Top Questions To Ask A Real Estate Agent Before Hiring

Posted by Casandra Properties on Friday, November 6th, 2020 at 8:06am.

When searching for the right real estate agent, you will never find the same agent with same point of view twice. Most of the time they will provide different levels of service such as full service agents, part time agents and even discount brokers as every agent has a different style of working, level of experience and personality. This is why it is very important to interview multiple agents before you determine which one can be the best fit for you. It’s always the first step that is one to be difficult and in this situation it is definitely no different. Choosing the right agent for yourself will minimize future miscommunication and ensure both parties to understand their responsibilities ahead of time. 

According to many research articles regarding this matter, trustworthiness is the top attribute that is looked upon when regarding the desire of the seller/buyer of the property. After that aspect, it is taken to be the swiftness of the responsive, after these two aspects, people would usually turn into looking for someone who can be seen as an expert in the local market and last but not least, sellers/buyers would look for an agent that would respect their personal values among all else. The best way to find the right agent for you is by asking all the right questions to interview the agent and to listen for all the correct and insightful answers that they may discuss. Some of the very many questions that you can ask the agent can be: 

1.    What do your services and Real Estate Agency provide?

2.    Can your fees be negotiable? 

3.    What is your experience in the neighborhood? 

4.    What are your working hours?

5.    How do you plan to market the property? (For Sellers) 

6.    Do you have any reliable references that I can question?

7.    Does this contract include a cancellation or deadline clause?

Most of the time when you contact an agent from the Real Estate Agency, they will usually schedule what is commonly known as a “listing appointment” which is an appoint that makes the agents aware that they aren’t the only listing appointment on your calendar which will make them bring the best properties available that can suit your needs and wants within the location. 

HOW MANY AGENTS SHOULD BE INTERVIEWED BEFORE MAKING THE FINAL DECISION?

Depending on the size of the market, you should consider to interview at least two to five agents so that you can compare and contract everything that they can offer regarding their experience in the market and expertise. From the many researches made, 63 percent of common sellers’ contact only one while 21 percent would reach out to two different agents and 17 percent would contact three or more. It’s always worth interviewing multiple agents so you can find the right agent that can truly find the place that you desire and not have to rush into fast decisions.  If you need to purchase or rent in a hurry that you will most likely invest a lot of your own personal time but alternatively, you can purchase/sell/rent through House Solution.  

QUESTION 1: What do your services and Real Estate Agency provide?

This should always be considered to be your first question because many different listing agents can include different services that they provide and you will definitely want to know what your percentage commission is buying.  After all, you are paying your agent for their expertise, so they should always be willing to share tips with you on minor repairs and renovations that can be made with the properties provided as well as the features that the home can provide that can be popular with the buyers around your area. 

QUESTION 2: Can your fees be negotiable? 

The main reason sellers avoid agencies is because they would like to avoid paying the commission to the agent or they would like to at least lessen the amount of commission they would have to pay. The typical commission is from 1.5 to 2.5 percent, but keep in mind that half of that usually goes to the buyer’s agent and the listing agent pays for the costs of marketing, broker splits and taxes that can be taken out of their portion as well. According to research findings, 69 percent of sellers accept the terms with their agents without having the need to negotiate while 31 percent would choose to negotiate their deal with their agent once it is dealt as 57 percent from those negotiations can turn successful after a few changes can be made within the terms of the agent. 

QUESTION 3: What is your experience in the neighborhood?

Agents can only learn so much from real estate levels of properties and locations and only a great agent should have the best experience regarding your location as they have spent years and gained the right knowledge to get you the right property without having to spend much time. If they’re new to the business, they should be part of a team led by an experienced local agent who can guide them through the sale. When asking about experience, look for agents who know the neighborhood and its nearby attractions and someone that can demonstrate the perceived market value of certain features of your home. If the agent doesn’t have a lot of experience in your specific neighborhood but you’re interested in working with them anyway, ask them for their list-to-sale price ratio and the local average for a part of the city that they do work in. A good agent is well connected in the area, which means they might already have interested buyers lined up having a great network to provide you with the best offers that can be made. 

QUESTION 4: What are your working hours?

The best answer that you can receive from any agency regarding such a question would be, “I don’t have hours.” Which means that they are always working and under your command when finding the right place for yourself but that doesn’t mean that agents don’t have their own personal lives as well but it does mean that you can reach your agent for the urgent questions by messages and even phone calls during the day and evening hours. If you choose to work with a well-known agency, they would most of the time pass their clients to their large team that they are managing which would lead their tasks to different team members and assistants, which might end up not having you to speak to your agent directly. The downside of this relationship would be the potential for miscommunication, but generally speaking, agents who have lots of listings are probably successful because they would have the background to provide the best and most suitable property for their clients. 

QUESTION 5: How do you plan to market the property? (For Sellers) 

This question is made especially important for the full time agents that provide long term services. Every agent has a slightly different strategy for marketing their client’s home for sale, so of course you would want to know how your agent plans to find buyers for your home. When you are paying for a full service agent, they should cover the cost of professional real estate photography for their properties that they want to provide, some agents include pictures, videos and sometimes a 3D tour service that is made for the very competitive markets and agencies. 

QUESTION 6: Do you have any reliable references that I can question?

Obviously we are not talking about reference letters, but, your agent should be able to point you to a webpage with testimonials made from their past clients and that can put you in contact with someone who has worked with them before. The internet has made it easier to track down unbiased agent references and don’t be afraid to ask about negative reviews either. A professional agent shouldn’t get defensive or dismissive, but rather talk through the circumstances that led to the review.  You may also want to consider if they have sufficient educational references, for example if they have attended one of the many real estate schools.

QUESTION 7: Does this contract include a cancellation or deadline clause?

One of the top important questions to ask in the end of the interview would be is there a cancellation or deadline clause within the contract. A professional agent should walk you through their standard contract and answer any questions you have. You shouldn’t feel pressure to sign, and they should give you time to take the contract home and review it further. If you are not satisfied with your agent, you may be able to terminate your contract if the agent hasn’t been delivering on the services they agreed to provide, but it can be difficult to prove. Make sure there is specific language in your contract that outlines exactly what the agent is responsible for. Also include language stating that if your agent doesn’t complete those tasks, you can cancel with no commission owed and find a new agent that better fits your needs. However, if your agent has already paid for a lot of marketing costs or found you a buyer and then you tried to cancel, you may be on the hook for reimbursement or a partial or full commission.

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