What are your stats?
It's good to ask about an agent's sales stats, but you don't need to get too deep into the weeds, says Kelly Hager of Kelly Hager Group Real Estate Services in St. Louis. Two stats will tell you volumes.
The first stat to check is the list-to-price ratio, which is the final sale price divided by the most recent listing price, expressed as a percentage.
"If the percentage is over 100 percent, the agent's homes sell for more than their list price," says Hager. "Understanding this percentage helps sellers determine if the agent is knowledgeable and is not inflating the price just to obtain the listing."
An equally important stat is how long the agent's listings stay on the market.
"The average days on the market figure reflects the agent's ability to price appropriately, as well as effectively market the property," says Hager. "For a seller, finding an agent whose homes are on the market for a below-average amount of time will provide confidence that the agent is an expert who will handle their home sale quickly and efficiently."
Of course, the average list time is relative and it varies by region. So it's a good idea to speak with multiple agents in order to put that stat in context.