Cha-ching: Test Your Home Selling Smarts Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Selling a home can be one of the biggest decisions of your life, and the ensuing process can be one of the most stressful. Selecting a reliable and experienced listing agent is a good way to lighten the load, but you still need to know the ins and outs of home selling to keep your agent honest. Take this quiz to see just how savvy you are when it comes to selling a home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, houses sold through an agent sell for how much more than homes sold by owner, on average?

Agents have marketing knowledge and connections that allow them to draw more prospective buyers to homes, which almost always results in a final sales price that is 3 to 11 percent higher.

What is the typical commission charged by real estate listing agents?

A listing agent's commission is typically between 5 and 6 percent and often negotiable, but they usually won't go much lower than 4 percent, unless you are using a discount agent.

Listing agents have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). What is the MLS?

The MLS is a database of homes for sale that can help agents find recent comparable sales, and expose your listing to buyers' agents and other brokers so that a home attracts a maximum number of interested buyers.

What is the difference between a Realtor and other listing agents?

As members of the National Association of Realtors, Realtors follow a stricter code of ethics and complete more educational training than other agents. But a real estate agent does not need to be a Realtor to legally work as an agent.

True or False: You should always choose the listing agent who offers to list your home for the highest amount.

Often, agents who promise a listing price high above market value are trying to "buy" your commission by quoting a price they know they will have to change later when it doesn't attract buyers.

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a useful tool in selecting a listing agent. What is the purpose of a CMA?

An agent should be able to present you with a CMA when you interview them that provides a listing price they've generated using recent sales statistics of homes similar to yours. If the analysis is consistent with your own research of market values in your area, it's a sign of a skilled agent.

Which of the following is NOT a good way to find referrals for listing agents?

Just because an agent has a large amount of publicity and advertising doesn't mean they are the best choice. Ask people you trust who have recently sold a home, and professionals who frequently work with agents, to find good referrals.

True or False: You should always choose the listing agent who has the most completed sales in your area.

Agents with extremely high volume may not offer the personal attention that you need in a listing agent. If they don't return your calls and you're constantly dealing with an assistant, you aren't getting what you need from them.

What information should you disclose to your listing agent before you have signed a listing agreement with them?

Before signing an agreement, don't tell the agent anything you don't want being passed around to other agents and prospective buyers. Wait until you have legally agreed to work together before giving away sensitive information.

In some states, it is illegal to disclose to buyers a recent death resulting from which of the following illnesses?

States have different laws governing whether you need to let buyers know about deaths that have occurred in your home. In some states that require those disclosures, AIDS-related deaths are exempt as a civil rights protection.

True or False: The longer a home is on the market, the better the final sales price will usually be.

In most cases, a longer period on the market equals a lower sales price because it indicates less interest from buyers.

Which of the following is the best thing to tell your listing agent about the price you expect for your home?

It's best to let the listing agent set the listing price of the home based on fair market value. That value should be based on recent comparable sales of homes similar to yours in your area.

Which of the following disclosures about your financial situation should you make to your listing agent?

You shouldn't share your financial distress with the agent so you can avoid your home being marketed as a "motivated seller," and drawing a lower sales price.

State laws require that you disclose which of the following facts about your listed home to prospective buyers?

States have different expectations when it comes to disclosures of material information, but the majority of them require that you and your agent inform prospective buyers of damages to the home.

True or False: You should tell your listing agent if you are selling your house because of a divorce.

You don't want the agent to slip up about the divorce to potential buyers. Buyers who think that a seller is desperate to leave will make extremely low offers.

True or False: You should tell your listing agent if you are selling your house because of a serious illness.

Just like with a divorce, potential buyers might make insultingly low offers to try to take advantage of a desperate situation.

How long should a listing agreement be in effect without a sale before it expires?

Three months gives the agent long enough to give the sale their best shot, but also gives you an opportunity to move on if you're not satisfied with their services.

What quality should you look for in a listing agent?

Specialization with properties similar to your own shows that your agent has experience that will help get the best price for your home. If they have worked in a very wide geographical area, with a wide variety of properties, they may not be as knowledgeable about your specific niche.

Federal law provides protection against discrimination for home buyers making offers on a home. Which of the following is NOT a protected status at the federal level?

Some states provide protection for convicted felons, but the federal law only protects on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, handicap, sex and family make up.

True or False: An agent's recently completed sales should have a high average number of days on the market (DOM)?

A good agent's recent sales should have a low average DOM. This shows that the agent is able to attract interested buyers and make a sale quickly.

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