Choosing your buyer’s agent is like hiring someone to work for you.
You have several opportunities to determine whether the agent is a good fit before you sign your buyer agency agreement. Take advantage of these interview opportunities.
There is a great list of questions to ask your agent before working with them. In addition to these questions, here are a few other “tests.”
1) How fast does your agent get in touch with you after you call them? What was this experience like?
Did you sit on hold for 10 minutes before finally leaving a voice mail? How long did it take for the phone call to be returned? If it took longer than a few hours, did they explain why, indicating that this will not be typical? (“I apologize for the delay, I was showing homes to a client,” etc.). If you contact an agent and do not hear back from them right away, and I mean at the longest within a few hours, this is a bad sign. If they are not anxious and prompt to earn your business, they will probably not be prompt once they have your business and you have a question.
2) How was your overall experience with this person, and what was your overall impression?
Should you choose your agent based on how many compliments they pay your child, and how hard they laugh at your jokes? Of course not. But, you should get along with them. You will be spending many of your weekend hours with this person, and telling them some personal information about your finances, hopes and dreams etc. The more honest you can be, the better they can help you.
Also, if the agent is overwhelmingly “sales-ey”, he or she might be a good person to keep in mind when it is time to sell your home. An honest and straightforward agent will be better to work with when you are a buyer.
3) Go through a home with your agent.
Ask them questions about the home. They should know more about homes than you – they are the professional, after all. If they have absolutely nothing negative to point out about the home, you might start questioning the agent’s integrity and motives. There is no such thing as a “perfect” home. Your absolute dream house will still probably have a few pros and cons. To make a good decision, you need to be aware of the cons too.