Interview Your Realtor®
Ten Questions to Ask Your REALTOR® Before Hiring
There are many real estate professionals to choose from. Be sure to interview your REALTOR® before you hire one. You may already know one from within your own circle of friends and colleagues. Referrals can be obtained from friends, neighbors, and of course family members. Or you can look one up on such sites as Trulia or Zillow or Realtor.com in their respective agent directory. You may find someone who’s a highly recommended neighborhood expert who has a special skill set such as relocation or speaks a foreign language.
But be cautious of this… don’t pick someone so close to you that you can’t have a serious conversation. You have to be comfortable with disagreeing, and that can be difficult with a close friend or family member. And remember this person is likely to become close to your personal financial situation.
You want their style to be compatible with yours as you will be spending a lot of time together. Do you want a REALTOR® who is easy going or aggressive? And you probably are going to want to like them, because if you don’t, it’s likely on one else will either.
Be sure to pick the REALTOR® who is the best qualified and that you will work well with. An ideal person is one who is experienced, knows your market, acts in an ethical manner, answers your questions, addresses your concerns, and will listen to you and be your teammate throughout the entire transaction.
- What percentage of your clients are sellers (vs buyers)?
- In which neighborhoods do you primarily work?
- Will I be working with you directly or handed off to anyone else other than you? In other words, will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? A knowledgeable assistant can be invaluable but you want to make sure you can connect with your agent regularly.
- Do you work full time or part time as a real estate agent?
- How many homes have you closed in my neighborhood?
- How many other sellers are you representing now? How many buyers? Hint: the busiest agents often are the most efficient.
- Is your license in good standing? You should check an agent’s certification yourself with the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs… https://www.lara.michigan.gov/colaLicVerify/
- How many years of education and experience do you have? Experience and continuing education typically make for better agents. (And it doesn’t hurt to ask if they own their own home. A recent study shows that 85% of brokers and agents are homeowners)
- Are you also a broker and/or a REALTOR® or an agent (there is a difference – only a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®)
- Can you provide me with the names and phone numbers of past clients who have agreed to be references? Insights from past customers can help you learn more about an agent and give you a greater comfort level.
There are many great real estate professionals out there and picking a great one is a very key decision in the home selling or buying process. I’d like to see you do it right the first time, so consider the advice above as you make your decision.