"What questions should a client ask when interviewing a Realtor? How can a client find out if the Realtor has the time and resources to serve them?"
The questions to ask when interviewing a Realtor would seem obvious at first glance:
* How many years have you been in the business?
* Do you represent both Buyers and Sellers? (Not all Agents do.)
* How many clients are you currently representing and how do you manage them all?
* What specific areas do you cover? (More important, what areas DON'T you serve?)
* What's the process and what should we expect?
* How do you work and do you have a marketing plan?
* What tools/technologies do you utilize?
But it's the nuances that are often skipped, simply because most people don't know what they don't know . . . so in addition to the above, here are a few others to consider:
* Do you represent both sides of the transaction simultaneously? (Aka: dual agency. it's tricky business serving two masters at once.)
* How do you communicate and how often?
* Will I be working with you OR a member of your team?
* What is your internet presence?
* What is your local presence and how active are you in it? (International presence is important, but it's LOCAL presence that gets the job done.)
* Beyond the purchase price, what other fees should I be budgeting for? (i.e. closing costs.)
* How much is the commission, who pays it, and how is it divided between the buy and sell sides?
* Are you currently representing direct competitors, or will you be when our home hits the market?
* How available is your broker and what does he/she bring to the transaction?
* And perhaps the most overlooked question of all . . .
What should I be asking you that I am not? (In other words, "What haven't we discussed?")
Real estate transactions, by their very nature, are complicated and potentially litigious undertakings and each Realtor has his/her own way of navigating the process. You should know, exactly, how a Realtor is going to walk you through this very intimate journey.
While more and more sites would have you believe that real estate is a simple transaction that can be handled directly between Buyer and Seller; it isn't. (And BTW, many of you will be both buying and selling simultaneously. If that's not a recipe for stress and fear, I don't know what is!)
In short, buying or selling real estate is a highly emotional, often frustrating, intense, whirlwind of activity and having an experienced, neutral third-party negotiator is going to be key to your success - on either side of the transaction. So ask away; we're here to answer any questions you may have. And if your Realtor can't answer these questions to your satisfaction, move on. There are plenty of knowledgeable Agents who can and who will work diligently on your behalf.
July 14, 2017 Julie Gardner Blog