The process of buying a home is completely different from the process of selling. Majority of the time, agents usually favour the seller and his interests are usually considered than that of the buyer.
Adequate representation is necessary for the buyer to ensure that his interests are protected in all areas. Real estate agents who represent buyers are known as Buyer’s Agent. Knowing how to interview a Realtor when selling a home is extremely important and it is no different than selecting a real estate agent to serve as your buyer’s agent.
We will attempt to give a list of questions to ask when interviewing for a buyers agent.
Mortgage and Financing
- Do you require a pre-qualification or pre-approval before looking at homes?
Mortgage and financing is a very important subject when buying a home. When interviewing a buyers agent, this is a good question to consider asking. The responses that will be received will vary, however, a great real estate agent will answer this question with a resounding “yes.” It’s critical that when buying a home, a buyer gets pre-approved before looking at homes.
It’s important that a potential buyer has a strong grasp on the type of financing they qualify for and the amount they qualify for and bottom line, if they are able to purchase a home at that specific time. This can help eliminate disappointment, heartbreak, and also save the a buyer lots of time!
- Do you have other trustworthy professionals you can recommend to me?
A great buyers agent will have several contacts in the mortgage industry whom they can recommend to you. Just like all real estate agents are not created equally, all mortgage companies and consultants are not created equally. It can greatly improve the probability of a smooth real estate purchase when utilizing a great buyers agents recommendation, as they know how one another work and what quality of service is to be expected.
In addition to recommendations for mortgage lenders, another thing to consider asking a potential buyers agent is about different professionals they can recommend. When buying a home you will likely need an attorney, a home inspector, insurance carrier, and other professionals, in addition to the mortgage lender. Ask the potential buyers agent if they have a list of professionals they can provide to you.
Real Estate Track-Record
- How many homes did you sell as a buyers agent last year?
As a real estate agent, representing buyers is different than representing sellers, period. There are different “tasks” that a buyers agent is responsible for during the transaction and the same for the sellers agent. It’s important to know how many homes a potential buyers agent sold last year while representing buyers.
- On average, how many buyers are you actively working with?
One thing that is important to understand when hiring a buyers agent is that they are human beings, like yourself. Buyers agents have families, lives, and schedules and this is one thing that buyers forget sometimes and it drives real estate agents crazy. It’s not a smart decision to seek out a buyers agent who only works with one buyer at a time. This likely means they don’t have a strong history of sales.
This being said, knowing how many buyers they actively work with is an important question. A great buyers agent should be able to make you feel like you are their only client. A great buyers agent will be able to juggle several buyers at a time due to their organization and efficiency.
- On average, how many homes do you generally show your buyers?
There are some buyers who believe that real estate agents would prefer to only have to show a couple houses to their buyers before they purchase a home. This is true. In most cases, a great buyers agent will only have to show 5-10 houses to their clients.
Why is this? A great buyers agent will be able to identify their clients wants, needs, and preferences. Sometimes this is able to be done with a simple face-to-face meeting and sometimes after looking at a couple houses. A real estate agent who shows 25 houses to you without narrowing down and being able to identify what you are looking for is wasting not only their time but also yours.
- What experience do you have in selling homes in my target areas?
Each village, town, and city will have their own property values as well as real estate “trends.” In most communities there are some areas that houses are listed and sold within a week of being listed and others that take a couple months. A buyers agent should be able to advise you on what property values and market trends you should expect from your target areas.
Additionally, they should be able to help point you in the right directions to help you determine if the neighborhoods are the right place for you to purchase a home.
Real Estate Experience
- How long have you been a licensed real estate agent?
You want a professional who knows the ins and outs of the business, and that level of knowledge comes only with experience. The longer a real estate agent has been selling real estate, the more transactions they have likely completed.
- Is real estate your full-time career or a part-time job?
When buying a home, it can be a time consuming process. It’s important that your buyers agent is available when it’s convenient for you. Ideally, you want an agent who works full time or, if not, the agent should make it abundantly clear that urgent matters will be addressed if necessary A part-time real estate agent may not be able to offer enough availability to do so.
Past Client Satisfaction
- Can you provide me with testimonials or past clients contact information?
Every buyers agent should be able to provide a handful of testimonials to you, period. As for contact information of past clients, this is not always possible. It still is a good question to ask a potential buyers agent though when interviewing! If you are able to obtain contact information of a past client of the buyers agent, make sure you do not waste the opportunity to pick up the phone or e-mail that person for their opinion of the potential agent.
Agreements and Requirements
- Do you require your buyers to sign any contracts or agreements?
Many buyers aren’t aware that contracts even exist for buyers. They do, however, they are not enforced or practiced that frequently. Many of the top producing buyers agents will choose not to utilize a contract with their client because they know they will provide great service and not have to worry about losing their client.
Another primary reason why buyers agents don’t utilize contracts is because they are very difficult to enforce, should a buyer break an agreement. Often a real estate agent will spend thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to recoup their commission, thus not making it worth their time or money.
Technologies and Communication
- Do you have a personal website?
You maybe asking yourself, Why is a website important for a buyers agent to have? Simple. A website is hopefully a great place to learn about not only the potential buyers agent but also about the local neighborhoods, schools, and also find some helpful testimonials.
- Do you have a real estate blog?
Real estate agents love to share their knowledge and expertise. A real estate blog is a great venue to share their wealth of knowledge. Ask potential buyers agents if they have a blog or an example of article they have written. If they provide you a URL for their real estate blog, be sure to check it out. What types of articles have they written geared specifically towards buyers? Have they written articles giving advice for first time buyers? General home improvement articles?
- How do you determine which homes may match our wants and needs?
You want someone who understands what you want – whether that’s starting with a broad or narrow view of the market. Listen to how the agent speaks about options and decide if his or her approach is one you like. Know what’s important to you: The community, the home itself, features, local schools? Your Real Living Sales Professional should explain all your options and help you separate good ones from less-than-optimal ones.
A great buyers agent will have a system or questionnaire in place to determine what homes may match your wants and needs. You should expect a great buyers agent to ask about your price range, desired square footage, number of bedrooms, type of heating system, and other specific questions. This will allow them to determine what homes may be a great fit.
Other Miscellaneous Interview Questions
- Do you attend inspections?
Inspections are a very common contingency in contracts when buying a home. A great question to ask a potential buyers agent is whether or not they attend their inspections. There are some buyers agents who will attend and some who will not. Most top producing agents will agree that attending inspections is important, for many reasons.
- How do you negotiate our requests from inspections?
Many real estate transactions do not make it past the inspection stage. This is for a variety of reasons. You should expect that in addition to recommending quality home inspectors, the agent should be able to present the inspection report and requests in a way the seller understands the validity of the requests.
Hiring a great buyers agent is critical when buying a home. The process of buying a home can seem like a monumental task, but it isn’t, with the right representation! The above questions are some very good questions to think about asking. By doing so, you should be on your way to successfully selecting a great buyers agent for your home buying needs!
Are you looking to buy a home soon. We can offer you adequate representation as a buyers agent and alot more to make sure the process of getting your home is as smooth and hitch free as possible.