10 things you should ask a real estate agent

Having the right Real Estate professional by your side can greatly improve your home-buying experience, and the Real Estate Agent works for YOU. A good rule of thumb is to think like an employer and interview a minimum of three candidates.

10 Questions to Ask During Your Interview:

  1. Are you a full-time professional REALTOR®? How long have you worked full-time in real estate? What geographic areas do you specialize in?
  2. Do you have a Website? What information can I find there?
  3. How will you keep me informed during my home search and throughout the transaction?
  4. Do you have a staff or a team? If so, what roles will they play in my transaction?
  5. Will you show me properties from other companies’ listings? (Some real estate companies do offer their buyers’ agents a higher commission if they are able to sell “in-house” listings. In those instances, there can be added incentive to limit the range of homes you are shown. This may affect your home search and how much you your agent’s fee will be. This is not how I operate.)
  6. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you also represent the seller? May I have that in writing?
  7. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?
  8. What distinguishes you from other real estate agents? What is your negotiating style?
  9. May I contact some of your recent clients as references?
  10. Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our buyer agency agreement? (In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult to offer a performance guarantee. Typically, agents will outline verbally what you can expect from their performance. I understand the importance of win-win business relationships: I do not benefit if the client does not benefit.)

 

My Answers:

  1. I have been a full-time professional realtor for about 4 years now. I focus on the area you see on the map under “Search Properties”, and mostly on residential properties. From time to time, I have sold listings outside that map area, as far as Dalton and South Atlanta. If you would like to look outside that area, please feel free to give me a call in any case. I can help you find the right agent for your location and situation.
  2. I certainly have a website, you can see it here. I also have other sources both web-based and traditional to help me find exactly what you’re looking for.
  3. As we are searching, you will receive frequent emails with candidate properties, and we will communicate by phone frequently. I will work with you to schedule time to visit prospective properties as frequently as fits our schedules.
  4. I have an administrative staff to handle details, but you will be dealing with me primarily. From time to time, one of my staff may send you an email or call to set up or confirm an appointment.
  5. I will certainly show you every property listed on the market that meets your criteria – even those For Sale By Owner, if I find one that meets your needs.
  6. I always represent you in your transaction – unless it just happens that you like one of my listings. In that case, I will find another agent to represent your interests, to prevent a conflict of interest. This is always spelled out in the contract the two of us sign together.
  7. I am always paid out of the Seller’s proceeds at closing. There are certain “Concierge” Services that I can perform on your behalf, at your request, which would have a separate cost. Take a look below for some Concierge Services.
  8. I represent my clients with a strong and aggressive negotiation style. It is my job to protect you through this transaction, and to make sure that all the needs you have communicated to me are met. I also know the most common issues in the area, and have standard clauses for them to protect your interests. I would be glad to show you some of these after we have signed a representation contract.
  9. If you look under “About Me”, you will see “Testimonials“. Feel free to look them over. Contact me, let me know your situation, and I will gladly put you in contact with past clients in similar circumstances who can answer your questions about my service.
  10. You can cancel our contract at any time without penalty. I cannot ‘guarantee’ that we will find the perfect home for you, only that I will make every effort to help you do so.

Available Concierge Services

  • House Previews. Due to your schedule or circumstances, it may be that you cannot take time to go look at very many houses with me. To help with your schedule, you may want me to look at them first, so you only go to see them if they will meet your needs. If this becomes something you need more than a handful of times, we can negotiate a preview rate.
  • Preview Tours. If you need me to do previews of multiple houses for you, I can also make a virtual tour for you, or just a series of photographs with notes, depending on your needs. There would be an extra charge for this service.
  • Move-In Preparation. If you are relocating to the area, and cannot be here to let vendors in to install services or make repairs after closing, I can arrange this for you, for an additional fee.

All of these fees are situational, and we can negotiate them in advance as required.