When you’re entering the real estate world, you need a representative you can trust to advise you, negotiate for you, and handle the details of buying or selling a home. Finding someone you trust is important, so you should take your time and know what to ask when you interview real estate agents. Here are 6 questions to ask during your agent interview.
1. What’s your list-price-to-selling-price ratio?
The difference between the listing price and selling price does depend on the market, but this question will give you a sense of the agent’s negotiation skills. A good buyers’ agent would be able to consistently negotiate for selling prices lower than the listing price. On the other hand, a good listing agent should be able to get prices fairly close to the listing price. An agent who negotiates well will be able to keep as much money in your pocket as possible.
2. What’s your marketing strategy for my situation?
Part of an agent’s job is connecting buyers and sellers, which entails marketing on both sides. If you’re a buyer, you’ll want to know how the agent will search for homes, how many homes your agent normally shows before buying, how the agent will handle multiple offer situations, and how those offers will be presented. If you’re a seller, you’ll want to know where/how your home will be advertised, what kind of photography or staging services your agent can provide, and what kind of marketing system the agent already has online. After you list your home, you’ll want to have offers within the first few weeks because listings become less desirable the longer they’re on the market. Having an agent who markets and shops for homes well means you’ll spend less time in the market.
3. Are you able to provide references?
Just like any job applicant, your real estate agent should have references. You should make sure none of the references are family members and that you can call the references to ask them questions about the agent. This may seem like an audacious thing to ask, but remember that you want to make sure the agent you hire completely fits you. You should also look up the agent online to see their online reviews, which may negate the need for references.
4. What sets you apart from other agents?
Everyone has different needs in a real estate agent, so you should know what you want for your situation. But regardless of situation, you want someone who is honest and reliable, friendly and well-connected, a skilled negotiator, and a clear communicator. A good agent won’t be afraid to tell you their strengths and why they are a good fit for you.
5. Will I be able to review documents before I sign them?
In real estate, it’s especially important to know what you’re signing as there’s a lot of legality involved. A good agent will be completely transparent with you and share documents with you before you sign them. As a buyer, ask about previewing these documents:
- Buyer’s Broker Agreement
- Agency Disclosures
- Purchase Agreement
- Buyer Disclosures
As a seller, you’ll want to see these documents:
- Agency Disclosures
- Listing Agreement
- Seller Disclosures
6. What kind of relationship do you have with other professionals in the field?
The real estate world involves more than buyers, sellers, and agents. You may need inspections and repairs/updates for your home. Your agent should know experts in a variety of fields like building, electricity, water, pest control, and exterior maintenance, and be able to find the best deal for you. Asking them about their professional connections before you hire them is a good way to make sure your needs will be handled.
Is there anything else I should know that I haven’t asked?
This is actually an important question because there are probably a lot of things you still need to know and you’ll be able to pick up on the agent’s attitude toward you by the way they answer. You want the agent to be honest and to take enough time to make sure you understand everything. You want to be comfortable with the agent’s level of experience, knowledge, and ability to listen as well as ask the right questions.
After the interview, you should know whether or not the agent is a good fit for you. Remember, trust and knowledge are probably the most important things you’re looking for, so don’t feel bad about shopping around until you find just the right agent. If you’re looking for an agent, I’d love for you to interview me! You can contact me through email, phone - (863) 450-8847, social media, or my mobile app for any real estate question. I look forward to hearing from you!