Your Potential Real Estate Agent: Questions to Ask
While experience is not a guarantee of results, real estate is a profession whose practitioners predominantly learn from practical experience.
- Is real estate your full time career? Or is it a supplemental job for you?
- How long have you held your realtor’s license?
- Do you have any additional or specialized real estate credentials?
- Examples include ABR, CRS and GRI – These certifications represent specialized or additional training the agent has undergone. Only about twenty-five percent of of agents hold specialized designations like these.
- Check the relevant website or flyers for client testimonials. Pay attention to what is said, as well as any attributions. Testimonials from previous clients who share your wants and needs can be very informative.
Inquiring about your potential realtor’s past experience will tell you about their history, but it is also important to find out their recent activities and assess their knowledge of the current real estate market.
- How many properties did you (and/or your company) successfully close on over the past year?
- Are there any other brokerages in the area that have sold a similar volume (either in sales volume or units sold)?
- What is the average length of time real estate transactions take in the area (from finding, to buying, to closing)?
- On average, how long does it take to sell a home?
- In terms of recently sold homes, how near to the client’s original asking price finally sell for?
Once you have established experience and recent history, it is important to find out how a relationship between you and your real estate agent will work.
- Would your representation of me be exclusive? (In conjunction with the question below)
- How frequently do you represent both buyer and seller as part of the transaction?
It is perfectly legal for one agent to represent both parties in a transaction, however, it is important for you to fully understand where your realtor’s obligations lie. Be sure your agent can explain not only the agency relationship but also the rights and responsibilities of each party involved in the transaction. It is possible you may be more comfortable working with an agent who represents wither buyers or sellers exclusively.
- Can you recommend reliable mortgage service providers?
- Do you have a list of services you trust to provide household repairs or other maintenance work?
Your agent should be able to recommend more than one, if they have any to recommend at all, and they should always be upfront with you as to whether or not they get commission from the referral.
- How do we keep in contact? Phone? Email?
- How often can I expect to hear from you?
- Can we arrange a specific means of contact that works best for me?