LOL... My fellow agents will hate me for this one!!
Here are the TOUGH questions you need to ask....
#1 - How long have you been in the Real Estate Business?
#2- Can you show me on paper how many homes you have sold in the last 12 months?
#3 - Do you own your own home now, or do you yourself rent?
#4 - Why should I use you, instead of another agent? What makes you the right choice?
#5 - How much actual hands on knowledge do you have about mortgage lending, and various programs?
#6 - Do you have references I can call right now?
#7 - Do you have a team, or are you the Lone Ranger?
#8 - Can you show me your stats... I'd like to see on paper what your percentage is on List price Vs. Actual Sales Price (See how aggressively they work to save their clients money)
#9 - Do you work Real Estate FULL TIME or do you have another job?
#10 - How much of your business comes from referrals, and again... may I call some of them as references?
#11 - How many homes have you personally bought and sold?
#12 - How many actual sales have you done in your entire career?
Ouch! Most Realtors will cringe when faced with such questions... I learned about 15 years ago.... If you don't have really SOLID answers to those questions, and you can't back up everything in writing.... You might as well put an application in at McDonalds...
Usually when I pull out the stats, and answer the tough questions, and hand out references... I hear something along the lines as "WHOAH! You don't mess around do you?" :)
On one point... I am going to disagree with my fellow agents... I would not really rely too heavily on family and friend referrals... 82% of people polled said they would never use the
agent they worked with again! 71% of people made referrals to agents only because it was the only person they knew that was a Realtor, but didn't have any idea if they were good ornot.
Buying a home is not like buying a loaf of bread. It's your largest investment.
What you really want on the buyer side is this... Someone who is a go-getter type. You want a really Tactful Vulture. You want someone who is willing to negotiate hard to get you the best
price, get the seller to pay your closing costs, get the seller to make repairs, anything they can do to get you a better deal. They need to know about all the lending programs out there..
You don't want to miss out on a program you might qualify for simply because your agent was not aware that the program was out there! Have they done bond programs? Texas Vet, NACA, HIP, PIC, HART,
or other City, County, or National down payment assistance programs? Do they know how USDA works and which homes qualify and which ones don't? Can they show you on paper how many of these
programs they have actually used and their buyers have closed?
You will find that not very many can answer these questions, and vast majority of them have no clue about half of the programs I just mentioned...
But.. that should give you enough to make you dangerous :)
Jason C Campbell
Realtor / Mortgage Loan Officer
Keller Williams Realty