How will you be able to make sure that you not only find your dream home but that you ensure that the real estate agent you choose to represent you has the knowledge and expertise to help you with the biggest financial decision you will make in the next 5 years?
Unfortunately, many people choose a real estate professional based on the idea that all real estate agents are basically the same. They sign with the first agent to come along, only to realize too late that they should have “shopped around.”
The following questions are designed to help you avoid that mistake by equipping you with what to look for when selecting an agent to represent you.
First, start by asking friends, acquaintances and/or family for the names of real estate agents they know. A personal referral is the absolute BEST manner in which to select your professional real estate agent. Once you have compiled a list of names referred to you based upon a great experience, use this guide to help you determine which agent is the best for YOU.
Can you send me some information about yourself?
Look for professionalism and consistency. What are their professional accomplishments?
How do you approach your work?
Look for a businessperson that has a strategy and a plan.
How long have you been in business?
Longevity in the industry does not always mean success. However, look for an agent that has been in the business for a minimum of three years. The fall-out ratio for agents in the business less than 3 years is over 80%. While experience is important, accomplishments are more important. How many homes have they sold in the area you are looking?
What is your education and experience?
Does their schooling and work experience mesh with your expectations of what an agent should have?
What will you do keep me informed?
Do you want daily or weekly reports from your agent? Will the agent be able to meet these expectations? Determine how much communication you want, and then find an agent who will give you the attention and time you want and deserve.
Can you provide me with further resources I may need?
The best agents have built strong relationships with their “Teams” and can often get expedient service for you should a crunch or problem arise.
Can you give me some references from other clients you have worked with?
Don’t be afraid to ask for references. An agent who provides raving fan service and is proud of their work will be happy to provide references. Look at their ratings and reviews on sites like Google, Zillow and Yelp.
What is the best way for me to get in touch with you?
You should know exactly how to get through to your agent.
What awards or accolades have you received in the past couple of years?
Make sure that your agent is a professional, well regarded and at the top of the industry. They will be more knowledgeable and will be able to best represent your interests based on experience and reputation.
How will you represent my best interests?
Absolutely do not hire someone that you don’t believe will represent YOUR best interests at all times. Have your agent give you examples of how they represent their client.
Remember that finding the home is the easy part, true representation begins when you sign a contract and continues through negotiation and closing.
See more articles in my Home Buying Guide:
Must-Have Online Research Tools Every Buyer Needs
The 8 Most Important People You Need to Know in Real Estate
6 Tips when Purchasing a Home
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Home
Financing and the Costs to Buy a Home
10 Commandments when Applying for your Loan
How Buyers Can Negotiate Successfully in a Seller’s Market