seller, you may have to advise them to wait for a few months for the markets to improve so that you can help them get their asking price for the home.
Q3. How soon do you want to list your home for sale?
As a real estate agent, it is necessary to slot your prospective buyers and sellers into short-term and long-term prospects. If your sellers are not ready for putting up their homes for sale soon, then it is better to classify them as long-term prospects. Stay in touch with them through phone calls and emails. However, if you are dealing with motivated sellers, then it would mean that they would be ready to list their properties in a month, and hope to have them sold in the next two to three months. The initial 30 days would be required to carry out all the pre-listing activities, such as home inspection, staging, photography/videography, installation of a lockbox, and marketing.
Q4. What Does The Seller Like About Their Property?
When you meet the clients who are interested in selling their house, it is a good idea to ask them to describe in detail what they liked about their home. After all, there is a reason they bought it, right? You can even write down these points. It would help you when it comes to planning the marketing strategy for the home selling and also helps you build a better rapport with the clients as they would appreciate you taking the time out to write down their views.
Ask the clients questions about the house and the neighborhood. Maybe the neighborhoods are really safe for children or the house is located in an excellent school district. The kitchen always has ample natural light, or maybe there is enough space in the basement to convert it into a full-fledged bedroom. There could be many other benefits of the home and the neighborhood that the seller would be able to tell you about. All of this is useful for agents to plan out their next steps when it comes to selling this property.
Q5. Who All Are Included In The Home Selling Decision?
It is important for agents to know right from the start how many people are going to be involved in the final decision-making process when it comes to selling the home. Although many times the owner may say that they are going to be making all the final decisions, it is better to have all of the main property owners and decision-makers present for all of the meetings. You may convince one person regarding a certain aspect of the home selling, but the other person may not agree to that. As agents, it is necessary that you have the agreement of all of the sellers. This would ensure that you do not have to face any unexpected issues going ahead with the real estate transaction.
Questions To Ask A Home Seller To Finalize Home Selling Details
Q6. Would They Consider Carrying Out Repairs/Renovations?
As agents, it is your responsibility to ensure that your clients are able to get a good price for their homes. Many clients are unaware that small renovations can help them get their houses sold in the price range they require. The money that they spend on these repairs would actually help them get a better buyer. Many times buyers are put off by a house that looks shabby and unkempt. Small modification costs can be easily regained through the sale. A fresh coat of paint, a new backsplash in the kitchen, or giving the garden and the yard a makeover could be helpful in attracting more buyers who are prepared to pay the higher asking price. As a professional, you would have a clear idea of which improvements or repairs could get the maximum benefit for the home sellers.
Q7. What Would They Include In The Sale?
It is commonly understood that all the fixed elements of a home and yard such as cabinets, faucets, and yard equipment are included in the sale. Still, as an agent, it is better to get it clarified by the owners what all they plan to include in the home sale. This is mainly to ensure that when you host an open house, there will not be any confusion for the buyers regarding what is included in the sale and what items are excluded. You can also ask the homeowner to provide you with the age and cost of all these fixtures, as the value of these fixtures can come in handy during the negotiation. You can easily point out the value of these items to close the deal.
Q8. What Is The Age Of Main House Elements?
It is necessary to ask your clients about the age of the major house elements. These components are major expenditures for any homeowner. Depending upon the age of these components, you can advise your clients to adjust the asking price of the house. The major component is the roof. If the roof has been replaced recently and is barely a couple of years old, then the new homeowners will not need to undergo the re-roofing expenses for over a decade; whereas if the roof is already around 15 years or more old, then the new owners are looking at a major expense soon. Similarly, the age of other elements, such as electrical systems, plumbing, kitchen appliances, heating, and cooling systems can all influence the final value of the home.
Q9. What Sort Of Marketing Services Would They Prefer For Selling Their Home?
One of the main questions as an agent you should ask your clients is, what sort of marketing would they expect for their home? Be ready to present different marketing strategies and plans to them. Inform them about the number of homes available currently on the market and what the current real estate market conditions are in their city. Their choice would also depend on a few other factors such as:
- How soon would they want the home to be sold?
- How soon would they want the funds from the sale?
Do inform them that to attract maximum potential buyers and to get their asking price, they would have to opt for an extensive marketing plan. The costs incurred for that can be regained in the sale of the home. Also inform them that the longer a property stays listed, the harder it becomes to get it sold as potential buyers tend to believe that there could be a flaw in the home resulting in it remaining unsold.
10. Which Features Are They Looking For In Their New Home?
A final question that all savvy agents must ask their clients is this one: What are they looking for in their new home? This can result in you getting an opportunity to offer your help in looking through the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to find a home that meets their requirements and criteria. This can help you get both the listing to sell this home, as well as get an opportunity to represent them when buying their next property. Even if your clients are planning to relocate to a new area, you can still offer your firm's agents in that city. Either way, you have a higher chance of landing the listing because of your genuine interest and rapport with the client.
Be Prepared To Answer Some Of Seller's Questions Too
Now that you have a better idea of how to approach your sellers and the kind of questions you should ask in order to ensure that there is a better understanding moving forward with the sellers. However, you should also be prepared to answer some of the common questions that homeowners ask Realtors.
Some of these common questions are as follows:
Could you show us a list of referrals?
An agent must always be prepared to share a list of referrals and glowing testimonials with their prospective clients. It is one of the fundamental questions that a seller is bound to ask an agent. Keep a list ready with clients of a similar profile and properties that you helped sell, which are similar to the current one.
What Are The Average Days Your Listings Stay On The Market?
One of the primary concerns that most homeowners have is how long it takes to get a home sold. they prefer to work with agents who are able to clear their listings fast. So, it is necessary to be ready to answer this query. It is good, to be frank about this matter and state the average days it takes for you to get home of this type to get sold.
What Is Your Average List Price-To-Sale Price Figures
Most homeowners would want the maximum profit when it comes to the final sale. A good figure would be when you are able to sell most of the homes over the listing price. A figure around and over 90%. All home sellers understand that most agents would not have a 100% ratio, in fact, most sellers are wary of agents who claim a 100% ratio as they suspect that the homes are being consistently underpriced.
Have You Previously Sold Homes In Their Neighborhood?
Each neighborhood is unique in terms of the homes, the families that reside over there, and the kind of prices those homes fetch. All home sellers understand that ultimately an agent is not selling only the home, but the aspirational value of living in a safe and good neighborhood. Knowing that the agent has previously sold homes in their neighborhood puts theirs mind to rest. This gives them an assurance that the agent is familiar with the locality and will be able to present and market their home in the best possible way.
By asking these questions, you would be putting yourself and your clients at an advantage. These questions are meant to help you gain more clarity about the client and are also helpful for the client to understand the entire home selling process better. It would enable you to offer the best services as a real estate agent to your clients and help them sell the house at a price they approve of and make a good profit from the sale.