Maybe you’re downsizing your home for retirement, or maybe you need to upgrade your home to accommodate a new baby or family member and you’ve decided you’re ready to sell.

Homes in the area are hot, and there’s no doubt you will see a massive return on investment for your Western North Carolina home. Selling your home can be overwhelming, but with the right real estate agent guiding you through this transition in your life, you’re better prepared for anything that comes your way. Naturally you will want to find an agent that can work well with you and your needs, and one who can sell your property for the highest possible price.

Once you’ve decided that you are ready to sell, you’re going to want to ask your real estate agent a few questions to ensure you’ll get what you need. Read below for some of the top questions to ask your realtor when you’re ready to sell your home!

1. What are your credentials? When you begin to take interest in selling your home, at the very least you should hire an agent who has a NC state license and belongs to the local real estate association. Top agents have access to multiple listing services, and can list your home far and wide to attract qualified—and serious—buyers.

2. What does your sales record look like and how many homes did you close the past year or two? It’s important to ask this more as a general question, as an agent’s past performance isn’t always indicative of a fast sale. But knowing their track record can help you be informed that they are professionals who know what they’re doing.

3. How do you come to a listing price? You want to sell your home, so the whole point of selling is to make a profit that you may ultimately use as a down payment for your next home or something else that is financially important to you. Asking your real estate agent about how they price homes is helpful for getting the most bang for your buck and ensure that it falls within the current market values.

4. How much will it cost to sell my home? On the topic of money and finances, it’s important to know what to expect in regards to closing fees, commissions, and any other costs associated with selling your property. This helps you plan accordingly and gives you a good figure to use as a comparison from one agent to the next.

5. What is your sales plan and marketing information? A good agent knows how to sell. Part of selling is marketing your property in order to capture it in its best light and attract potential buyers. See how they market; do they use social media? Printed flyers or post cards? A professional photographer, custom website or video when appropriate?

6. How do I get my house ready to sell? The next question on this list is a common one. Often times, unless a seller wants to sell their property as is, upgrades, renovations and repairs are a big part of selling your home successfully—and for the right price. Ask your real estate agent for their knowledge and expertise on how you can improve your home’s appearance and value so that it will be ready to sell.

7. How will we communicate and how long will this process take? Knowing how to reach your agent is crucial to selling your home, as well as being informed as to how long the process might take. For example, if you prefer texts or emails to phone calls, you may want to tell your realtor, especially if they are more interested in lengthy phone calls or in person discussions. As for how long the process will take—there is never any guarantee how fast the sale or real estate transaction will go, so be patient and realistic in your expectations. If you need a ballpark number as to how quickly the average home sell goes, 65 days is the national average, however this will likely vary depending on your home’s neighborhood and general area.

Happy selling!