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You don't have to feel at a loss when selling a home. Here are the questions you need to ask your agent.

If you're thinking about selling your home, you need to hire a real estate agent with knowledge and experience. Before you put your home on the market, our real estate agents recommend finding a licensed agent who can list your home, show your property, and get you the best price.

Whether you're a seasoned or a first-time seller of D.C. homes for sale, working with a good real estate agent is key to your success. To ensure the agent you choose is a good fit, it's important to ask some questions before you commit to a sales contract.

How Will You Market My Home?

When it's time to sell, marketing is key to attracting more homebuyers, driving higher demand for your property, and maximizing your profit. Typical marketing strategies include:

  • Multiple listing services (MLS)

  • Brochures and flyers

  • Private showings and/or open houses

  • Home staging

Every home has selling features such as square footage, indoor and/or outdoor amenities, good schools, and community assets. Whether your home is in mint condition or a fixer-upper, a good real estate agent will focus on selling features that draw more homebuyers to your door.

How Will You Determine the List Price?

Setting the right list price will maximize offers from buyers and sell your home quicker. Experienced real estate agents are familiar with buyers' and sellers' markets and how they impact home sales. Depending on which market you're in, the list price plays a big role in sales and profits. Ask your agent to show you a comparative market analysis that compares your property to recently sold homes (comps) in your area. This will justify listing your home at a fair, competitive price.

Do You Also Represent the Buyer?

In most states, a realtor who is selling a home can also represent the buyer. However, most realtors don't because it can cause problems with negotiations during the sale. When a real estate agent represents the seller and the buyer, it doubles the agent's commission, but it can reduce the sales price by tens of thousands of dollars. If your agent plans to represent both you and the buyer, consider it a red flag and look for a different agent.

How Will You Qualify the Buyer?

To prevent your offer from falling through, you need a real estate agent who knows how to qualify the buyer for financing. There are two main reasons that offers fall through: (1- The buyer can't get a loan, and (2- The buyer backs out during the inspection contingency period. All lenders have a maximum debt-to-income ratio that qualifies a buyer for a loan. To protect the sale, your real estate agent should require the buyer to submit a pre-approval letter with the offer, call the loan officer after the offer is received, complete all inspections prior to the sale, and make sure the buyer has copies of the inspection reports.

Can I Cancel Our Sales Agreement?

When you choose a real estate agent to sell your home, you will sign a sales agreement with important and binding terms. It's important to know if you have the option to cancel the agreement. Most sales agreements last from 6 to 9 months. During that period, you can't fire your agent or change agents, even if your house just sits on the market with few interested buyers. If your agent is not willing to include an option to cancel in the listing agreement, consider another agent who will.

Are you thinking about selling your home? Contact us for information on D.C. area properties and prices.

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