7 Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Hiring Them
January 4, 2022 | Posted by: Ronice Harrison
As a home buyer or seller, hiring the right realtor should be your top priority. Read on for the seven questions to ask a realtor before hiring them to make sure you make the right choice.
Real estate is not an easy venture…
It’s a business that requires you to have sharp brains and top-notch negotiation skills. So for all of you buying or selling a home for the first time this year, having a pro guide is a must to pave the way to a successful first deal.
Therefore, if you are a potential buyer or seller of a real estate property, hiring the right realtor should be your priority.
But, how will you decide the real estate agent you've selected is the best choice?
However you decide to judge them (whether with references, their website, their professionalism… and so on), part of your decision will surely be based a one-on-one conversation with them.
So, let's take a look at SEVEN questions you should ask the candidates before you finalize one to be your guide.
Here's the first question…
1) Are You a Full-time or Part-time Realtor?
That's a very important question, and if your candidate's response to it is something like, 'Well, I've got a job during the day, and real estate is my side business…'
You know what to do, right?
Move on to the next one. Real estate is a 24/7 job, so don't trust a part-timer to do it well.
That's because real estate is a volatile market, and sometimes it's just red-hot.
You need a proactive realtor there - someone who's on the move as soon as the right property that you've set your heart on, goes up for sale.
Therefore, anyone who has other engagements besides real estate won't fit the bill.
Find someone who lives and breathes this business.
2) How Much Experience Do You Have in Real Estate?
Today, there are so many qualified agents out there…
So go with an expert who’s proven themselves over many years in real estate buying and selling (4 years at least). This is no time to give a rookie agent the break of their life.
So, you can ask your agent about their most recent closings and get them to hand you some past clients' details whom you can speak to for a reference.
Also, it'll do you much good if you had a look at the agent's certifications and industry affiliations.
A seasoned realtor, who knows the tricks of the trade, is what you need.
Nothing below that would work well enough.
3) What's Your Specialty - Buying or Selling?
OK, so what's your choice: a jack of all trades, or a specialist in just one?
Before signing up your real estate agent, you should ask them what their specialty is.
Is he or she an expert listing agent or a buying pro?
Because the two are different fields, they require different skills, and above all, they create a conflict of interest for the agent if they do both at the same time.
Also, you'll want to inquire about the location, state, city, or even neighborhood, that your agent specializes in.
Because state laws and market conditions vary throughout the country…
And a realtor with specialized, in-depth knowledge of your targeted location is a thousand times better than an all-rounder who struggles to keep up-to-date with the entire market.
4) How Many Clients Do You Have Currently?
If the answer to that question is 'a lot' then you'll probably want to think twice (or thrice) before pinning your hopes on that realtor.
Agents who have their hands full may be qualified, but they are still not the right choice. Why?
Because if they're engaged with a good number of clients already, they will not be motivated to take the time for you.
If this is your first sale or purchase, this time is especially important. You need your realtor to guide you through the process and explain all the steps to you as the transaction progresses.
So, choose an agent who is readily available and totally focused on you - rather than someone only partially committed.
5) Do You Work With a Team?
If your real estate agent has a passionate team working for them (or partnering with them), then dealing with a lot of clients and properties will be no big deal to them (which is great news for you!).
But, you'll want to find out who will be the person you will be in direct contact with.
And, how qualified he or she is to handle your deal.
Nevertheless, a realtor with backup from a team is more effective any day than the solo player, so choose accordingly.
6) How Much Do You Get Paid in Total?
Now it's time to get down to business and talk money!
If you're a seller, it's in your interest to talk money matters ahead of time rather than 'assuming' things.
That’s because the seller bears the brunt of commission costs of their own listing agent as well as the buyer’s agent…
And going by the standard brokerage costs, you'll be charged approx. 3% for each of the agents. That’s 6% total on average.
So, if your house goes for $300,000, the total agent fees will be $18,000… Ouch!
With that knowledge try to get the exact figure down on paper while screening realtors. And, go with the one that seems most honest and realistic.
7) What's Your Preferred Communication Method?
Finally, make sure you and your agent are on the same page when it comes to how you will keep in touch with each other.
These days, social media is becoming more preferred given its easy availability.
But, not all realtors like to talk over chat.
Most will probably prefer to talk through emails - just to come across as more 'professional.'
That's not something to fuss over, but it's always great to have your agent just one text away.
So, figure out in advance how exactly the two of you will be having your business chats.
The above seven questions (if asked & answered correctly) will set you up with the right property agent.
From then onwards, work on creating a solid rapport with the agent, and take steps forward with a concrete target in your mind.
That will lead you to success - whether you're buying or selling real estate!
After finding the right agent, the most important part of your buying process will your mortgage pre-approval.
So, it’s critically important to find the right lending partner!
When you’re ready, fill out the AQRE Lending pre-approval form to secure your perfect mortgage pre-approval!