Home Buying in Chandler>Question Details

Deirdre Lehn…, Real Estate Pro in Chandler, AZ

When interviewing a Realtor, one question should be: "Do you own a home yourself?"--Do you agree with this or does it matter?

Asked by Deirdre Lehner, Chandler, AZ Tue Sep 4, 2012

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I think it's a reasonable question but of little real significance as it gives no insight into what their experience in making and closing transactions successfully is.

I very much disagree with agents who say experience doesn't matter. The truth is 80% pf all new Realtors don't last two years. Wouldn't you like your agent to be around a couple of years down the road. The average Realtor in the country closes less than 8 transactions a year and a savvy consumer should ask themselves why? How likely is it that these agents have the ability to accurately analyze the market to give their clients the data they need to properly price their homes when selling or to make an offer with? How many of them have the financial ability to properly market your home? Experience counts in all other professions and ours is no different. Those agents who have mastered their craft and successfully close dozens of transactions a year after year have proven that they are better agents than those who close 3 or 4 transactions a year and are more or less playing at real estate. While it's not the only metric to measure a Realtor by I believe it's the most significant.

I've attached a link below on one of the most popular blogs I've posted here on Trulia on how to find a great Realtor. I hope you find it helpful and wish you all the best and Happy House Hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
And the thing is, Neill, restaurants hire skinny servers to make recommendations . . .

I'm with Debbie! My asthma doc doesn't have asthma . . . should I change docs?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2012
why would it matter?

do you care if your pediatrician has children of their own?
I don't - I just want a good pediatrician who is bright and experienced.

continuing with this logic....then perhaps every woman should only go to a female GYN :)

and to the person who asked if you would trust "a guy selling you a car who doesn't own one".......why not?
If he is knowledgeable about the product he is selling........... and honest............who cares if he drives or takes the bus to work?

I didn't ask the salesperson who sold me a designer handbag if they owned one, too........as long as they were adept at pointing out all the special features it offered

well, I think I made my point as to my position on this topic!!

Owning a home (or anything) is not a litmus test of one's capability, experience, professionalism or proficiency....those are the qualities one should be looking for.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2012

My wife was a Realtor® before I was, and in her first year, she decided we should buy a house. I'm from Manhattan - I don't buy houses, I live in apartments. She said the same thing to me - "How can I sell homes when I don't own one myself?"

One thing I've learned in twenty-eight years of marriage is that you'd better marry somebody whose judgement you trust.

Anyway, my rejoinder was, "Do you think that Boeing salesmen all own 747s?"

Three days later, I was "pressing hard, it's three copies."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2012
I never asked my dentist if they were his teeth or if they were fakes.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
"I agree this is a good question, especially if you are hiring the broker to work on an high-end or exotic transaction"


So...if you've never owned a luxury home, in an "exotic" location.....then you shouldn't be selling those houses?

That sure would eliminate a lot of agents out there...and I don't see it as any valid litmus test as to expertise.

One can be thoroughly familiar with an area without necessarily owning a home there.

Questions regarding.....Experience....knowledge of the area.......knowledge of the local market .....percentage of listings sold.........level of professionalism......knowledge of agency relationships and.......... MARKETING expertise and marketing plan, internet exposure, etc., etc.... are the important questions to ask any potential agent.

Just to throw in one more analogy:

Does it matter if your child's teacher has a child of his or her own?
Would you even ask that question?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
When is it important whether someone owns a home or not? Their selling experiences, stats, reputation and how good are they at getting results seem a whole lot more important.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
It shouldn't matter whether the agent owns their own home or not. you want an agent that has done transactions, is knowledgable in their field, and professional....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
Since your House is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, you should take your time, be selective and precocious about whom you hire to assist you in selling or buying your home. You should find an agent whose philosophy and methods align with your preferences. Ask as many questions as you need, in order to select the right agent for you.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
What an inappropriate thing to ask a Realtor.

Where do you guys come up with such ideas?

How sad.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2012
I agree this is a good question, especially if you are hiring the broker to work on an high-end or exotic transaction. Brokers with strong historical ties to a community can have a deep knowledge of the area. Some brokers specialize in the area where they live. I try to know the significant features and benefits of every one of the 2100 homes in my home village of Los Ranchos. This kind of knowledge and familiarity will only belong to someone who owns in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
Experience does count- personally and professionally! I've been in this business about 17 years, and certainly real life experiences have taught me a lot. This business is never static.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2012
Hi Deirdre,
I would disagree that it "should be" asked. But if the answer is important to the buyer or seller conducting the interview it is certainly okay to ask. Whether an agent owns a home or not probably doesn't matter much. I do think some people want to know if their agent has some skin in the game. That said every rock star picked up the guitar for the first time once. To me the most important thing is integrity. Will your agent's actions be the most beneficial to you 100% of the time? Even if it is to their detriment? That's the guy I want. One who'll walk away from their payday to give you the best advise. They need to be knowledgable and have a plan that makes sense too. But give me an honest, hard worker that's hungry and I don't care if he's not a homeowner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
It only matters because that agent will understand the responsibility of having and paying a mortgage, insuring a home, and maintaining a home. So they will be able to relate to the REAL understanding of the investment of the time and money one needs to own a home. As far as listing a home, it doesn't really matter and honestly that's a personal question.
Lesly Reiter, Keller Williams Realty Pioneer Valley 413-519-9450 LeslyReiterSellsHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Yes, but your art dealer may not be able to draw, and in the days of travel agents, they may not have been to the places you were going, either.

The reasoning is fun - I think that we were able to review and examine the work of agents, we would not be able to tell which ones owned homes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2012
On that note, I suppose I would not want an art teacher that can't draw or a tour guide that has never been to where we are going.

Thanks for all the great comments. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2012
I think a Realtor should own their own home. Otherwise, they come off like a skinny cook, you just can't trust them!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2012
I love the variety of answers that you got on this question. I think that this is a good question to ask among many other questions that were asked below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
I think it is a great idea. You are putting your trust into a Realtor and if they don't own their own home, how do you know they are qualified enough to help you purchase a home? It gives the Realtor credibility and that is something very important in this business.

Would you trust a guy selling you a car if they didn't own a car? Or would you buy insurance from an agent who doesn't believe in having their own insurance? It is important to keep your credibility believable and be qualified enough to help your clients through every step of the way!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
I believe that, if the question is important to your decission making, then ask it. I don't however say that it should be a determining factor of, if the Agent is an experienced one or has had a number of transactions close.

More important questions could be:
- How long have you been working the area I am interested in?
- How long have you been a Realtor?
- Do you have any references on your skills and knowledge?
- How available are you, and whats the best way to reach you?

I hear more and more that the one question above all else is, how available are you. Lets face it, when a buyer is ready, they are wanting the Realtor to be ready. Yes, we all have schedules to keep, but is that agent answering the phone or responding via e-mail? And if so how long does it take for that agent to get back with you.

For me, I answer my phone 7 days a week, always have my laptop or Iphone with me everywhere I go. I am here for you. If I can not meet your schedule for looking at homes, I have other team members I trust that are agents, that I can also check with to show you homes. I understand your time is important too.

If you are selleing your home, how many listings do you have, how many have those have you sold and what is the average time on the market? How do you plan on marketing my home? And how will I be notified of the traffic of inquiries on my home.

I wish you a successful experience in your house hunting or the sale of your home in what ever area you live in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
Sure, one question could be that or any number of questions. It's certainly not at the top 20 of my list of questions to ask. If I need a Realtor to help me buy a home in a new area, then knowing whether a Realtor who owns a home in that area is of a very marginal benefit. That Realtor may know more about the area but is also more likely to be biased towards the area, just the same as with anyone who's lived in an area for more than a few years.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
I do not think it is the "be all, end all", however, I do think it could help a client know that they also own a house. I think owning a home can say a lot about a person, and once a Realtor has owned a home, they may look at you as someone just like themselves, who is buying the biggest investment of their lives, and who is worried about how it is all going to work out in the end. Who is worried about making sure you get a good deal. I think too many agents are just concerned about getting their clients into a home as soon as possible so they can collect on the commission check. Sometimes it seems like they may not care how it all works out in the end for their clients. I am not saying this about all agents, but a lot of them for sure. I think if you know that the agent has gone through some of the same life experiences you have, it can help you feel more comfortable, and hopefully have a feeling that "they have your back."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
Those recommending such questions do so strategically.
Do you own your home?
Do you live in this community??
As Phil suggests.."Are those teeth yours?"
How many letters have you paid for to append to your name?
Do you work with a national firm?
How many 1/2/3 homes on 1 acre estates have you sold this week?
Are you left handed?

Those suggesting such questions do so soley so they can respond 'YES."
Deiredre question, however, adds the dimension of believably when you empathize with a homeowner that their home's value has devalued 40% over the past six years. "My landlord lost value" just doesn't inspire a resonance of spirit that is so important in assisting in the sale or purchase of what many people belieive to be their most expensive possession.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
I find it odd that realtors like to find ways to bash other realtors for things that just don't matter. Do you own a home yourself? Balderdash! How many years of experience do you have? Nonsense! The bottom line is this, will you get my home sold at a reasonable price within a reasonable amount of time and do the work so I don't have to!

If you want to distinguish yourself from the crowd, you are going to have to find out what it is about YOU that is special, unique and worthwhile. Communication, caring, and just plain getting the job done get my vote. Those traits are far, far more important than how many years of experience you have or whether you own a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
I fail to see any relevance. Things to note. The realtor shouldn't charge you more than 6% of final sale price (which he would split with the buyer's agent), takes good pics. and advises you how the home should be prepared for the sale. Also needs to show you where he or she plans to advertize the property, and be capable of negotiating competently on your behalf and in your best interests.. If you need further help, call me.
Byron Godfrey SOLUTIONS R.E. 480 704 0050
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012

That is an important question. It may or may not matter however. I believe that being a home owner may help your agent understand better whatever questions and issues that a home buyer may have. Having that experience themselves should help a good agent bring more to the table during the buying or selling experience. So, it can bring the person questioning the Realtor a better feeling of ease knowing that the person they are potentially hiring has also been through this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
Hi Deirdre!

When interviewing a Realtor, I recommend you ask questions that help you feel comfortable you are listing your home with the right person for you. A few things you might look for:
- They should do their homework and bring comparables to give you an idea of what your home will sell for.
- How responsive are they?
- What is their marketing plan for your home?
- How do they incorporate technology into their sales plan?
- How do you want your home shown and can they accommodate it (lockbox on home where any licensed Realtor can show homes, shown by appointment only with listing agent present, open homes, ...)
- Do they understand your needs in terms of sales price and how quickly you need to sell?
- Is the Realtor someone you want working for you?
- How well they explain contracts and what to expect during the process.
- What tips do they offer to help get your home in good showing condition?

It is always nice to have someone who is experienced help you. Personal experience buying and selling properties certainly helps.

As a Realtor, I would readily answer your question (yes!).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
I am not certain if that makes a difference if they currently own a home or not. I can see where owning a home can give some insight but I also think it is possible to be great in this business without owning a home. However, there are some cases such as a short sale or foreclosure where I don't think you can fully understand a client without having been through the experience. I have been through the experience of not only owning a home but having purchased a second home and having the first one listed as a short sale and eventually going through a foreclosure. I think that has helped me when I am dealing with someone else who is going through that experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
I agree. However, several agent have lost tons of money in the last 6 years. I just sold a short sale in Chandler that was agent owned :(. It happens to the best of us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
I am a realtor and I have owned a home for many years. However, I am also a broker and can attest I have had some excellent agents that were not homeowners. This is not a fact that will tell you how good a real estate agent's representation will be. There are a variety of skills required in this profession and home ownership will not help you determine their level of expertise (neither will the type of car they drive). By Debi Gotlieb, Designated Broker, Key Results Realty LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
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