10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Buying a House | Hiring a Realtor Interview

How’s it going everyone, Matt Leighton and
welcome back to another real estate video. In today’s video we’re going to take a
look at questions you should ask your real estate agent when purchasing a home. This is for buyer’s agents, I might do one
for listing agents in the future but right now we’ll focus on the questions to ask
your buyer's agent.

Now guys, and girls, I always like talking
with friends, family, and acquaintances outside my marketplace who have purchased a home to
learn about how their home-buying process went and if there’s anything that their
agent did in their marketplace that I can add to my repertoire here in the Arlington/DC
area. But instead a lot of times instead, what I’m
hearing is that they had a less than stellar experience, or their agent wasn’t all that
good, they had to do all the work they thought their agent was going to do. And the worst part is, it’s not all that
surprising. There’s a lot of great agents out there,
and there’s a lot of not so great agents out there. But when I go further and ask them how they
found their agent, it usually seems like they did very little homework. Maybe they went into an open house, wanted
that specific house, and used whatever agent was holding that home open. Maybe their Uncle told them to use a certain
agent.

Or maybe their Uncle was their agent. You see what I’m saying? The point of all this is that it doesn’t
seem like some buyers out there are doing their homework when it comes to hiring a buyers
agent. For the amount of time that buyers are spending
on Zillow, on Redfin, or even their hard-earned weekends going out and researching homes in-person,
some buyers just aren’t doing their due diligence to vet their real estate agent. And when problems occur down the line, they
wonder how they got to that point. And it’s for that reason that I have 10
questions you should ask your agent when looking to buy a house. Let’s begin. Question 1: How long have you been in business? And there’s no right answer here, but there
is a wrong answer.

You probably don’t want to hire an agent
that has only been around for 1 year or less. You just want to make sure your agent is capable
and has some experience. 20 year track record isn’t necessary. Just make sure
that you won’t be your real estate agent’s first transaction. You can’t teach experience so first and
foremost, make sure your agent has been around the block a few times.

Question 2: Why did you get into real estate? You’re going to be spending a lot of time
with your agent. You want to understand how and why they work
they way they do. This question will uncover your realtor’s
motivation to get up everyday and serve you as a client. Again there’s no right answer here. But get to know your agent, how they operate,
because most realtor-client relationships break down over lack of communication or miscommunication
so if you can understand where your agent is coming from, that will help
you out a lot.

Question 3: How many clients are you working
with? You want your agent to have enough time to
dedicate to you and your search, but at the same time, you don’t want to be your agent’s
only client…why not? Well what happens when the deal goes sideways
and you’re thinking about backing out. If you’re that agent’s only client, well
that agent needs to put food on the table! They might try to save the deal when you don’t
want the house anymore because you are their only hope for a commission that month. And what if your agent says they are working
with 50 clients currently. Is this a bad thing? Well it probably means that your agent is
very successful and has efficient systems and processes in place to get things done. Now you never want your agent’s schedule
to cost you a showing or to delay getting an offer in.

However, depending on the level of service
you are looking for, you should hope that your agent has a few too many clients, rather
than too few clients. Question 4: Will I be working with you or
your team? The team model is becoming more and more popular. Be sure you know what type of relationship
you are signing up for. I actually think the team model is OK and
don’t see much wrong with it. Usually the way it works is that there will
be a showing agent, there will be an administrator, and there will be the main buyer’s agent
that does all the negotiating. It’s just like when you go to the dentist. The head dentist that’s been in business
for 20 years and has his name on the side of the building isn’t checking you in and
scheduling your next appointment at the front desk, right? There are systems and processes in place.

The dentist is looking over everything to
make sure it’s smooth sailing then he or she comes in at the end to check in to make
sure you’re happy. Whether you’re working with a team or individual,
I think both are OK, but you as a buyer need to know which one you’re getting so there’s
no strangers showing you houses along the way. Question 5: What area do you primarily do
business in? So with all these questions, they should all
be asked at your initial buyer consultation in-person at a face-to-face meeting. But hopefully this question was already asked
over the phone by your agent. Sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle, which
is why I’m including it. And while this question is primarily to confirm
that your agent knows the areas you’re looking in, it’s also for the agent to confirm they
want to spend time in those areas. Because if you call me up or if we meet in
person and you’re telling me you’re looking 45 minutes out of my primary market, I might
end our meeting pre-maturely to save us both some time.

You don’t need your agent to know every
block of the areas you’re searching, as a real estate agent, you should know every
block, that’s a whole nother story. But you want to make sure your agent is familiar
with the neighborhood and knows their way around town. Question 6 – What sets you apart from other
agents? It’s almost 2018 guys, real estate agents
and the industry is under attack, as it should be.

One of the reasons is that it’s very difficult
to see the difference between real estate agents and to see the value that an agent
brings to the table. Ask your agent what they do differently or
what sets them apart. They should be prepared to give you an immediate
answer. I’ll give you an example for myself. In fact, I’ll give you 3 examples. 1). I was born and grew up in my marketplace. Arlington is a very transient area. Not many people that live here were born here. 2). I have 150 videos on Arlington, Virginia real
estate. I don’t know of any other agent in my marketplace
that has 150 videos on the local market.

And 3) I live in the type of inventory I sell. I don’t drive a Honda to the BMW dealership
and sell BMWs. I live in my marketplace. I sell condos next to the Metro, I live in
a condo next to the Metro. My lifestyle is congruent with my actions. Be sure your agent has something, anything
that sets them apart. If they are stuttering or stammering, that
might be a red flag. Just like you saw me light up when I was talking
about myself, your agent should be chomping at the bit to tell you how they are different.

Question 7- How do your fees work? Most of the time the fee that you pay your
buyer’s agent is already figured into the sales price and has already been set by the
seller which means there’s no extra out-of-pocket expense on your end. Sometimes though buyer’s agents will have
administrative fees or a desk fee that is passed down to you at closing. This could be anywhere from $200 – $400. If the agent brings this up, ask to see if
they will waive the fee. The last thing you want is to enter into a
contract and not understand how you are paying your realtor so be sure you understand this
before moving forward. Questions 8 – After hearing my needs, what
do you feel would be the best strategy moving forward? After an in-depth conversation, your agent
should have a clear picture of the best ways to find the property you are looking for. This could be a combination of setting you
up on an automated search, I know, you already get notifications from your apps when a new
property comes online, but the agent’s search will be faster. Your agent may also suggest going to open
houses, and if your agent is really creative and you know the exact property you’re looking
for, direct mail and even door-knocking could be the answer here.

You want a plan, any plan, and hopefully it’s
something more than just an automated search. Question 9 – How will we communicate? Like I said earlier, a lot of times when a
client has a bad experience with a realtor, it’s because of communication. Both parties need to be on the same page on
how communication will take place. If your agent prefers long phone calls once
a week, and you prefer quick text messages every few days, well clearly communication
will be a challenge. Figure out what mode of communication will
be best, email, phone, text, and how often communication will take place so that everyone’s
expectations are met. Question 10 – What questions do you have for
me? This might be the most important question
of them all. You better hope the agent has some questions
for you.

It’s like at the end of a job interview
and the interviewer asks the job applicant if they have any questions, and they say No,
well it just shows lack of interest or ignorance. Your agent should be asking questions like
how long have you been looking, have you seen anything you like, have you written any offers,
you get the idea. Any question is better than no question. The questions should go both ways, it should
never feel like an interrogation on one side or the other. The agent should be genuinely interested in
your search as opposed to setting you up with an auto-email and forgetting. Setting and forgetting. Right, you don’t want that. You don’t want a passive agent, you want
a proactive agent. Alright there you have it, 10 questions to
ask your buyer’s agent. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, be sure to hit that thumbs up
button and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already for weekly real estate videos.

If you have any other questions that you would
ask a real estate agent that I might have missed, I would love to read them in the comments
section below. Alright, thank you very much for watching,
until next time, create a productive day. Take care..

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