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19 Questions Article 2 - Continue

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 agents are very reluctant to cut their commission much. Beware of an agent 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 agent can be worth every cent that you pay them.

Question 13
“What asking price do you recommend for my home?” The agent 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 agent 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 agent 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 agent 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 agent 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 agent closely. An experienced agent 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 agent is critical for a smooth transaction. The agent should have a system for keeping you abreast of the progress of your sale, be it by phone call, letter, fax, etc. The agent 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 agent should provide you with tips and suggestions on how to accomplish this. A good agent 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 list with an agent that drops the ball on handling your home. The top agents, the ones who provide quality service and are confident about it, will usually offer you a guarantee. Many will agree to cancel the listing contract if a problem arises and you are not happy. Just make sure to be fair with the agent and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Question 19
“Do you have any questions for me?”
Beware of an agent that doesn’t have some questions for you as well. A sharp agent 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 sign a listing agreement can save you many hours of frustration and many thousands of dollars. Take your time, and make an informed decision!

Compliments of Simon Cope, One2One Realty MREINZ. (09) 578-0704. simon.cope@webdoctor.co.nz
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