Real estate is one of the most competitive industries, not just in Louisville KY and Southern IN, but all over the world. When you buy or sell your home, there are hundreds of realtors vying for your business. How do you know which will be the right fit? How do you know who truly has your best interests at heart? Besides asking for referrals or looking for the best-rated agent on Zillow, there are other things you can do to really get to know your potential realtor. We have compiled a list of questions you should be asking your next agent, or the person that referred you to the agent. You will know based on their answers whether or not they will get the job done!
Let’s start with some questions for the scenario in which you were referred to this agent by a friend or acquaintance. This scenario has an added benefit because you can not only ask the agent all the questions you were planning on asking them, but you can ask the contact who you referred you for his or her personal opinion of the agent. Here are some suggestions:
- What was the frequency and mode of your communication? Relationships are built on communication! If this agent does not communicate they way you like to communicate, then you could become easily frustrated with how the transaction goes. Ask your friend about what his or her communication with the agent was like.
- Were they knowledgeable about the current market?
- Would you recommend them to your parents?
- Would you use them again? Why or why not? These last two questions are the key to finding out how your friend really feels about his or her experience.
After you have interviewed the contact who referred you, it is time to interview the actual agent. You can meet with the agent in person, which is always recommended. The next best way is to get a phone call, but we would not recommend interviewing them via email. You need to get a sense of what they are like in person or over the phone.
- How long have you been in the business? There is obviously a big difference in working with someone who just started 2 months ago and has never completed a transaction, and someone who has been in the business for 15 years and has done 500 transactions.
- Are you on your own or with a team? This oft-overlooked question is vital. Agents on their own will have an entirely different marketing strategy than an agent on a team. There are pros and cons of both and you need to do your research. Also, ask if the agent has an assistant. You want to know the background experience of everyone you will be working with. It will be important for you to know that if this agent has two assistants, will you spend 90% of your time dealing with the assistants and not the agent himself?
- If I find a buyer on my own, what is your commission versus if you find a buyer? This only applies if you are a seller. Some agents will write into the contract a different commission structure based on whether they are the one that finds the buyer or you are the one that finds the buyer. Ask the agent if they do this sort of structure; it is to your benefit.
- Is real estate your full-time job? Someone who works full-time as a nurse or personal trainer or substitute teacher and only does real estate on the side is not someone that you would ideally want to work with.
- How many transactions have you closed in my target neighborhoods? Do they have the right kind of experience for the kind of home you are looking for?
- How frequently and by what means will we communicate? Again, very important. See above.
- Do you have references? This only applies if you were not originally referred to them by someone. If you found this agent online or by other means, be sure to ask for references or testimonials so that you can talk to some of their past clients.
Are you in the process of buying or selling your home? Are you ready to interview your next real estate agent? I would love the opportunity to answer all of these questions for you. Contact us now.