Unfortunately, many people choose a real estate professional based on the idea that all real estate agents are basically the same. They sign with the first agent to come along, only to realize too late that they should have “shopped around.” These questions are designed to help you avoid that mistake.
Always start by asking friend and family for the names of real estate agents they’ve enjoyed working with. A personal referral is the absolute BEST manner in which to select your professional real estate agent. Once you have compiled a short list of names, use this guide to help you choose.
Here are the questions you should ask each agent:
Can you send me some information about yourself?
Look for professionalism and consistency. What are his or her professional accomplishments?
Does your office work as a team?
Look for an agent that has a team to work with. Real estate is a complex and dynamic business, and transactions can get complicated. When your agent can leverage the expertise of an entire team of agents, that person is better equipped to provide great service for you.
If you’re selling a home–Can you tell me about the marketing plan and strategies you will use to market my home?
Look for an agent who has a methodical, step-by-step plan for marketing your home. A skilled agent will be able to outline their plan for getting the word out about your home, and will be able to explain how they’ll utilize the most current methods to create interest in your listing.
If you’re buying a home–How familiar are you with the area in which I’m looking to buy?
Look for an agent who is active in your desired area and has good knowledge of neighborhoods, schools, and local issues. The physical home is one facet of deciding if a property is right for you—but it has to be understood in the context of where it is!
What will you do keep me informed?
Do you want daily or weekly reports on available property from your agent? Will the agent be able to meet these expectations? Find an agent who will give you the attention and time you deserve.
Can you provide me with further resources I may need?
The best agents have built strong relationships with other professionals in the industry—cooperating agents, mortgage professionals, contractors—and should be able to confidently refer you to the best-fit provider for whatever needs may arise during your transaction.
Can you give me some references from other clients you have worked with?
Don’t be afraid to ask for references. An agent who provides raving fan service and is proud of their work will be happy to provide references. Look at their ratings and reviews on sites like Google or even Facebook.
What is the best way for me to get in touch with you?
A good agent will set clear expectations for communication during your time working together. You should know exactly how to get through to your agent, and what to expect in terms of how long it will take for him or her to get back to you.