Here are some important questions you should ask your listing agent before listing your Eagle Idaho home:
How long have you been in real estate?
The local real estate schools are churning out new agents at a record rate.
We’re adding 75-100 new agents to our MLS each month and we have around 5,500 agents in our market now.
Do you really want to hire an inexperienced agent to sell your most valuable asset?
Look for an agent with at least 5 years of full-time experience and a proven track record of results.
Are you a real estate agent or broker?
A real estate salesperson’s license is the most basic level of real estate licensure in Idaho.
Real estate salespersons in Idaho are licensed after completing basic real estate education and passing the Idaho real estate salespersons’ exam.
In contrast, the Idaho broker’s license requires extensive, additional experience and education.
Idaho real estate brokers are allowed to hire real estate agents who hold a salesperson’s license.
You should look for an experienced real estate broker.
Are you full-time or part-time?
We have an amazing number of part-time agents in the real estate profession.
This is especially true in the Boise real estate market.
More than half of our local real estate agents are part-timers.
A part-timer will not be able to take your call while they’re “at work” (on their real job), and they will not be able to respond quickly because real estate isn’t their primary occupation.
Most part-timers close a couple of transactions a year.
You want a dedicated, full-time professional to handle the largest financial transaction of your life.
Real estate is not a profession that can be done well on a part-time basis.
How many homes have you sold?
Experience matters ~ big time!
I’ve often thought that it takes around 100 transactions for a new agent to become competent.
Do you really want to list your home with an agent who lacks the knowledge required to guide you to a smooth closing?
How many Eagle Idaho homes have you sold in the past 12 months?
When it comes to experience, seek an agent who has “recent experience”.
Look for a listing agent who’s currently active, engaged, and up to date on current market conditions and property values.
What is your average sales price?
Look for a listing agent who’s knowledgeable and comfortable working in a price range that’s similar to the value of your home.
If your home is worth $400,000, it’s probably a mistake to list with an agent who has never sold a home for more than $150,000.
How many Eagle Idaho homes have you sold?
Look for a listing agent who has sold other homes near yours.
Ideally, you will find a listing agent who has sold a number of homes in your own subdivision.
If you live in Southeast Boise, you probably don’t want to list your home with an agent who specializes in Caldwell.
What is your ratio of representing sellers vs. buyers?
Some agents specialize in working with sellers; others specialize in working with buyers.
You should hire a listing agent who has worked with sellers in the past.
Most homes sell with one agent representing the seller and another agent representing the buyer.
You shouldn’t expect your listing agent to personally sell your home.
Do you have your own website or just a web page on your broker’s website?
Many listing agents claim to have their own website, but they really only have a web “page” (like an internet business card) on their broker’s website.
Your listing agent’s web page can’t be found by buyers unless they search by the agent’s name, which obviously doesn’t happen when a buyer is searching for properties of interest.
Look for an agent who has their own website with its own domain name.
How many visits did your website receive in the past 30 days?
A good real estate website will generate substantial traffic and buyer inquiries.
Look for a listing agent who understands the importance of internet marketing.
You should list with an agent who has a professional website that ranks highly for the most popular property search keywords for your home.
Will you provide a virtual tour of my home on your website?
If your listing agent is unwilling to provide a virtual tour, keep on looking for another agent.
Virtual tours are available at minimal cost, using the photos your agent provides.
Every listing should have a virtual tour in the MLS listing and also on the listing agent’s website.
Will you upload a virtual tour of my home to all of the major real estate portals?
Your listing agent should ensure that your listing gets uploaded to all of the major real estate portals, including Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and other sites.
How many homes have you sold as a direct result of your website?
Your listing agent should be able to document sales of listings that occurred as a direct result of their website.
If your listing agent can’t provide proof of sales from their website, their website isn’t effective or the agent is lacking necessary internet marketing skills.
Will you provide a written marketing plan for my home?
A written market plan can be as simple as a list of things your listing agent will do.
Or, it could be a fancy report designed to embellish your listing agent’s experience and skills.
It’s perfectly reasonable to ask your listing agent to provide a written marketing plan for your home.
That report should be concise, unambiguous, and easy to understand.
Will you obtain showing feedback from buyer’s agents and forward it to me?
Our MLS provides agents with a free feature to solicit e-mailed feedback from buyers’ agents after showings.
Your agent should forward those e-mails to you so you know what buyers’ agents and their buyers think about your home.
Will you install a crosspost sign with a flyer box?
You’re entitled to the professional appearance of a powder-coated aluminum crosspost sign with a flyer box.
Those signs, with a professional sign board and flyer box, cost around $125.
Run away from a listing agent who insists that one of those $20 “pound it in the ground” signs without a flyer box is adequate.
Those cheap, square steel signs made of angle-iron are a clear indicator of a listing agent who’s too cheap to invest in professional signage.
Potential buyers will judge your home by the quality of the sign in the front yard.
Who does your photography?
Get some examples of the agent’s photography and review them for proper lighting, good composition, clear focus, and portrayal of your home’s best features.
Warning signs include dark rooms, door/window frame distortion, vertical (portrait) mode, extreme/unrealistic color saturation, and other obvious amateurish results.
Will you provide an example of your property flyer?
It’s a good idea to review the quality and content of your listing agent’s property flyer in advance.
Low-quality photography, misspellings, poor grammar, cheap paper, and lack of color are all indicators that you’re dealing with an agent who doesn’t understand the importance of quality marketing materials.
Contrary to popular belief, smartphone photography is not adequate for real estate.
Will you provide a weekly update?
You should expect to hear from your listing agent with an update at least every week during your listing period.
Will you provide three references that I can contact?
An experienced listing agent should willingly provide you with a list of references you can contact.
Call those references and ask each of them the same questions so you can correlate their answers.
Remember . . .
Selling your home is probably the largest financial transaction of your life.
You don’t want the agent with the most compelling “sales pitch” or the highest asking price.
You want an agent who will tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
During his 44 years of full-time real estate experience, Phil has helped thousands of past clients buy and sell quality properties in the Western U.S.
Phil is one of only six local Realtors® (of 5,500) honored with the coveted “Realtor® Emeritus” award from the National Association of Realtors®, recognizing 40 years in real estate.