Although it may be tempting to go with the first name you hear, it pays off in the long run to do your research and feel comfortable with the real estate agent you choose. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, choosing a realtor that will serve your best interests is important, and a short interview process is a great way to ensure you’re both on the same page. The interview process can help you get a better sense of trust and confidence in your realtor, while also allowing them to question and probe for your motivation. Consider asking these questions during the interview process before you decide which realtor you’re going with.
How long have you been selling real estate?
A new real estate agent will certainly be motivated and eager to please, but one with years of experience has the knowledge and skill that’s needed to face unexpected challenges. Experience is a great asset, however, new realtors shouldn’t be overlooked as sometimes they’re naturals and can sell a home better than an agent with 30+ years experience.
How many homes did you sell last year?
If you’re selling your home this is more a question for you. This is a great way to find out whether they primarily work with buyers or sellers. This will help you understand the volume of work they take on, keeping in mind that a very high number may mean the agent doesn’t can’t give each client enough personal attention, and a low number may mean the homes are languishing on the market.
What’s your marketing plan/strategy to meet my needs?
If you're buying a house, you should know:
- How will you search for my new home?
- Will I be competing against other buyers?
- How many homes will I see before I find a home I want to buy?
- Do you present offers yourself?
If you're selling a home, you should know:
- Specifically, how will you sell my home?
- Where and how often do you advertise?
- How do you market online?
- Why or why not is a direct mail campaign appropriate?
Which neighbourhoods do you primarily work in? Have you sold in my neighbourhood?
If the real estate agent tends to work in areas away from your home, they may not be as familiar with your market as the Niagara selling market tends to vary across the region. If they’ve had a lot of sales in your area, that’s great as word-of-mouth can go a long way when selling your home.
What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?
Pay close attention to how the real estate agent answers this question as the response elicited can be a deal-breaker when it comes to the level of comfort and security you feel with them. The realtor you choose should know how to listen and know how to counsel you while also asking the right questions and providing the information you need to serve you better.
Deciding on your real estate agent
Sure, there’s plenty of other questions you can ask realtors when you sit them down for this interview as these are just some of the main ones to consider. Once you’ve conducted the interview processes and have reached out to some references, you’ll probably have a good feel of who you want to work with. Trust your instincts as you’ll be sharing sensitive financial information with this person, so make it someone you’ll trust and enjoy working with.