A listing agent is someone who works exclusively with sellers. Their main goal in life is to sell your house in the least amount of time and for the best price. To the uninitiated, selling a house may seem like an easy gig, but it requires the right combination of skill, market savvy, and professionalism. Before you have an agent out for the ubiquitous CMA (competitive market analysis), ask some hard questions.
1. License: A not-so-obvious question to ask is if they are licensed. Only professionals licensed with the National Association of Realtors is allowed to call themselves a Realtor. In fact, the term is trademarked and always capitalized. You do not want to hire just any listing agent. You want one licensed through NAR.
2. Listings: How many listing does this agent currently have? You do not want a newbie listing agent with only one or two listings. On the other hand, you may not feel comfortable with a listing agent with 50 listings and a team of 12 in her office. If you want more personalized attention, choose a listing agent with a medium-sized team who can still cater to your needs.
3. Listings Sold: The number of listings sold is important. You do not want a Realtor who can just land the listing. You want an agent who can sell them, too. Be sure to ask both how many listings they have sold this year-to-date as well as how many they sold last year. The 2020 pandemic may skew these numbers, but you still want an active and successful agent on your team.
4. Percent of List Price: Any agent worth their salt knows this stat off the top of their head. When experts say "percent of list price," they are referring to what percentage of the list price at which the house was sold. In other words, if a house was listed at $100,000 and sold for $95,000, it sold for 95% of list price. This stat tells you how good they are at pricing your house. You want an agent with stats of at least 80 percent, preferably over 95 percent.
5. DOM: DOM, or days on market, is a term used by professional Realtors to refer to how long a house sits on the market before selling. While markets can ebb and flow with the economy and world events, like a pandemic, the DOM should be low. A high DOM can infer that your potential listing agent may not be efficient at positioning houses on the market for quick sale.
Do not be afraid to ask questions about any potential agent's background, experience, or success rate. You are interviewing them for an important job and you want to hire the best. Try visiting websites that deal in real estate listing agents to learn more.