10 things to ask agents when interviewing to sell your property

Selecting the right agent to sell your property can save time, make you more money and generally make the experience a lot less stressful.  Don’t be shy when vetting agents and refer to our list of some of the most important things questions to ask!

What can I expect in the way of communication? Did you know one of the top complaints that consumers had about real estate agents was a lack of communication? Today’s world is not just fast-paced—it is “breakneck speed”! One item that should be non-negotiable is engaging agents who respond to all communication in a timely manner. We pride ourselves in being available for our clients 365 days a year, and returning all communication within hours, if not moments! It is very important to us that our clients feel informed and empowered during every step of the process.

Are you a full-time agent? There are many agents who consider real estate a “side gig” to their full-time job in another industry. When you engage a part-time agent, you risk your agent’s full-time job or other duties taking priority over you and your needs. Real estate is not a “weekend” job—it is a 365 day a year commitment to clients. In addition, part-time agents generally lack the experience in preparing, pricing and negotiating that a full-time agent possesses. This can cost you valuable time and money.

How many houses have you sold in the last 6 months? Did you know there are over 6200 real estate agents in the Tucson area? Considering from January to August of 2021 just under 10,000 homes were sold, you can see that some agents are not selling any properties, and some are selling only a few per year. According to the National Association of Realtors, many agents sell less than 12 homes a year. It is important that you have an agent who has experience in the current market when selling (or buying) a property. Make sure you clarify what their personal production is—not the production of their office or brokerage. In 2021, the two of us personally sold 125 homes—which translates to being in the top 50 agents in the Greater Tucson Area.

Will I be dealing with you or assistants/team members? This question is important for several reasons, but two stand out. If you decide to go with a large team, determine who your point of contact will be throughout the transaction. Some teams shift their clients around to different team members throughout the transaction, making for a choppy and impersonal experience. Secondly, where does the buck stop? Who is responsible at the end of the day? With some teams, the person you may meet at the listing appointment may never be seen or spoken with again. We have opted not to hire assistants or team members, but to instead limit our listing inventory so we can deliver an engaged, “hands on” experience to all of our clients.

How many listings have you had expire or cancel in the last year? There is a breed of agent that utilizes a “numbers game” business model. These agents will take vastly overpriced listings, or ones that are so unkept or the showing instructions are so difficult that a sale is highly unlikely. Agents like these are betting that as time goes on they can convince the seller to continue to reduce the price

Do you use a professional photographer? Even though the market is very hot and homes are selling at a brisk pace, clear professional photos are crucial to get the highest number of potential buyers interested in your property. We are thrilled to say that our photographer is among the best real estate/architecture photographers in Southern Arizona, and worth his weight in gold! We can’t count the number of sellers who have been so delighted with the photos of their home that they have jokingly questioned why they are selling!

Do you offer a floorplan? Photos generally don’t show the orientation of the rooms in a home. A floorplan can be incredibly helpful to a potential buyer—and we offer a floorplan with all of our listings.

Do you use virtual walkthrough tours? Walkthrough tours such as Matterport and Asteroom allow the buyer to “walk through” the property virtually from their computer or device. These programs also allow for panning around, up and down—as well as the ability to zoom in to inspect aspects of the property up close. For out-of-town buyers or those with a demanding schedule, these tours are about as close as you can get to physically visiting the property. We have found this technology to be incredibly helpful when selling homes during the pandemic and we include them for all of our listings.

Will you help advise me on how to get my home ready? Few, if any homes we walk into for a listing appointment are ready to go to market that day—in fact, I can only think of a couple that were literally perfect out of hundreds of homes. Having an agent who will give you an honest assessment of what you should do to get your home showing its best is a must. Newer agents sometimes lack the knowledge or the courage to point out objections to their selling clients. In addition to advising you, we roll up our sleeves and help stage the property. Our private office space also contains an additional 500 square dedicated to staging items such as artwork, linens, kitchen/bathroom items and more. You can check out our staging page here to learn more— https://thepropertyaces.com/staging/ .

How do you plan to market my property? The days of placing a sign in the yard and an ad in the Sunday paper and calling it a day are OVER. You need agents that will market your home creatively and effectively. We take our time to put together a marketing plan for each property that will ensure the highest number of potential buyers see it. These plans include social media, direct mail, internet advertising, advertising to buyers’ agents and more.

In addition to these questions, you want to hire an agent who is a creative problem solver should issues arise during inspections or the appraisal. There have been many times that a deal appeared as though it would fall apart—to the point where the agent on the other side was ready to throw in the towel! We go above and beyond to figure out solutions that will be acceptable from all parties in order to close the deal. References from other past sellers are helpful also—check reviews or ask the agents to provide you with current references.

If you are looking for a real estate agent to sell your Oro Valley or North Tucson home, we would love to assist!  Please contact either one of us anytime at 520.344.2237 (voice or text).

About the Author

HILARY BACKLUND Hilary is an Associate Broker, holds her GRI (Graduate, REALTOR ® Institute, held by roughly only 20% of REALTORS®), an e-Pro designation (marketing through technology), and the National Organization Of REALTORS® GREEN designation. She has completed the education requirements for the Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist certification. She also held the Fine Homes and Estates certification at her previous brokerage, and has a strong marketing background. MY DESIGNATIONS Associate Broker E-Pro GREEN GRI MY SPECIALTIES Listings Marketing Staging MY SERVICE AREAS Marana Oro Valley SaddleBrooke Tucson