Interview A Real Estate Agent
Should you interview your real estate agent? Absolutely. This person will be helping you make one of the largest investments of your lifetime. Taking time to interview a real estate agent will ensure that you find the most qualified candidate for the job…and make sure that you get along. You will be spending lots of time together.
An experienced agent will treat the first meeting like a job interview, and expect you to ask questions.
Questions to ask a Realtor:
- How long have you been licensed?
- Do you work in real estate full time?
- What percentage of your business is working with buyers?
- How familiar are you with the area?
- Do you have references from other buyers who have used your services?
- Do you belong to an association membership that has a published code of ethics or standards of practice?
- Do you think foreclosures, bank-owned properties or for-sale-by-owner properties are appropriate for me?
- How often will you supply me with properties that meet my criteria?
- How will you communicate property information to me?
- Will you point out negative aspects of each property as well as the positive?
- How do you help buyers get the best price and terms?
- Can you help me with the loan process?
- Do you have a list of recommended lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents and other professionals?
- How do you get paid?
- Do you have a written agreement?
- What is the duration of that agreement?
- What if I find a for-sale-by-owner house on my own?
A listing agent has signed an agreement with a seller to achieve the best possible terms for the seller. In real estate, deals are structured so that the seller pays all real estate commissions—buyer’s agent and seller’s agent. That means that buyers should take special care to interview a real estate agent asking:
- How would you represent me as a buyer client for properties listed with your firm?
- Will you change your relationship with me to “dual agency,” “designated agent,” or “transactional broker”?
- Will that affect your ability to negotiate on my behalf?