What questions to ask your real estate agent
“This helped me find the right agent” - REcent home seller
We’ve done thousands of interviews to help consumers find their perfect real estate agent, and here are the questions that we particularly like to ask agents:
* Are you a full-time residential real estate agent?
* Can you share link(s) to your personal website, blog, or company profile?
* Will I communicate only with you, or will I work with your assistants/team as well?
* How often will you communicate with me about your efforts? How will you give me the updates?
* Will you, or an assistant, be with me at all inspections and at closing?
* How much do you charge and why?
* Why should I work with you?
Each of these questions touches an important aspect. We like to group them as questions regarding competency, communication, and dedication.
Competency means does this agent know how to 1) do the deal start to finish, and 2) how to handle unforeseen events. A good example for the latter is if the winning bidder is unable to come up with the funds for some unforeseen circumstance - would this agent know what to do? Or, would you need to do your own homework and tell the agent what to do (this happens all too frequently when consumers don’t interview their agents before signing a contract).
Communication is absolutely essential. You’re paying a large amount of money to the agent - the agent is there to provide you peace of mind that they’re working on your home and everything is being handled professionally. If the agent isn’t keeping you closely updated, you’re left to wonder what is going on; this problem is exactly why you hired an agent in the first place. A good agent will be transparent with you and understand your needs. Do you want weekly calls? Or meetings in person? Will you even talk to the agent or someone more junior from their team.
Dedication can amount to huge differences in how good a deal you get. Once you sign a contract with an agent, it’s difficult to cancel. Will this agent be working solely in your interests, or will they be trying to get you a deal at the first chance they get (potentially costing you tens of thousands of dollars). Ideally, the agent should approach your deal as if they were doing it for themselves. Data shows that agents that sell their own home tend to hold it on market for longer than when selling someone else’s home - but certainly this is not in your interest.
An interview is really the best defense you have to avoid the self-dealing agents. Interviews can give you insight into how an agent is thinking, and how much effort they’ll put in to get you the best deal. The questions we ask are backed by data, and they work. However, it’s also important to ask them in the right way. We believe the best way to ask the questions is at the same time and online. This gives each agent a perfectly level playing field, and you can judge their responses from the comfort of your home - and not to their heavy, in-person, sales pitches.
Our online platform helps consumers find and interview agents. The results have been terrific, and since it’s completely free for you and any agents you invite, we encourage you to give it a try. You’ll know that you chose your future agent for all the right reasons.