The right real estate agent makes a big difference when choosing a new home. So rather than just working with the first one you meet, craft up a few questions to ask every agent and be selective.
A good strategy is to start by asking for referrals from friends and family. Check online reviews on Google and other sites, and don’t forget to look at the information they offer on their websites. After you settle on a few names, here are seven questions you can ask to learn a little more about their experience and personality.
How long have you been selling real estate?
Years in the industry equates to experience. It is likely they have made mistakes and learned the area if they have several years of experience selling homes. It also is a testament to their customer service, especially if they have maintained high reviews over the years. It’s hard for a bad realtor to stay in business for a long time.
How many buyers do you have, and how many sellers do you have?
The answer to this question will tell you if the real estate agent primarily works with the buyers or the sellers. Ideally, there will be a balance because the agent will have a well-rounded perspective from both sides of the negotiating table. Furthermore, if you are looking to sell a house in addition to purchasing, you can use the same agent and simplify the process.
What does the communication process look like?
Buying a home can be stressful, and it is certainly complicated, so communication is key especially after you decide to place an offer. If the agent doesn’t respond quickly or in the preferred method, the process will be difficult.
Ask them if the conversations will occur over the phone, email or text messaging. Also, ask how quickly they usually respond to inquiries and how fast they move after you are ready to place an offer.
Do you work alone or on a team?
It’s true several minds are better than one, but if they do work with a group, it is important to do your research on the other agency members as well. Depending on the situation and how much they will work with you, you might consider asking them questions about their communication style and experience as well.
How many clients do you have?
This is a good way to determine if they have enough time for you. You should consider the size of their team before you determine it’s too high or too low. Ask them how they schedule in so many showings. Don’t be afraid to bluntly ask if they will have enough time to give you their full attention.
Can I talk to any references?
Online reviews are a dime a dozen. Some are good and helpful, others are vague. It’s okay to ask the agent for references who can share their experiences with you. The references will most likely have great things to say, or the agent wouldn’t provide their contact information. Use the opportunity to ask open-ended questions. Learn about what they wish they would have done differently, and ask them specifically why they liked their agent.
What are your certifications and continued education?
You can change up this question by asking them what is something new and important they learned this year about the real estate industry through continued education? You want someone who not only helps sellers find homes and buyers sell homes, but they also care about understanding the business and being the best agent for you and all their other clients.
These are questions to start with, but you might want to also consider asking them how many homes did they sell last year, do they have a goal to sell a certain number of homes this year, what is the average variation between the initial listing and the selling price or how will they market your home to prospective buyers.
Take time to brainstorm your best questions. Write them down and bring them to your first meeting with every prospective realtor.
We’re ready for your toughest questions, so give us a call at 405.310.2796 we can schedule a conversation or showings to help you find and/or sell your home.