What To Ask When Interviewing A Realtor
Maybe it is not as important as choosing a mate, but choosing a realtor can make or break one of the biggest financial transactions in the lives of most people. It is so important before signing on with a real estate agent to make sure you feel comfortable with them and that they can handle you and your family’s unique situation.
Keep in mind, you are hiring your real estate agent to do a job for you, and should interview them as such - whether that is buying a new home, selling your existing home, finding investment properties, or helping with the sale of one home while transitioning into another. Meet with a few different realtors who have come highly recommended by your professional and social network to get an idea of which one fits the best for your individual needs.
If you are stuck and unsure of what to ask when choosing a real estate agent, here are some frequently asked questions to get you started:
General Questions About Experience & Communication Styles:
- How long have you been working as a residential real estate agent? Is this your full-time job?
- How long have you lived in the area? (This will help you gauge how well they know the area.)
- What neighborhoods are you familiar with? How many homes have you closed in my neighborhood?
- How are you different from other realtors? Most people agree that the top qualities of a good realtor are: honesty, assertiveness, excellent negotiating skills, available by phone or email during business hours, good communication skills, friendly, analytical, and able to maintain a good sense of humor.
- Are you comfortable with having me review all documents before I sign?
- Do you have a good network of professionals for things like home staging, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and title companies?
- Do you have an administrative or personal assistant who I will be communicating through? Do you work on your own or as part of a team?
- How many clients are you currently working with?
- Do you have any time off planned in the foreseeable future? How do you handle absences? (This is especially important if you have a shorter time frame in mind for your transaction.)
- What are your contract requirements?
If You Are Looking To Buy A New Property:
- How will you search for my family’s new home?
- How much time do you normally dedicate to the house-hunting process?
- How do you handle multiple offers?
- What price range of homes do you normally help buyers with?
- What are the biggest challenges to working with homebuyers?
If You Are Looking To Sell A Property:
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- What is the price range of the homes you have sold?
- On average, how long do your listings remain on the market
- What was the average ratio between the original listing price and the final closing price?
- How will you sell my home faster than another realtor? What sort of marketing plan will you use to set my house apart from the current market?
- Where and how often do you advertise? Do you use direct mail?
- What kind of photography do you use?
- Do you use a home stager?
- How do you market your online listings?
- Do you have a feedback system so I can hear what potential buyers think about the property?
- What do you see as the points of improvement in my home?
- What are the frustrations of working with sellers?
No Matter What The Scenario:
If the agent does not have reviews online, on their social media profiles, or through their broker’s site, then ask to see a list of their references. Double-check that none are relations, and ask if you may contact them directly.
Always close your initial meeting with a question like: What haven’t I asked you that I need to know about you? Pay attention to their body language when you ask this and the words they choose.
If you and your family are getting ready to start house-hunting for a new home or are preparing to sell your home, contact the Fairfield Team and we can help you get started or answer any questions about the process!