How to Interview a Real Estate Agent

Smart consumers will interview several possible real estate agents before deciding which one to engage with, and smart agents are also picky about their clients. The real estate agent will most likely be interviewing you at the same time you are. Agents that do not ask you questions or investigate your motivation should be avoided.

You’ll also want to limit the questions you ask your realtor to certain topics, but make sure to cover these 5 points. You do not want to neglect important concerns.

How Long Have You Been in the Business?

The old joke goes that there’s nothing a new agent can’t solve with a little experience, but that doesn’t mean that newly licensed agents can’t be good ones. Much depends on their level of training and access to knowledgeable mentors. Unless he has another employment, a rookie agent may have more time to focus on you.

However, there is no real estate bar exam, and no institution gives a degree in how to handle complications in a transaction. Agents are taught on the job. The more sales an agent completes, the more he understands. It’s also likely that he’s taken courses and attended seminars, which you could inquire about.

What’s Your Average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio?

The typical ratio of an agent varies according to the market. A smart buyer’s agent should be able to negotiate a sales price that is lower than the list price, at least if the seller’s market is hot. A good listing agent should have a track record of negotiating sales prices that are very close to the asking price.

You might also want to learn where the majority of these houses were located. Is the realtor familiar with the neighborhood in which you’re interested or with the location of your property? This expertise can be a crucial aspect.

What’s Your Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?

If you’re a buyer, you’ll want to know how the realtor intends to search for your new house and how many homes she believes you’ll visit before finding the one you desire. Will you have to compete with other buyers? What is the agent’s approach to various offers?

As a seller, you’ll want to know how the agent plans to advertise your home. Is a direct mail campaign necessary? How often and where does she advertise? What types of photos does she provide? Is she an online marketer? What actions will she take to get your house ready to sell?

What Are the Top Three Things That Separate You from Your Competition?

A professional agent will not hesitate to answer this question and should be prepared to give various reasons why he is the ideal candidate for the job. Everyone has different expectations, but most customers say they want agents that are honest, trustworthy, assertive, and good negotiators.

He may claim that he is constantly available by phone or e-mail, or that he is an excellent communicator. He may show that he’s pleasant and capable of maintaining his sense of humor in difficult situations—and there will be some.

It all comes down to the characteristics and qualifications that you value most. 

What Haven’t I Asked You That You Think I Should Know?

Take note of how the real estate agent responds to this question. There’s always something else you should know that you neglected to mention.

You want an agent who will take the time to answer this question and make you feel confident in her knowledge and experience. She should know how to listen, counsel you, and ask the correct questions to learn what she needs to know to best serve you.

Bottom-line

Not all real estate agents will welcome the opportunity to be questioned, and top agents are unlikely to participate in a poll. Limit your queries to the most critical concerns for you and your requirements, and avoid interviewing agents from the same organization.

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