How do you ask a real estate agent how much they think your home is worth?

Asked by Home Owner, San Jose, CA Mon Feb 27, 2012

And how can you go about interviewing potential agents to sell your home?

Help the community by answering this question:

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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Feb 27, 2012
San Jose Home Owner,
Your question is the one every real estate agent dreams of every night! It is the substance of sugar plums, the hope some one will call upon our skill and resources to help in selling their home. That's a cause for the 'Happy Dance."
Now, it is important you keep your communication free of 'real-estate-eese' and state you question just as you did here, "How much is my home worth?" Don't ask for a Comparative Market Analysis, or Value Estimation, a BPO or ANY product name an agent offers. All of these imply an awareness that allow an agent to skip a few steps. Let the agents you speak with start from ground zero. This is important as I will point out later.
As Abu and Don pointed out, explaining the price and time-to-sell relationship is crucial when your motivation to sell is understood. This really isn't rocket science, however, choosing to operate outside of parameter of the data presented means wishing is more desired than selling. It is choosing to defy the market and rely on magic.
Then there are those long lists of things to check off regarding who is the best agent to select. The list I compile to present to you will have CRITICAL data which I know I will be the only one who can qualify! Image that!
in the end there are four perhaps five things that matter to you. It is the agent who addresses these issues without you having to ask, whom you will choose. They are not on those agent lists, but most certainly on the list you've created but don't know you have...and you most certainly DO have a list!

When selecting the agent to help you sell your home, through all the singing and dancing you are wanting to hear the answer to these five questions you have about Annette Lawrence.(example)
1. Does Annette know what she is doing?
2. Can I trust Annette?
3. Does Annette have my best interests at heart?
4. Will Annette have my back?
5. Does Annette have the resources I need?
The agent who satisfies these questions is the one you will work with, the one you know you can trust, the one who created trust by listening to your needs. All the other stuff is a song and dance. Now, compare this list to all those exhaustive lists and it is easy to spot the positioning.
Now, why is getting everyone to start at ground zero important? It gives them opportunity to demonstrate their interest in you....NOT THEIR POWER POINT PRESENTATION. If the agent does not recognize it is all about you and the needs you have, the challenges you will face, the obstacles that lie ahead, your goals, from the very start, by the time your realize this disconnect....your 'happy dance' will have devolved into unpleasant co-existence.
As you know, magic does not happen. 60% of the resources agents us we all share in common. Therefore is it important to look for a coherent strategy for selling your home. Your situation and your home will dictate the strategy. If the person sitting across the table from you fails to communicate the difference between a marketing plan and a will, unfortunately, need to rely on a little magic.
So, search Trulia for a few San Jose agents, cruise your neighborhood streets and write down the name and numbers on the For Sale signs and call your local ReMax broker. This is an important decision. However, this is a great time to trust your instincts, your intuition.
Hey, if you moving to Florida....I'll keep the light on for you.
Wishing you the greatest success in selling your San Jose home.
Annette Lawrence
ReMax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Fl
727. 420. 4041
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1 vote
James Mauldw…, Agent, Saratoga, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Why ?
When ?
What if ?

These 4 questions and your answers will determine if you are willing to price your home right and be willing to do what it takes to get your home sold. In my 21 years of experience, these 4 factors always determine a seller vs. someone who would like to, maybe , if the price is right then we will sell it.

Sellers do what it takes to get their home sold. The others just make excuses why they can't do what it will take.

The determining factor is this... Which one are you?

Jim Mauldwin
Intero Real Estate
Dre# 01125380
Web Reference:
2 votes
Denise A. Sz…, , San Jose, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Hello Home Owner~

Thank you for your post. I just want to add most realtors on an appointment to list your home will provide
you with a CMA for your property. After I secure the listing for a home, I offer my clients a Listing Appraisal with the understanding I would have a listing for at least 6 months since it is a cost along with the advertising. I also have worked under an active appraiser in this area for some time and still do. Most agents will give you a good idea of what the homes are selling for in your area, with a good strategy to sell your home. It is your choice on what price you want to list your home at. I have had a few sellers that did not listen to the offered appraised price, which of course the result was changing realtor several times and not selling their home. If the realistic advise you are given is not where you feel you can sell your home at, than perhaps you should hold off if that is an option. To be frank every realtor can provide a CMA, we have the same marketing, we can list property on the same MLS. There will be a bit variations of course, pictures and virtual tours are very important. I viewed a few homes where the realtor did not post great pictures, the property was priced correctly but sat on the market for a long time with minimal price reductions. Another realtor took over the listing at the same list price great pictures that feature the home beautifully, sold in a week. My advise would be to interview at least 3 agents with CMA's provided. If an agent is just telling you what you want to hear, regardless of what the homes are selling for that will not be the best choice for you. Most homes in your area will be a good factor of where your home will sell for. Of course not all homes or properties are created equally. If you have a well kept home with upgraded features, living square footage and lot size will be a factor of where your property will sell at. If you have a few needed upgrades you can either do a few more, or expect your home to sell a bit less than another property that would have all the bells and whistles. A lot of buyers do not want to do a lot of work to the homes unless they are getting a great... deal. You should have a real good idea with a realtors advice of where your home should be listed at and hopefully sold. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Best Regards~

Denise A. Szyszlo Realtor
DRE 01441160
Office:: (408) 369-2000 x319
Mobile: (408) 768-7097
Fax: (888) 334-0888
CENTURY 21-Alpha
419 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
1 vote
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Hi, well you would do well to look over the profiles and answers of the agents who work your area and answered your questions right here on trulia. Then contact the one(s) you feel will represent you well. The agents can then give you a listing presentation or email comparable homes to yours. This will give you an idea of what your home is worth and what you can sell it for. (depending on how fixed up or not your home is)
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
DRE# 01397256
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
How do you ask? Repeat after me:

"How much do you think my home is worth?"

Or, you you want to be more specific: "How much do you think my home would sell for, if I priced it so that it would sell within 60 days?"

As for interviewing potential agents: There's a huge amount of information on numerous threads here, and in lots of blogs. Basically, you want to cover two bases: (1) Is the agent experienced/knowledgeable about selling your type of property in your geographic area; and (2) Do you "click" with the agent?

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You can interview agents from Trulia, get references from friends and co-workers.

The real estate market is most areas are good right now. Don't hire an agent based on what they tell you your home is worth. Some agents "buy" the listing by telling you what you WANT to hear vs what you NEED to hear. Most sellers are not aware that besides marketing their home they are hiring a Broker for RISK MANAGEMENT. The Broker/Agent is to advise you on a marketing strategy, assist you in ways to prepare your home to compete, price it to compete and sell, make sure you are in compliance with disclosures, negotiate, make sure the contract doesn't have loop holes which cost you money, be mindful to keep the contract in tack, be creative when necessary, and project management the transaction, to a successful closing.

When you interview the agent they should touch bases on all these and then they should ask you tons of questions. It is a mutual decision if you two want to work together.

When I may be of further help drop me an email or phone call.

All the best to you.
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1 vote
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Mar 3, 2012
Hi Questions

It's simple, you get in touch with folks answering this question on Trulia or other sites you ask.
Check their profiles and capabilities, interview at least three agents.

If you are looking for a rough estimate you can go to many sites on line and plug in your address
And get an estimate. This estimate is in most cases an average and does not always represent
A true reflection of what your home will finally sell for.

Also, it's critical to have the agents walk through your property to give you ideas on how the
Yard should look, staging, repairs and inspections if any. it's also critical to be sure when you are going to market. spring time is a great time.

Let us know if we can help.



0 votes
, ,
Tue Feb 28, 2012
Ask, “What would my house sell for within the average timeframe for my area?”
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Tue Feb 28, 2012
Ask for a comparative market analysis which shows you all the current sales in your area. Keep in mind most lenders will only go back 3 months for comparable sales when having a home appraised so make sure the market analysis you are looking at is current.

I've attached a link to blog I wrote about 6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire A Realtor To Sell Your Home--which will help you when interviewing agents to sell your home.

Best of Luck!
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You've gotten loads of good advice. I would just add that your instincts are spot on - incorporating a valuation of your home into the interview process is a great idea. It will give you an opportunity to evaluate the agents market and inventory knowledge and demonstrate her analytic skills...all of which will come in very handy in marketing your home successfully.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
Sally Blaze, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Dear Questions:

One other "search" criteria I would use in looking for potential real estate agents is via referrals. Have any of your friends, family or co-workers bought or sold a home recently? Ask them about their experience. Maybe they can give you some ideas and things to consider as well as the information presented in the answers below.

Sally Blaze
Alain Pinel Realtors
Web Reference:
0 votes
John Mathews, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You can do some searching on the internet to find three to four agents. Then ask each agent for an appointment to come and see your home. During your visit/appointment you can ask the agents to perform a CMA to assist you determining your homes value. At some point then you will have what you need to answer your question.
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Hey Home Owner,

Email me ( or call me (408-316-0793) with your home address and I will put together a very accurate home valuation. I will explain the criteria used in getting comparable homes, current market conditions and how I use both to arrive at the home valuation and the strategies we will employ to get you the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of problems. I will also explain how I will market your property and the services I perform before, during and after the transaction stage; and, tell you a little bit about my experience and accomplishments as a Realtor. I guarantee your home will sell with my overall plan

As for interviewing other agents ask the following:
1. How long have you been a Realtor
2. What is your average list price to sales price ratio?
3. What is your marketing plan or strategy to sell my home?
4. Can you provide referrences
5. What are t;he top 3 things that separate you from your competition
6. Will I be able to review documents before I am asked to sign
7. Do you have resources for other professions like title companies, escrow, handyman, etc?
8. What guarantee do you offer in selling my home
9. What havent I asked you that I need to know
10. What do you charge
0 votes
Thomas Feng, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Don't ask them to tell you, ask them to show you.

I create weekly market reports on how the market is doing in various cities with google maps to give you a visual idea of how much homes are selling for, how much they have sold for, and where all the new listings are at. For an example visit…

After you find out how much your home is worth you want to know how this agent is going to differentiate himself from all the other agents, basically what is this agent going to do to set your home apart from all the other new listings on the market.

Did you know that 80% of home buyers start their search on the internet these days? What is the listing agent's presence like on the internet and how will he market your home on this huge platform.

To sell a home half of the equation is pricing it right, the other half of the equation is marketing it to as many people possible to get you the most amount of offers.

Check out my blog at for weekly new listings, weekly market reports, and real estate news and give me a call at (408) 840-3852 or email me at with any further questions you may have.
Web Reference:
0 votes
charles butt…, Agent, san jose, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Thank you, Homeowner, for your question:

You have already received some very good answers. Teri Velios makes some excellent points about Risk management and Don Tepper makes some excellent points about the need for experience.

Essentially the market determines what your home will sell for. I recommend that when you interview agents, ask them about their experience selling a home like yours. Ask the agents to show you the listing information including the listing history of homes that they have listed and sold. Note how many days was the home on the market, were there price reductions and why were there price reductions? Ask to interview past clients of those agents. Ask the past clients of each agent to evaluate the performance of that agent.

That will give you an excellent idea of which agent is best for you to hire to list and sell your home when that time comes.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address:
0 votes
Hassan Sabba…, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You could ask an agent or a broker to do CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to determine the current market value of your property. You could check agent resume by going to their web site.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You can interview potential agents right here on Trulia:

On the bottor/right you will see VIEW TRULIA VIPs
chick on it and put in SAN JOSE, CA
you will see all the members who are in San Jose.
You can view their PROFILE and RECOMMENDATION
you can e-mail them and ask questions
you can ask them to do a CMA before you ever meet them.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You need to communicate with an agent who attracts your attention, provide the address, and then you might want to show them the inside of your house if you want a very detailed value estimate.

Your home would probably appraise at one $ amount but a good market price is likely to be below the most recent pending sale for a home like yours.

So, if you can figure out the pending amount for a home with approximately the same square footage, condition, number of beds and baths, in your own neighborhood, similar condition -- then you'll have a good idea of what Actual Buyers are Actually Offering Right Now where you live! Then you might want to price your home right under that number, so buyers want to see the inside.

Anyhow, connect with someone who you believe can get the job done and then bring them in for an interview.

Wish you the best of luck!


Erica Glessing Nelson
DRE 01425475
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Mon Feb 27, 2012
You have the ability to tell a seller how soon you will sell it? Amazing. Tell us how you do that.
0 votes
Abu Musa, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Feb 27, 2012
Your local real estate agent will be happy to answer your question if you ask how much is your home worth. Before hiring an agent find out how soon and how the agent will sell your property and how he will put more money in your pocket.So you will get the idea. Thank you.
0 votes
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