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Ask Eli: Selling your house? Five questions to ask an agent that ChatGPT doesn’t know

This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channelEnjoy!

Question: Do you have any advice on questions I should ask a Realtor I’m interviewing to sell my home?

Answer: Before you ask, yes, I used ChatGPT for this column, BUT I used it to come up with 50 questions AI thinks you should ask a Realtor so that I can offer you human brain questions that will hopefully be more useful.

Or… is that what AI would say if I told it to pretend like it was a human trying to convince readers an article wasn’t written by AI.

Without further ado, here are five questions (from my own non-AI brain) that will help you make the right decision about who is handling the sale of your home:

How Do Your Determine Price?

It’s impossible not to ask the agent you’re interviewing how much they think your house will sell for, and that’s totally fine, but don’t get wrapped up in an on-the-spot valuation of your home during the first appointment. Instead, it’s more important to understand the process your agent uses to determines pricing and decide if it’s an approach you’re bought into. 

Who Will I Work With?

Agents and agent teams come in all shapes and sizes (link to past article on the topic), some are solo agents and some have a series of coordinators that handle each stage of your sale. In some cases, you may have little interaction with the agent you interview. It’s important to understand who will be involved in each step of the sale from determining/coordinating listing prep, to preparing the marketing, to negotiating contracts, and overseeing the contract-to-close.

Who Will Host the Open House(s)?

Open Houses are a great opportunity to interact with interested buyers, highlight strengths of the property, and collect valuable feedback. Open Houses are also a great source of new business for agents. Make sure that the interests of your Open House host(s) are aligned with your interest in selling your home.

How Often Do Deals Fall Through and What Happens If Things Go South?

Real estate deals go sideways in expected and unexpected ways so risk prevention (early identification and diffusion of problems) and management (handling of problems that arise) are critical attributes of a great agent. When things go south, a great agent has the resources to manage the most difficult deal-killers by tapping into brokerage leadership, legal resources, contractors, and having the experience, creativity, and leadership to put it all together.

Should I Consider Selling Off/Pre-Market?

It’s a great question and the answer is not the same for every home/homeowner. The right answer requires a deeper understanding of your goals, the market, and some good ol’ fashion critical thinking. There’s also a lot of different information out there about off/pre-market sales (some good, some misleading) so I think it’s a good topic to cover with your potential Realtor.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. (703) 390-9460.

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