There are numerous real estate agents out there waiting for their next big break to come through. Each of them is anticipating on doing a successful job, make the client happy, and most importantly, make some good money out of it. That’s the whole essence of it. For you as a customer, it is vital to interview a few selected agent before deciding on who to hire.
As you size each of these agents in an interview to see if they are a right fit for you, it’s important for you to know that they also are interviewing you directly or indirectly. They too are quite selective on the kind of clients they want to work with
When conducting the first interview, you can do it either through a phone call or in a formal setting such as the agent’s office. Some agents will not be comfortable with the idea of being interviewed. Other top agents with a great reputation in the market may not be welcoming to the idea of filling out surveys. It is important that you scale down the questions you ask to cover the most important issues.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few questions that you can use to interview potential realty agents:
How Long Have You Been A Realty Agent?
This question is meant to determine whether the agents have proper training and whether they have mentors who they subscribe to for guidance. New agents with no experience are more likely to be focused on what they will deliver to you as a client while agents who’ve been there long enough will describe their learning process over the years while working with other clients.
The more tasks a realty agent has been able to successfully complete within the period of time that he’s been in the industry uniquely distinguishes each agent from the other. The more the work done, the more the skills and competence gained during the process.
Which Marketing Strategy Will You Employ In Order To Meet My Need?
As you ask this question, your aim is to bring the agent inside the parameters of your need and begin focusing on what the agent will do for you in meeting that specific need that you have.
If you are a buyer, you will be interested in knowing how the agent will do a search for the home, how many homes the agent will show you before you find the ultimate house to purchase, if there are other buyers you will be competing against, how he will deal with multiple offers, and whether he himself will present offers.
If you are a seller, you will want to know the specific time period it will take to sell your home, if direct mail campaign will be a proper strategy to use, how advertising will be done, the photography services that will be on offer, and whether marketing will be done online.
Can You Describe Your Average List Price To Sales Price Ratio?
It’s important to understand that the average ratio that the agent uses is highly dependent on the market. A competent buyer’s agent should possess the ability to make a good bargain for a sales price that is below the list price. A potential listing agent should have the ability and skill to negotiate sales prices with a very narrow margin from list prices.
Buyer agent ratios should be below 99% while listing agent ratios should be very close to 100%. There are instances where market value cannot determine the asking price. In such a scenario, ratios don’t matter.
What Are Your Charges For Your Services?
Realty agents have their charges based on percentages, ranging from 1-4% in representation of a single side of transaction, either the buyer or the seller. A listing agent can charge 3.9% for himself and an extra 3.9% for a buyer’s agent for a 7.8% total. Top agents are more likely to have higher charges.
It is important to get clear quotes regarding charges to aid you to make a comparison of the agents you’ll have interviewed and select the best.
What Sets You Apart From Your Competitors?
A potential agent will have an immediate answer for you in response to this question. While each agent has a set of standards which he subscribes to, the response that you should expect for this question is: A brilliant negotiator, assertive, possess good analytical skills, friendly and welcoming, excellent communicator easily accessible via phone or email, honest and ethical.
Such qualities go a long way to define a person and paint a picture of how they will be like as you work with them.
What Assurance Can I Get From You When We Sign A Work Contract?
After signing a buying or listing agreement, you may realize that your expectations are not being met in the agreement. In such a scenario, will the agent agree to the canceling of the agreement? Is there a policy that the agent follows regarding the canceling of agreements? Has there been a previous situation where an agreement he had was canceled? How did he handle that?
Responses to this questions will paint a picture of how smooth or rough the transition will be in case the agreed working terms and agreed business don’t go as planned.
Can You Provide References?
Every agent has references for work done in the past for previous clients. Request the agent to provide you with references, find out whether any of the people acting as a reference have any relation with the agent, and inquire whether you can contact the references and ask a few questions regarding their work experience with the agent.
If the agent has numerous reviews online, you can skip this part of calling references to get confirmations regarding the agent’s performance.
Can I Go Through The Documents That I Am To Sign In Advance Before I Sign Them?
A potential realty agent displays professionalism by availing forms early enough to the client to review and understand before appending their signature. As a buyer, you can request in advance for documents such as Purchase Agreement, Agency Disclosures, Buyer Disclosures, and Buyer Broker Agreement.
As a seller, you can request for Seller Disclosures, Listing Agreement, and Agency Disclosure.
Can You Assist Me In Finding Other Professionals?
The real estate agent should be able to relay to you the network of professionals he works with and offer you a list of trusted vendors such as home inspectors, mortgage brokers, and title companies.
An agent willing to give you referrals to other professionals is a good person to work with.
Are There Any Extra Important Details That I’ve Left Out?
The realty agent will be prompt to inform you of any additional information you may not be aware of. The agent should be able to counsel and guide you appropriately and ensure that you are comfortable with working with him.
With this questions at hand, you can be able to get the views of different agents and have a broad understanding of each of them and how they function. You will then be able to make a well-informed decision based on the feedback you get from these interviews.