5 Interview Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

by Sundaybell on July 17, 2012

Buying a home is a big investment. From open houses and viewings to negotiations and paperwork, there’s a lot to consider when climbing the real estate ladder. That’s why, for many people, it makes sense to hire an expert, a REALTOR®, to assist with the time-consuming tasks and nitty-gritty details. But with so many supposed real estate “experts” out there, how can you tell which agent is right for you?

When it comes to selecting a real estate broker or agent, it’s okay to be choosy. This person will be responsible for finding your dream home, after all! Before you sign an agreement, take the time to find a REALTOR® whose philosophy and methods align with your preferences. What’s more, be prepared to interview at least two to three potential agents prior to making your final decision. Asking the right questions in advance will help you gain insight into the agent’s capabilities as well as ensure a satisfactory experience throughout the entire home hunting and/or selling process.

5 Important Questions to Ask Your REALTOR®

1) How long have you been in the business?

Experience is always an asset, no matter what industry you’re in. However, that’s not to say that a new agent can’t provide exceptional service and market insight. Much depends on whether they have had access to competent mentors and sufficient training. When interviewing a REALTOR®, agent or broker, be sure to ask them about their training and how their past experiences will help with your unique situation.

2) What’s your ratio?

The best selling agents and REALTORS® boast impressive list-price-to-sales-price ratios. The higher this ratio is to 100 percent, the more money you’ll make on your home sale. Buyer’s agent ratios should fall below 99 percent.

3) How will you market my home or meet my house hunting needs?

As a buyer, you want to work with an agent who fully understands what you’re looking for in a property. Be sure to ask potential real estate agents:

• How they will search for homes.
• How long they think it will take to find homes that fit your requirements (budget, location, size etc.).
• How they handle offer presentations and negotiations.
• How well they know your preferred neighbourhoods.

As a seller, you will want to know more about:

• Marketing strategies and advertising ideas.
• Required real estate commission rates.
• The size and scope of your REALTOR®’s network and connections.
• Experience selling properties in your neighbourhood.

4) Can you provide references from past clients?

A good real estate broker won’t hesitate to answer this question. In fact, good agents will likely provide you with a list of references and testimonials right off the bat. When contacting references, you’re trying to verify whether the agent or REALTOR® is:
• Honest, loyal and trustworthy
• Driven and responsible
• Assertive and a good negotiator
• Available by phone or e-mail
• A good communicator
• A talented salesperson

5) What kind of guarantee do you offer?

If you sign a listing or buying agreement with a REALTOR® or agent and find later that you are unhappy with their services, what are your options? Can you cancel the agreement? What will it cost you? If your agent fails to deliver on their promises, what are the repercussions? Not all relationships work out in the world of real estate. Don’t wait until it’s too late to know your options.
Interviewing several real estate brokers and agents is an essential step for any real estate consumer. Be selective about your REALTOR® in order to ensure a hassle-free, positive value-added, experience.

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