Why does a buyer need to interview a real estate agent? Because the realtor will be representing the buyer in finding and purchasing a home, a very expensive investments. The real estate agent is working for the buyer so it is a good idea to know some things about the person you are about to hire. The buyer needs to know if the real estate agent qualified to handle the job and also if the realtor will work in a professional, timely and ethical way. Here are some things you should ask your potential agent during the interview:
How long have you been a real estate agent? It is a good idea to find out how long the agent has been in the business. A new agent may spend a lot of time with you but an experienced agent may sometimes not be available. The difference is in the experience level. The lack of experience on the new agent’s part may not serve you well. A well seasoned agent may require you to do some of the work on your own, for example, driving around the neighborhood to see if you like it. The difference in experience will be tested during the transaction – offer, presentation and negotiations.
It is easy finding a home but make sure your agent can draft a contract, negotiate the best terms for you and perform all the necessary and required documentations. Make sure the real estate agent is experienced, educated and knowledgeable in the purchase of homes because a small mistake can cost the buyer a lot of headache, time and sometimes money. Always ask for your realtor’s background, education and experience.
What is your strategy of searching for and finding a home? Ask to see a copy of your realtors “plan of action”. How will he or she go about finding a home for you? What will he expect you to do? Have the real estate agent explain his or her plans. It is advisable to arrange a meeting with a lender to determine how much house you can afford before going out to look. Ask your real estate agent how he will do his job and what he expects of you, the buyer.
How do you negotiate the best deals for your buyers? Ask your agent if he or she will help you decide on a price to offer after you’ve found the home you likei was reading this. The negotiation is a give and take situation between you and the seller but will your real estate agent be involved? Is your agent knowledgeable and creative enough to make the deal work?
For example, if the buyer wants the seller to pay closing costs and a home warranty, the seller may agree to pay one and deny the other. Rather than walk away from the deal, the agent can suggest that the buyer pay for the other cost by either paying cash or increasing the offer price to include that cost. There are different ways to construct a transaction but the agent needs to be knowledgeable on what can be done.
Can you please provide references? References and testimonials are important because they tell you how your realtor will work with you. References come from past clients so when a real estate agent has the knowledge, ability and patience to help families and individuals, they will say so. Good references should say more than just, “great job” or that Tom is a wonderful real estate agent. Look for references that actually say what the real estate agent did that makes them different from others. If the agent is new ask for references from their broker or past employers and colleagues.