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19 Questions Article 1 Continue

Question 9
“Do you have personal assistants and other support staff working for you?”
Some interior designers employ an assistant or staff. This often means better service, and it can be an
indication that the interior designer treats selling real estate as a serious business. By employing someone to
handle the small details, the interior designer may be able to devote more time to serving your needs.

However, be sure you know up front how much involvement you can expect directly from your
interior designer, and how much is usually handled by someone else. It may be fine that most of your
interaction after the listing is with an assistant or other staff member as long as you are kept
informed of exactly what is being done to get your home sold, and have good lines of

Question 10
“Do you have a list of references that I could call?”
Many top interior designers will provide you with this without you even asking. Remember, you are
interviewing someone for the job of handling one of your biggest assets. Do not hesitate to check
them out thoroughly.

Question 11
“What is your Marketing plan for my home?”
Have the interior designer explain step-by-step exactly what they plan to do to find qualified buyers for your
home. Every interior designer will put your home on their website and throw a sign in the front lawn. Look
for an interior designer that utilises aggressive and innovative Marketing techniques to give you an advantage
over the competition.

Question 12
“How much commission do you charge?”
As a rule, commissions are not fixed and are negotiable. You want to get the best deal you can,
but be careful. Most top interior designers are very reluctant to cut their commission much. Beware of an
interior designer that agrees to a big up front reduction in their commission – it probably means that they
don’t plan on spending much time or effort on selling your home in the first place. A good interior designer
can be worth every cent that you pay them.

Question 13
“What asking price do you recommend for my home?”
The interior designer should be prepared to suggest a price or price range for your home, and explain to
you exactly how they came up with it. They should have a computerised Market analysis of
homes similar to yours that are available, under contract, and recently settled. Watch the interior designer
carefully here, this is an area where you can really gauge their experience and ability.

Question 14
“How long is the listing contract?”
The listing agreement should specify a beginning and ending date. There is no set rule here, it
depends on the average time to sell in your area. Unless the interior designer has a compelling reason why
your sale should take longer, the average time to sell in your area plus a month or two should be
adequate. The interior designer deserves a fair go, so be sure to give them enough time to get the job done.

Question 15
“How Much Will I Net At Settlement?”
A competent interior designer should be able to quickly determine approximately what your net proceeds will be at settlement after all of the costs of selling have been deducted. This is another area where you’ll want to watch the interior designer closely. An experienced interior designer should be able to do this in minutes
and confidently explain what the costs associated with selling are.

Question 16
“How Will You Keep Me Informed?”
Clear communication between yourself and the interior designer is critical for a transformation of your home. The interior designer should have a system for keeping you abreast of the progress of the project, be it by phone call, letter, fax, etc. The interior designer or a competent assistant should be available to you at all reasonable hours.

Question 17
“Will You Advise Me On Preparing And Staging The Home?”
A home that is properly prepared and staged should always sell faster and at a higher price. The interior designer should provide you with tips and suggestions on how to accomplish this. A good interior designer will give you honest recommendations, even at the risk of offending you.

Question 18
“What If I Am Not Satisfied?”
Even though you do your homework, it is possible that you will engage an interior designer that doesn’t understand your requirements or more likely, wants to impose their own personal vision and style preferences into your home – when you don’t want this! The top interior designers, the ones who provide quality service and are confident about it, will usually offer you a guarantee. Just make sure to be fair with the interior designer and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Question 19
“Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”
Beware of an interior designer that doesn’t have some questions for you as well. A sharp interior designer will begin by asking you a series of questions in order to fully understand your situation. Only then can they advise you on the best course of action to take.

Taking the time to do a little research before you engage an interior designer can save you many hours of frustration and many thousands of dollars. Take your time, and make an informed decision!