What questions should you ask a REALTOR® when you are interviewing them?
For most people their home is their largest single asset. When they hire a real estate professional they want to ensure that not only is the person well qualified, but also that the person will provide superior service. To determine the real estate professionals qualifications and service level, buyers need to ask the right questions.
I have written down the list of questions I would ask as well as why I believe the question is important.
1. How long have you been working as a REALTOR®? – A minimum of two years of experience is a must. An experienced REALTOR® will have the knowledge and expertise to advise you as you make critical decisions in the purchase of your home. Without the knowledge and expertise of an experienced REALTOR®, you could be putting your new asset at a risk.
2. Are you working in real estate full-time or part-time? – Real estate is a fast paced business that requires specific deadlines to be met. If a REALTOR® is only working part-time, I would ask how they handle conflicts between their other job and your real estate transaction.
3. How many real estate transactions did you close last year? – 15 transactions is a minimum to ensure the REALTOR® is staying current with the real estate market and retaining the necessary skills to successfully complete a transaction.
4. What additional Realtor certifications do you have? – I strongly believe a REALTOR®‘s commitment to earn additional titles such as the GRI, CRS, or ABR show they are a professional and are committed to staying current with changes in the real estate industry and strive to provide superior service.
5. How many properties did you put under contract last year with buyers that did not close? Why? – Every REALTOR® will have contracts fall during the year due to inspection items, financing issues or other circumstances. Some circumstances are out of the control of the REALTOR® but others can be controlled by the REALTOR®. Make sure your REALTOR® has not had contracts fall because of something they did or did not do.
6. What is the average sold price versus list price for your buyers compared to the market as a whole? – A good REALTOR® will never tell you what price to offer on a home, but they should provide you detailed information to help you decide what to offer. The information provided and counseling about negotiation should result in a favorable average sold price to list price for clients.
7. What system do you use to manage the purchase contract deadlines? – Management of contract deadlines is one of the top responsibilities of your buyers agent and is absolutely necessary to protect your earnest money. Make sure they have a system in place to manage those deadlines.
8. Do you offer a service guarantee that lets me terminate the representation agreement at any time? – If they don’t provide a service guarantee, you will be stuck with the agent regardless of the quality of work they perform during the term of your representation agreement.