2. How many homes did you sell last year as a seller's agent? How many buyers did you help as a buyers agent?
I have Realtor friends who work completely as a buyers agent and some who work completely as a listing agent. In my opinion it is good to know both sides of the coin.
3. Of the homes you sold last year, as a seller's agent, what was the average number of days from the original list price to the accepted offer?
Every neighborhood is different. Demand is different in Broward compared to Palm Beach compared to Martin County and so on...
4. What was the average ratio between the listing price and the selling price?
I am not sure about this but I see it at at about 5% off list price or less. I also see other clients who think they are going to slash 10% off a list price and end up not getting a contract. A Good Realtor will tell you if you are offering too little or trying to sell your home for too much.
5.Do you have nerves of steel.
Sometimes Real Estate gets emotional so it is good to have an agent with experience and know how and some nerves of steel if we have to get tough.
6. Do you have a personal assistant?
This really doesn't mean a whole lot to me as long as someone is picking up my call when I call themor returning my email when I email them.
7. Ask the agent where they think Real estate is headed in your town?
Standard question which nobody really knows the answer. This will give you a hint if your Realtor likes to look at the glass half full or half empty.
8. Can you provide me with at least 3 recent references?
I think it is better to say, tell me about your last three transactions. You have already approached the Realtor because you have heard something about them. The agent will then reveal either a success story and the type of customer they were dealing with or a lack of business or expertise or a nightmare story and how they dealt with it.
9. Obviously, the Internet is an extremely valuable tool nowadays. How does the agent utilize the internet on your behalf?
Listing agents should be flooding the social media with pictures and video tours of your listing. Buyers agents pretty all work off of the MLS and can set you up with an automated email of the price range and the neighborhoods your interested in. If you are looking elsewhere, you may be looking at obsolete information. Also the agent needs to have a clue on the pricing of a given home. Do they know how to pull comparables on their own? Do they just look at zillow.com?
10. Do you have your own personal Real Estate website for marketing homes or do you ever do an old fashion open house?
Many Realtors just use the MLS. Most Realtor websites are intended to find customers not market the home after it is under contract.That is O.K, it is sort of a sellers market right now with a shortage of homes to purchase. Open houses work but might not be necessary if you are selling your home in a nice neighborhood at a nice price.
11. Do you use social media marketing sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach a wider net of Realtors and potential clients?
If you don't know the agent personally before you start you can always befriend them on Facebook to see a little bit about their personality.
12. Do you use video and virtual tours to market your homes?
Again this might not be necessary but this always a good question. I used to use the single property websites which were fun.
13. How will you communicate with me regarding your efforts?
Some agents love text, some love talking with you. I prefer someone who talks with me because I feel you can cover so much more ground in a shorter period of time that way.
14. How readily accessible will you be?
Is your potential Realtor a part-timer or maybe a busy family relative. Do they have kids? Are they semi-retired. These could be red flags. My #1 pet peeve is the listing agent who goes on a vacation in a remote area as soon as the home goes under contract. I can't tell you how many agents seem to be always unaccountable on a desert island with no communication so they will be unable to initial a piece of paper.
15. Once the offer is accepted will you be attending all the inspections on my home?
Usually the Realtor has a go to inspector who will inspect the home for a couple hours. I understand the Realtor who shows up at the end to get the capsule summary but either the customer should go or the agent in my opinion. Later on, when the inspection comes back, we may use it to beat up the other side and get a closing cost credit for you the buyer.
16. How will you verify that the buyer is qualified to buy my home?
This is where you talk to me. If you are purchasing I will show you the on-line approval. If you are listing, I will tell you I have an on-line approval and give a pre-approval letter. It is my reputation when we give the letter, so believe me we have done our due diligence before that goes out.
17. What are your fee structures and why?
Most Realtors work for 2.5% to 3.% paid by the seller side of the transaction.
18. As far as production goes if I called the owner of your company would they tell me you were one of the top producing agents in the company or a middle of the road agent?
In my opinion, it is more important to know how your personalities get along. Some Realtors who are more selective about their clients are awesome Realtors. A Realtor who seems too busy might end up being too busy for you.
19.Does the agent attend all closings.
The first time I read this I thought this was a dumb question then I came across an agent who actually told me over the phone that she had a policy of not attending closings. For me that was one of the laziest things I have ever heard in 20 years. The closing celebration is always a happy event and a chance for most agents to shine and also look out for your best interests of their client. It is nice to give you the high five and see you ride off into the sunset a happy customer.
20. WILL YOU ALLOW ME TO TERMINATE OUR AGREEMENT IF I AM NOT COMPLETELY SATISFIED?
One of the critical components to picking a Realtor should be their ability to create a wide net to attract buyers. Over 85% of all buyers today find their home from an online search. A good method of checking on the agents marketing skills is to "Google" their name. There should be pages and pages of results with an agent that knows how to market your home well online. If you don't see much I would really start to question the agents ability to attract the most buyers. If you are working with a buyers agent and your not getting any traction, you can always move on to someone else but I think it is ethical to work with one agent at a time.