Home Selling in Keizer>Question Details

Willamette, Home Owner in 97303

what is a list of questions to ask when interviewing a realitor?

Asked by Willamette, 97303 Sat Apr 9, 2011

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Great question and more Buyers and Sellers would be wise to check their Realtors out better than they do. Here's what every Buyer or Seller should be asking when they interview a Realtor:

How long have you been a full-time broker/agent? - If they haven't been in the business at least 5 years I'd say you're wasting your time. 80% of all Realtors don't last two years in the business and this statistic has been the same for over fifty years. Do you want to trust one of your largest financial transactions to someone who is either inexperienced or may not even be around two years from now?

How many transactions have you closed in the past 6 months? The past year? Show me a report that verifies this. - If the agent you speaking with hasn't closed on average at least 1 transaction a month, then move on. The best agents close two or more transactions a month. As a consumer you need to verify this and the way to do it is to require the agent to print out a report from their MLS system showing you their closed transactions and the dates they closed. I'm not concerned about the dollar value of each closing, the fact that their closing deals is evidence that they know how to negotiate and get deals made.

What is the agents position is on "dual agency." In other words what happens if the you become interested in one of their listings and want to make an offer or if you are the Seller and they have a Buyer who wants to make an offer on their property. The majority of agents will proceed to give you a song and dance about how they then become “neutral negotiators” blah, blah, blah. It's time to look elsewhere. You aren't hiring them to be “neutral”, you're hiring them to represent your best interests. The truth is they aren't neutral when this situation arises they have but one thought in their heads and it's this,”What do I need to do to get these two knuckleheads to agree so I can keep the entire commission?” Dual Agency is a clear cut conflict of interest. When I find myself in this position I step aside from both my Buyer and my Seller and my office designates a Broker who knows nothing about the Seller to the Buyer and one who knows nothing about the Buyer to the Seller and I am removed from the transaction. As a company we believe this is the only fair thing to do. Our clients (Buyers and Sellers) hire us to advocate for them and we acknowledge that if on nothing else but the price Buyers and Sellers have opposing perspectives. Do not accept agents who try to convince you otherwise.

If you are a Seller, you'll want to know how they will market your property. Don't worry about print advertising, it's basically worthless. You want to be all over the Internet and you want premium positioning on the big three real estate websites. Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. Premium positioning mean the agent is paying money monthly to these sites to promote their listings. Every listing is on these sites for free, you want your to stand out and if they aren't willing to pay what it takes to do this, then they probably aren't the agent for you. Ask if they use a professional to take pictures (I do), will they buy a home warranty for your home? (I do for all my listings) This is business and doing business costs money, if you agent isn't doing these things it's probably for one simple reason, their not making enough money and aren't successful. Move on.

How available are you? - Understand a good agent is busy, they probably don't have a lot of time to waste and you need to respect this. They don't get paid by the hour, they only get paid when sales close. That said, they need to be readily available. I always have my smart phone with me and never travel without my laptop. It's not that I like working 7 days a week, but I constantly have multiple transactions working and need to be able to respond to my clients. My clients can reach me 7 days a week from 6AM – 6PM if needed, after 6PM I monitor calls but unless we're in the midst of a negotiation I probably won't answer. I'm a morning person, and my evenings are for my family and friends, other agents are night owls, the hours they work are less important than the fact that you can reach them any day of the week and that they will respond within a few hours.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 30, 2011
Sorry to disagree with some of you out there, I started in this business in 2009 when most others were walking away, our office used to have around 150 agents and by 2011 went down to about 73, no new agent left this business most of them were agents with long-time experience but unable to handle the new market, the market changed in 2009 and anything you new before this date is outdated, in today's market it only takes few transactions (not months or years) to have a great experience, you'll find out that many times the best customer service is with the new/mid agents, I was disappointed to deal with some old-timers that got stock in their bubble about all regulations and disagree with the new market, but you must update your self and recognize current market (even if you don't like it) in order to provide accurate/current information to buyers/sellers, as long as your agent is well motivated you'll get what you're looking for, and please agents out there help other agents when you can it will only help our market to the benefit of all (buyer/seller/agents/lenders), small or big files treat all with respect and the same level of great service,
Best luck to every one
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 31, 2013
If in the first 10-15 minutes they havent qualified you by getting income etc from you to find out somehow what you can afford.... they are wasting your time and they have a lot of time to waste (obviously showing you property you cant afford is a waste of time). I'd pass on them as I did back in 1966 when I bought my first property... 9 guys said I could never get into it and then one said he could possibly do it as he knew some people etc. He knew what I was and could afford. I bought it and made a very tidy sum a several years later when a development went in that I had hear rumors of... get into their office, if they have "million dollar round table" or top seller etc that's a good clue too. Hope this helps... I'm an investor who has helped many people buy properties that they "couldnt get". Realtors like to do everything by the text book they learned from. Dont be afraid to think outside the box. The worst that will happen is someone will say "no".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012
If in the first 10-15 minutes they havent qualified you by getting income etc from you to find out somehow what you can afford.... they are wasting your time and they have a lot of time to waste (obviously showing you property you cant afford is a waste of time). I'd pass on them as I did back in 1966 when I bought my first property... 9 guys said I could never get into it and then one said he could possibly do it as he knew some people etc. He knew what I was and could afford. I bought it and made a very tidy sum a several years later when a development went in that I had hear rumors of... get into their office, if they have "million dollar round table" or top seller etc that's a good clue too. Hope this helps... I'm an investor who has helped many people buy properties that they "couldnt get". Realtors like to do everything by the text book they learned from. Dont be afraid to think outside the box. The worst that will happen is someone will say "no".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012
I think, you would still receive typical interview questions just like those in my web reference as well as sales related questions. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 9, 2012
It is very important to interview the perosn who's going to handle your most improtant purchase or sale...
here's a few to think about asking.

How long have you been in the business.
Do you specialize in the area I am buying or selling.
How many transactions have you closed in the past 12 months
What type of marketing do you do
and last but not least, if you're selling....what do you think my house can sell for...not what it will be listed at, but what it is going to sell for....

Good luck...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 30, 2011
I agree with many of the posts above. Most people don't properly research the Realtor they decide to work with. I have written a comprehensive article about this topic and a sample of some of the questions are located below.

What is your professional background before real estate?
How many homes did you sell in the last 2 years?
What off line marketing do you provide?
What is your online marketing strategy?
Do your homes generally sell for above or below list price?
How do you market to other brokers?

For more please feel free to visit my website to request the full article.
Web Reference: http://www.kendeleon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 30, 2011
The interview questions below can be used for real estate positions such as: Real estate manager; Real estate assistant; Real estate supervisor; Real estate coordinator, Real estate agent, finance, private equity, Real estate receptionist etc

Real estate interview questions also are used for phone interview, second interview, behavioral (competencies based) interview…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
The most important question is what 's in it for me?. Would you give me your suggestions what do I need to do to have my home stand out from the other homes? Please be honest with me, what is the real estate market in my neighborhood for the last 90 days? If it was your home, will you sell it for this price? All you want to get the top dollars in the short period of time and stress free. Have the expert agent to help you.

Best!,
Thuy Chrestenson
Prudential Real Estate Professionals
Oregon Real Estate Broker licensed #200710065
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 18, 2011
Besides the good questions asked below, I would add - what is your marketing plan? A lot of agents do the bare minimum.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
My thought would be: 1) How many homes have you sold in the last 6 months? 2) Do you only work with sellers or do you also show buyers? 3) Where will my home be seen (Ie websites, etc) 4) What kind of reports will I get each month so that I know where my house has been seen? How long have you been in the business? - Those types of things will give you a good feel for what a listing agent may do for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Although many real estate brokers would cringe at such a notion, interviewing a broker should be like interviewing anyone else for a job. After all, a property listing is nothing more than a contract to employ a broker and his company to market a property, and represent the owner in the event of a sale.

Hence, you should ask most of the same questions any employer might ask in a job interview. Such questions include:

(1) What references can you provide?

(2) What experience do you have with my type of property?

(3) How many years have you been licensed as a broker? – NOTE: Don’t rule out someone ONLY because he/she hasn’t been licensed a long time. Many brokers with less experience have fewer current listings and sales, and will devote a lot more time and effort to your property than a broker with many years’ experience who has a lot of clients. You need to know how long a person has been in the business to know what follow-up questions to ask, such as...

a. What people do you have to back you up should you need help?
b. Does your principal broker (a broker’s supervisor) also sell real estate? If so, does he/she have enough time to assist you when you need help?
c. Do you have a principal broker whose primary duties are to train and answer questions for brokers who need help?

(4) What would you say are your strengths?

(5) What are your weaknesses?

(6) What’s your highest level of education? (e.g., high school, 4-year degree, etc.)

(7) What additional education do you have specifically related to real estate?

(8) Have you ever been arrested? If so, what were the details?

(9) Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If so, what were the details?

(10) Have any complaints ever been filed against you in relation to your work as a broker?

You can find other important questions to ask a Realtor on my blog at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/brysonrealty/

You also can find more information about selling a home in the Advice Center at my web site: http://www.bybryson.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Hi Willamette,

In addition to the great questions that many of the Brokers below have posted for you, do your own research. One of the easiest ways to do that is to Google each Broker's name that you are interviewing. This will give you a good idea about how active they are in terms of how much real estate they sell. Also, it will give you a good idea on how they will present your property online. Since over 90% of buyers are now starting their home search online, you need to make sure that your home shows up. The internet is where local buyers and those buyers that are relocating to the Salem area are looking.

If I was a home seller and wanted to Google Real Estate Brokers, I would use more than one search term. For example-I would Google Mel Wagner and I would Google Mel Wagner Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent. I would also Google Mel Wagner Salem Oregon Homes for Sale. You get the idea.

Best of luck to you!

Mel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Besides experience (in terms of number of recent successful sales), ask about a marketing plan. Ask the realtor to give you examples of problematic situations/scenarios, and the strategies he/she employed with successful results.

How the realtor communicates and demonstrates problem-solving skills may give you a sense of your compatibility as realtor and client.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
From my website, I have a short article that suggests a minimum of 10 questions to ask realtors during interview sessions. Under "my pages", click on Selecting A Real Estate Agent Tips. There are additional short articles there that may be of interest including Passing the Home Inspection and For Sale by Owner Option which are applicable to both marketing and contract offers. Happy trails.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Willamette,

As you can see I don't live in your area and therefore I don't have a dog in this hunt. However, I will be glad to provide you a list of atypical questions you may want to ask in an interview. These questions will help you quickly determine the knowledge of the agents you're interviewing rather than simply the generic questions most sellers / buyers ask during interviews. I don't post this questionaire here for obvious reasons. However, if you'd like a copy emailed to you (along with the correct answers), please email me directly at guy@phgbrokers.com.
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Previous answers are OK, but in my mind there is something additional. How well can you communicate with this person. By that, I don't mean do they return your calls/texts/emails promptly. You are starting what ideally is a very trusting relationship. Do you feel like you can trust this person to give you the best advice in the dozens of situations that come up over the life of a listing & sale? Do you trust this person enough to be totally open and honest with them?

Not as easy to measure as the previous questions, but every bit as important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
There are several questions that you can ask a realtor.

There years of experience

How many homes have they sold in the current market?

What kind of marketing do they do for there listings

What is there list price to sale price percentage?

How do they price the home?

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Hi Willamette,

There are several pertinent questions when interviewing a Real Estate Agent to Market Your Home or Purchase your next home.

1. Home many homes have you sold in this area?
2. What is your average list/market time for your listings?
3. How many years have you been in business (full time)?
4. What would you do different than any other agent to market my home?
5. What is your commission & minimum length of Listing Agreement? What Marketing Services does this cover?
6. How often do you communicate with clients and how do you transmit feedback from showings?

Bottom line... Choosing an agent is knowedgable, experienced, reliable, honest, a great negotiator, and someone you can work well with!

Best of luck with your search,

David Jaffe-Realtor SRES, CDPE
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
How long have you been a full time Realtor? Experience is everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
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