Selling Your Property? Critical Questions to Ask Before Signing that Listing

Selling your property?  Critical Questions To Ask Before Signing That Listing You have decided to sell your property.  In most cases it is the most valuable thing you own, and you are hoping to get top dollar for it— and sooner rather than later! Do not take the easy way out. This is no time to list with your next-door-neighbors’ sister Mary or that cute agent whose photo you see in the local newspaper. You are hiring someone to do an important job for you.  What do you do when you hire an important employee?  Interview them.   

  • What is your marketing plan?  What type and how much advertising will be done? Will the agent list your property in the newspaper or in free real estate brochures distributed along with the newspaper or available in heavily trafficked areas such as the entrances of the local grocery stores?  Does the agent have listings on the Internet?  Will it be placed in a MLS system? Does the agent have a following of buyers for your property type?


  • What do you suggest to make the property more attractive to prospective buyers?  Good agents will know what types of improvements will increase your chances of selling your property quickly. Do not forget time is money and with volatile interest rates you want to sell it quickly.


  • How much experience do you have with this type of property?     How long has this agent been active in the business of marketing property, specifically your type of property. How many sales have they participated in?


  • How much commission will be charged? There is no average. However many people believe the average is 6 percent. This is negotiable. It should be based on the listing price and the investment the agent/company will make in marketing your property. If you are overpricing the property the agent will work much harder and spend more money speculating for you. If you ask for top dollar plus and will not pay the commission the agent will not be able to deliver. You both will lose.


  • What neighborhoods/property types are you most active in?  A real estate salesperson who markets properties frequently in your area is more likely to know what properties have sold for and other information that increases your chances of selling quickly for maximum dollar.


  • What is the average time before a home in your neighborhood sells?  Ask how your property fits into that time frame.


  • Will you take a three-month listing?  Some experts recommend a three-month listing with the option of renewing.  In many cases the shorter the listing time, the harder your agent will work to sell your home. But remember to price the property correctly or you both will waste time.

 Contributed by Tom Pahos of Michael Cervelli Real Estate/Property Management. Tom has been involved in sales and management of commercial properties for 20 years. You can contact him at (201)868-6300.