Choosing A Realtor – Realtor’s Q & A
Anywhere you look, there are advertisements for Real Estate, and for Real Estate Agents. It seems that we’re everywhere!
The reason is pretty simple… in a good economy, the income potential can be pretty substantial. In today’s economy, however, there are one hundred and fifteen fewer realtors in Lincoln County than there was even just a few years ago.
Here are a few questions that you should ask ANY Real Estate Agent before signing a buyer’s agency, or listing agreement.
Look through this section to see the most important things you should know about the person representing you in what could be the most important investment you could make in this lifetime.
1. How long have you been in the business?
Real Estate Agent’s experience is VERY important. Don’t automatically choose against a newer Agent – they typically bring a lot of energy to the transaction, and they will have LOTS of time for you. However, if when choosing a Realtor you do decide to use a newer Agent, make sure they have a great support system behind them.
2. Are you a Realtor?
Not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors. Members of the National Association of Realtors have to adhere to a strict code of ethics, or otherwise face having their membership revoked. Also, you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors to have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which is what gives Realtors access to almost every home for sale in their market area.
3. What certifications do you hold?
There is an “alphabet soup” of advanced certifications that Real Estate Agents can earn. While it doesn’t automatically mean that they are a good Agent, it does mean they are serious about their job.
4. What is your specialty?
Real Estate Agents typically categorize themselves as either “commercial” or “residential” which are vastly different. Even among Residential Real Estate Agents, though, agents will specialize in Buyers, Sellers, or Renters. Some Residential Agents successfully handle Buyers & Sellers, but make sure they come with plenty of satisfied customers. Agents typically cut their teeth working with renters.
5. Can I have a list of past customers?
Take the time to call a few of an Agent’s past customers. Ask for their strengths and weaknesses (and make sure they don’t share the Agent’s last name.)
6. Who is your Primary Broker? Can I call him or her?
An issue occurring in metro areas more than the coast is that huge Real Estate Agencies are moving towards the “mega-brokerage” mentality, which means that many Agents today have never met their Primary Broker. If an agent doesn’t have their Broker’s cell phone number, find out who they will call if they run into questions.
7. Is this your full-time job?
It always surprises me how many people are willing to let their office mate down the hall handle the purchase or sale of their home. When Choosing A Realtor you need someone who handles real estate transactions full-time, day in and day out, to make sure that your best interests are taken care of.
There are plenty of fantastic Real Estate Agents working today. Unfortunately, the incompetent Agents really stand out. (Did you hear about the Agent who contracted the wrong house?)
Make sure that you find your Agent through a trusted source, and ask any Agent these important questions.