Having a great real estate professional on your team when buying or selling a house can be a huge help, and can save you loads of stress, hassle, headache, and money. But how do you hire a Realtor? We always recommend interviewing an agent before hiring them, and below are a few sample questions to consider in the interview process.
What’s your experience in the industry?
While tenure in the industry may be an important factor to consider, think about continuing education. Ongoing trainings, mentorships, and professional involvement are critical to an agent’s continued success and longevity. To be licensed, a real estate agent needs just over a hundred hours of coursework, but there is no minimum education, vocational training, or on the job experience requirement. Understanding how an agent is staying active, involved, and educated in the field will help you understand how your values may align.
What’s your experience in the neighborhood?
Neighborhoods have stories to tell and it’s important they are told right. People buy into communities just as much as they do the individual home. We recommend asking about real-life experience in your area and their ability to service it. Agents who know the neighborhood and its nearby amenities, schools, and attractions will much more effectively sell a home, and much more earnestly help you buy your own.
What’s included in your services?
From pre-listing activities, price guidance, a Multiple Listing Service posting, contract negotiations and management, and general advice (to name a few), there’s no standard model for “what’s included” and many agents, teams, and brokerages vary. Understanding what’s included ahead of time can potentially eliminate surprises down the road.
Where and how will my home be marketed?
In the past 20 years, real estate has gone from paper printouts to 3D tours. Every agent will have a different strategy for marketing their clients’ homes, so you’ll want to know exactly how your agent plans to find buyers for your home. Local, domestic, international. Print, digital, and social media. Open houses and virtual walkthroughs. Know their plan, and ask why they believe it’s right for your home.
In your own words, why should we hire you?
This is a good open ended question that allows the agents you’re interviewing to answer how they feel best. Take note of how they answer and what they say. Does it align with your goals and timing? In most cases, you’ll be working regularly with your agent on what is most people’s biggest purchase of their life, so you want to make sure you can work well together.
It’s up to you to find the right real estate agent, and the more prepared you are when you decide to interview them, the better. Take the time to figure out what you want from your agent, and find the right fit to help guide you through the process from start to finish.