If you are thinking about selling or buying a property, you are probably considering hiring a real estate agent to help you out. Before you decide on calling one, however, you should make sure that the person you are hiring has your best interests at heart.
For your first meeting, the interview can be conducted over the phone or at the agent’s office. Respected professionals in the industry usually welcome their potential clients in their own office. If there is a need for them to see you at your own home, let them know and check their availability. Once you have set an appointment, you would want to prepare some questions so you can thoroughly screen the agents you’re considering. Here are some of the important points you should ask:
- How long have you been in this industry?
This field is among those that value years of experience. But you shouldn’t ignore a new agent’s profile. It really depends on the level of their training, their dedication, and also their access to market information. During the interview, you can have a glimpse if they exude an overall professional attitude.
- What will be your strategy to meet my needs?
If you are buying a house or a property, your potential agent should be able to tell you how he or she is planning to search for your new house, how many properties you are likely to see, and if you are going to be competing against other buyers. If you are selling a house or a property, find out how he or she will specifically sell your home and where and how frequent you should advertise. While they are giving you professional advice, take note of how confident they are when presenting their ideas.
- What sets you apart from other agents?
There is a big chance that your potential agent has prepared for this question, but perhaps you should look for the sincerity in his or her answer. Most clients say they prefer those who answer more positively about themselves and less negatively about others.
- Will you be able to connect me with other professionals?
By this, you just want to know if the agent can provide you a list of referring vendors like home inspectors, mortgage brokers, and title companies among others. Also ask why these professionals are their preferences.
- How much do you charge?
All real estate fees are somehow negotiable, so there is no need to ask the agent if it is so. It is common for agents to charge a percentage from 1% to 4% for each side of a transaction. For example, 4% for your agent and perhaps another 4% for the buyer’s agent. This varies depending on the professional you’re hiring.
- Is there anything else I need to know that I hadn’t asked?
Listen to the agent’s answer to this because more often than not, there is something else you have to know. A good agent will know how to counsel you as well as listen to you and ask some questions, too, to better address your needs.
Not all agents like the idea of going through an actual interview and some may refuse to fill out surveys. So if possible, get straight to the point and ask important questions – this saves your time as well as the agent’s.