Interviewing Real Estate Agents: 12 Questions to Ask Before Choosing
Picking the right real estate agent for your home can boost your chances of getting the most for your money by 10%, which is a significant amount by anyone’s standards!
If you’re looking to buy or sell right now. We’ve got some great tips on interviewing real estate agents. These tips are sure to help get you the best deal.
So let’s start with these questions and see what they have in store for us.
1. What Real Estate Experience Do They Have?
Buying and selling houses isn’t as simple as it first sounds. Although everyone has to start somewhere, you can’t beat experience.
Find out what their experience is with homes like yours. And, even if they don’t have experience, don’t be afraid to ask why. Sometimes the best people for the job find their calling later in life.
There’s a good chance that a real estate agent late on the scene has valuable life experience. Such experience can come from other sales or business roles. Consider these skills and how they would make that person right for your business.
2. Do They Have References and Reviews?
If you want to know more about someone before hiring them, check online reviews. You’ll learn everything from whether they are reliable to how much they charge.
You may also discover the many different types of real estate agents available. Some specialize in one type of property, while others focus on many properties at once. That means that you need to choose with care who represents you.
Further, when searching online, look up any complaints against the agent. If they have had issues with clients, it could mean trouble down the road.
3. What Is a Fair Price to Them?
When choosing a realtor, price should not be the only factor considered. There are plenty of reasons why prices vary so much between agents—for example, location matters. If you live near a busy street, you might pay less than someone living in a quiet neighborhood.
It could also depend on the size of the house. A large home will cost more than a small one because of all the extra work involved. It’s important to consider this when comparing quotes.
You can tell a lot when comparing everyone’s opinion of a fair price. But, remember that you aren’t paying only for services; you’re buying peace-of-mind too. So make sure you do thorough research first.
4. What Real Estate Options Exist?
Some realtors offer services such as staging, photography, and marketing. Others provide advice and guidance. Find out which ones fit your needs best to make the right decision.
For example, staging attracts buyers. Yet, it doesn’t always guarantee success. Sometimes it backfires. Staging can cause problems for some sellers.
Meanwhile, quality photography and marketing can work wonders for anyone moving from afar. That’s most common for people moving cross-country who can’t afford to travel for a staging.
5. How Much Time Does It Take to Close the Deal?
The length of time needed to close depends on several factors. These all depend on the complexity of the transaction.
Yet, generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 30 days to 90 days. This depends on the situation.
One factor that affects the time taken is if the seller wants to sell at speed. The longer an owner waits to list their home, the higher the chances of getting top dollar.
Real estate transactions take place over months rather than weeks or even days. Thus, don’t expect to find a buyer within hours after listing your home. Instead, a good real estate agent will plan by setting realistic expectations.
6. Can They Give Me an Estimate on Closing Costs?
Closing costs include things like legal fees, title insurance, and appraisal fees. These expenses add up fast and can exceed $10,000.
Of course, not every cost is easy to account for at the initial inquiry stage. But, suppose you’ve found a suitable agent. Ask them how much these items would total before signing anything.
You’ll want to know what kind of money you’d need upfront. It pays to shop around for estimates.
It’s also worth noting that closing costs may change depending on where you buy. Some states have different rules about property taxes. And, other hidden charges come with selling homes.
7. Can I Review Documents Ahead of Time?
Don’t be afraid to ask for a preview of documents. Ask for a copy of the listing agreement and seller disclosure. Also, request copies of any contracts or agreements related to the sale.
As a buyer, ask for copies of the seller’s broker agreement. Also, ask for any other documents to help you understand how much money your agent is getting paid. You may also want to request an itemized list showing all fees charged by the agent.
If many brokers are working on the deal, make sure billing is separate. That way you know who gets what part commission.
8. What’s The Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?
How the real estate agent markets your home will have a huge impact on the result. Most real estate agents like peggyyoung.com have a mixture of skills in their plans and strategies. But of course, much of it depends on your circumstances.
For example, ask them what they think is the unique feature of your home? In business jargon, this is the unique selling point (USP). It’s the very essence of what drives the sale or buying of a home.
Also, find out their opinions on the best way to execute a strategy. For instance, do they prefer open houses versus private showings?
Do they use social media marketing tools such as Facebook ads? Or do they focus more on print advertising?
9. Do They Have a Portfolio of the Previous Staging?
Home staging videography and photography are two of the most important elements of the start to finish process. Having a portfolio of previous projects builds realistic expectations about the final product.
When it comes to videography, find out if they specialize in filming homes from different angles. It gives buyers a better idea of what the finished project might look like when viewed from various vantage points.
Photographers should also provide samples of their work. If possible, see some examples of their past clients.
It’s also worth asking if they use a professional photographer or take their photos. Think about how this reflects itself in the cost of their services.
10. How Many Clients Are They Servicing?
This question isn’t always easy to answer. But it does give a clue into whether the agent has experience serving clients. This helps you determine that as well as whether they are spreading themselves too thin with too many clients. If they are serving many clients, they may not have the time to devote to you.
It’s a common mistake, especially in the weaker real estate agents. Because they aren’t getting the work in, they tend to take on more than they can commit to their time and effort. Thus, the quality of the work they put into finding a buyer or seller suffers.
Ask them how long they’ve been doing business and how often they get new listings. Are they able to handle everything yourself? And finally, can they recommend someone else who could be helping you?
11. How Long Is Turnaround?
It may not seem like a big issue now, but once you sign that offer letter, you’ll want to move quickly! You don’t need to wait until after closing before making changes to your home. So, check with your agent to determine how fast turnaround time works for them.
Of course, if the turnaround time is too quick, it can make you wonder if they’re trying to hit quota or push a sale through. Yet, if there’s no rush at all, then you know exactly where things stand. Either way, it’s good to know ahead of time, so you aren’t caught off guard.
But, having access to photos and videos while still under contract gives flexibility. You can make any necessary adjustments without worrying about losing money.
Plus, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stage your house even after signing an agreement. The reason for this is in case the whole process falls through.
12. What Contacts Do They Have to Maximize Success?
Regardless of experience, a good real estate agent will have plenty of contacts. These contacts are in their arsenal, ready to approach at any point. Whether that’s buyers, sellers, or other agents, having a broad but varied contact base is a must for any successful realtor.
The importance of a vast range of contacts is huge. The best real estate agents will have a wide network of reliable contacts and an excellent relationship with them. That shows trustworthiness and reliability.
Ask your potential agent which networks they’re involved with. Also, ask what kind of results they’ve had working together.
Be sure to inquire about their referral sources, so you know where they come from. Did they find all their network on LinkedIn, or was it through ex-clients and employees?
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Agent
When choosing a real estate agent, consider these other factors as well. Some of these aren’t as clear-cut, so do your research first!
Professionalism goes for both in-person and online. A professional website should look clean, organized, and easy to navigate. Suppose yours doesn’t meet those standards. It might mean that you’re dealing with a less experienced agent.
As for in-person, think about the kind of person you’d want to handle your most expensive buy or sale in your life. Would you prefer a laid-back, friendly vibe or one more formal?
Your choice here depends a lot on personal preference. But it’s important to keep this in mind when selecting a real estate agent.
Level of Involvement With Local Market
If you live somewhere new, chances are you won’t be familiar with local market trends. This means that you could end up paying extra fees because you didn’t know better. A good real estate agent will understand the market inside out and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
That said, some people thrive on taking advantage of every opportunity available. For others, knowing the ins and outs of the area makes them feel safer and more confident. Again, there’s no right answer, though finding someone knowledgeable will improve your chances.
Local Knowledge of Area and Neighborhood
A great real estate agent knows exactly how much property costs in different areas. They’ll also know who owns properties nearby and whether they’re willing to sell. These details matter if you plan to buy many homes over time.
They may also help you avoid buying into neighborhoods that aren’t ideal for you. It’s always smart to research before making such decisions. That way, you’re not moving into your worst nightmare.
And, while a real estate agent is there to help you, you must make sure they’re aware of your requests to them. They may be great at closing a deal, but they aren’t mindreaders.
Interviewing Real Estate Agents Doesn’t Have to be Hard.
Interviewing real estate agents is one of those phenomenons where realtors often say, “you got to trust me!” Well, when choosing a real estate professional, you should do more than trust them.
Suppose you feel comfortable asking these questions. Then you’ll likely find someone who cares about helping you achieve your goals.
For more real content that won’t leave you in a state, keep checking our articles for more useful advice!