Here Are The Best 10 Questions To Ask Before Listing Your Atlanta Home
We’re giving you the best 10 questions to ask before listing your Atlanta home because we believe your real estate experience should be exciting, enjoyable and rewarding.
So you’ve already identified prospective agents to interview by asking neighbors and friends for referrals. You’re looking for an agent that is passionate and knowledgeable about your specific neighborhood. You’re on the right track.
Now you’re set to interview three agents in person before deciding whom to hire. Now you ask, what are the best questions to ask to list my Atlanta home? To help you make the best decision, we’ve put together a list of questions to ensure you hire the best agent.
1. Tell me a little about your background?
Listen for how long the agent has been licensed and working full-time in Atlanta’s in-town market. Also listen for what they specialize in. While you might like the agent, if they spend 90% of their time with buyers and rarely list a home then move on to the next agent.
You want to find an agent who knows the values in the neighborhood well. Don’t hire an agent who lives and works OTP to sell your Midtown loft! Even if she / he is a “friend of the family”.
That said, it’s not always best to go with the agent with the most experience or the one with the biggest brokerage in the city. While it may be more comforting if it is your first time selling, sometimes these agents and brokerages are spread too thin to give you and your home the attention needed to meet your expectations. They may not even have time to consider these questions to ask before listing your Atlanta home. If they don’t, the move on! Read our reviews and see what our clients say about working with us.
Newer agents can have their benefits because they have fresh training and often are better at maximizing today’s technology in the home selling process.
And local, high-tech boutique brokerages can be a good bet simply because they have as much to gain or lose as you do so they typically are more intense about making sure they exceed your expectations.
2. Are you a Realtor®?
While most agents in Atlanta are Realtors® some are not. A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the Atlanta Realtors® Association and thus follows the Realtor® code of ethics. This makes a difference as ethics matter in real estate so let this be your first filter! Learn more about us.
3. What sets you apart from other agents?
During a listing meeting you should expect the agent to shine. Remember this is their big moment to convince you to hire them and so sometimes it’s easy for them to talk a big game or wow you with a high tech presentation.
So make sure you get their promises in writing and don’t be taken in by a sales pitch. That said, of course you want an agent who is polished and has some sales “game”.
4. When and how do you communicate with your clients?
The ideal answer to this question would be for the agent to ask how you prefer to communicate. Determine how much or how little you really want to know.
Texts, WhatsApp, Messenger?
If you’re a busy person who texts and the agent doesn’t use text but rather calls and leaves voice mails this will bug you and could create miscommunications at critical moments in the process.
Also, ask about the agent’s availability. Are you given a direct phone number to call or text your agent? Are they available 7 days a week? How late can you call or text?
Communication leads me to mention a few words about real estate “teams.” Often this is a red flag. The word “team” can be code for “I’m too busy an agent to bother with answering your questions personally”.
It normally means the only time you actually talk to your listing agent is when they’re selling you at the listing presentation. After that you’re talking to a variety of people who don’t often coordinate very well and really have no idea regarding the features and details of your home.
Direct communication with your agent is essential as it means you and your buyer will receive a more personalized experience.
5. How much do you charge?
You’ll note this is not the first of the questions to ask before listing your Atlanta home! That said, it is of course one of the most important questions. But remember the best agents will also be interviewing you.
If this is your first question, it tells them a lot about how you value them. Most brokerages are paid a certain percentage of your home’s selling price and the listing agent get’s a percentage of that amount. Negotiate if you think the percentage is too high.
Ask what you can do to help lower the commission. Cancellation fees are important to consider as well. If you happen to find a buyer on your own, or end up disliking your agent, what will that cost you? But remember you normally get what you pay for so don’t be lured into a discount scenario with out understanding what the services will be.
6. Can you give me a CMA on my Intown Atlanta neighborhood and my building / complex?
How to price your Intown Atlanta home is of course a critical question. A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a study done by real estate agents to establish a home’s market value. The amount of detail the agent can give you will show you how knowledgeable he or she is about the market. Make sure it is specific and not an average price of hundreds of area listings. Study it. Don’t always go with the agent who tells you they can sell your place for the most money. What’s my home worth?
7. How will you market my home?
As I mentioned a little earlier, all Intown Atlanta Realtors® of course use the Atlanta FMLS so you want a great agent who offers an expansive internet strategy that gets your property exposure on hundreds of websites. That said, it follows that you’ll want an agent who brings in a professional photographer and also does a professional video tour of your home.
Do they offer a Matterport 3D Tour? (here’s an example of how we use Matterport) If your place is to be all over the internet… Realtor.com Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc… then you want it to look better than the other listings.
Old School + Digital Marketing
Make sure to listen for the details of the marketing plan. How well thought out is it? They should have a plan for marketing directly to other neighborhood agents plus the general public.
I always like to see a digital marketing plan that has specific tactics involving sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com. Check us out on: Facebook.
Is their brokerage website up-to-date and mobile-friendly? Buyers are using mobile devices to find homes and so it’s very important.
Have they developed a specific calendar of marketing events? It shows that the agent has actually got a plan for marketing your home. This might seem like a lot to ask but it isn’t really. You’re paying a lot of money and should expect more than an agent who is just winging it! Here’s more about our marketing plan for your home.
8. What’s your list-price to sold-price ratio?
Here’s one of the more important questions to ask before listing your Atlanta home. What is your list-price to sold-price ratio? This is the comparison of the original list price of the property to the price at which it eventually sold. The higher the percentage the better as it shows the agent understands how to correctly price a property.
Just because an agent has been selling in the neighborhood a long, long time does not mean they will get you the best deal…in fact the opposite could be true. If your place is priced correctly it will sell faster and most often for more money. Here are some tips on selling your home.
9. What do you expect from me as a client?
In addition to knowing what the agent will do for you, you need to know what is expected of you. You don’t want to find out after signing a contract that the agent expects you to take on more responsibility than you had wanted or are able. So while not obvious, a really important question to ask before listing is what do you expect from me as a client!
10. Can I have the contact information for a few of your recent clients?
Often overlooked, this is one of the most important questions to ask before listing your Atlanta home.
It can be very enlightening to hear about the agent from a client’s perspective. It will also help you judge if the agent is a good fit for you. You can also check their reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and even their own company website. For even more information, explore our Intown Atlanta Home Seller’s Guide.