How To Interview A Real Estate Agent
Jan 10, 2022
How To Interview A Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling a home is a major decision, so it's crucial to find a real estate agent to work with that's right for you.
By taking the time to interview more than one real estate agent, you can be confident in the person you choose to work with. If you show up prepared to ask relevant questions, you'll not only find out more about your potential real estate agent's expertise and approach to the job, you'll get a feel for their personality.
When you enter an interview with a potential agent, be prepared to answer their questions to you as well. Be upfront about your goals so you can discuss how you'd accomplish them together.
Here are some questions you should consider asking during an interview to find a real estate agent you feel confident and comfortable working with.
LEARN THE BASICS
How long have you been a real estate agent?
Experienced real estate agents have knowledge and expertise that can only be gained from years in the industry. Working with an agent who has a lot of experience can put your mind at ease, but a new real estate agent may take on the job with increased dedication and determination as they work to prove themselves. A real estate agent with less experience may also have more time for new clients. If you work with a newer agent, find out if they have a mentor helping them accomplish their goals.
How familiar are you with the area I'm buying or selling in?
Your real estate agent should know the trends and challenges specific to the area you're selling in or looking to buy in. They should be familiar with the neighborhoods, schools, public transportation, and aspects of daily life in the area.
Another reason it's important to find out if the real estate agent is familiar with the area is because of their connections. Find out if they will be able to refer you to other local professionals that can be helpful to you, like home inspectors and contractors. If your potential real estate agent doesn't bring this up themselves, ask them about their network.
Do you work with buyers and sellers?
Some real estate agents work with buyers and sellers - which means they could already have someone in mind to buy your home or who is selling the right home for you - while others specialize in working exclusively with just buyers or sellers.
You can also ask how many clients the agent is working with to find out if they have time for you.
ASK ABOUT THEIR PROCESS
What approaches do you take that make you different from other agents?
You want to figure out what differentiates one agent from another, so give the agents you interview the opportunity to share their experiences. How have they become successful? Do they work with a team? A good agent should be ready to answer this question to showcase their biggest strengths.
How would you market my home?
According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, in 2020, 97% of all homebuyers used the internet while searching for a home.
It's important to know how an agent utilizes the internet and social media to market homes. Find out if the agent covers the cost of professional photography, how active they are on social media, and how they plan to get your home listed online.
What is your average list-to-sale price ratio?
The answer to this question can give you some insight into an agent's negotiating skills. A good agent should have a record of negotiating sales prices that are close to list prices. Keep in mind that the ratio also depends on the market.
FIND OUT ABOUT LOGISTICS
Can you provide me with references?
A real estate agent may have testimonials they can share with you or should be able to connect you with past clients. Hearing from the agent's former clients gives you a better picture of what it's like to work with them and can help you learn more about the agent's strengths and weaknesses. You can also check out online reviews.
If the agent was recommended to you or is someone you know, it's still a good idea to hear from past clients to find out if they're going to be the best fit for you.
How will you communicate with me, and how often?
Buying or selling requires a lot of communication. Does the agent regularly communicate through email, phone calls, text messages? Do they have an assistant that handles any of this for them? Ideally, your real estate agent's preferred communication method is the same as yours. Knowing how often your agent will be in touch will help ease some anxieties about the process.
It's also important that your agent communicates in a way that helps you understand the selling or buying process and the real estate industry jargon.
What do you charge?
If you're selling your home, it's important to know that commission is typically about 6% of the final sale, which is often split evenly between the buying and selling agents. It's good to know what the agent's rate is up front.
What else should I know that I didn't ask about?
In any interview, it's a good idea to end with this question. This gives the real estate agent a chance to share any other information they haven't gotten to share yet. Pay attention to what they have to share when you give them this last chance to win you over.
AN ORIZON AGENT COULD BE RIGHT FOR YOU
Having an idea of what kind of questions to ask while interviewing a real estate agent should help you feel more at ease about the process. Refine and personalize questions around what's most important to you and come to interviews with an open mind.
At Orizon Real Estate, any of our professional real estate agents would be happy to talk with you so you can start your home buying or selling journey today. Call us at 260-248-8961 to connect with an Orizon Real Estate agent today.