Finding an agent that fits a buyer and seller isn’t easy. How do you interview a realtor? The gimmick of “get 4 offers” or “we have 100 lenders compete for your business?”
Its just that, a gimmick. Avoid the credit inquiries, phone calls, and competitive lenders as they perform the ‘home loan rate shuffle’.
When interviewing a realtor there are a few tips you can follow to make your experience good.
You are going to be surprised by what we say here but its for your own good and maybe our honesty will make it the factor in hiring us for helping you buy or sell your next home.
First, there is a shortage of inventory– that makes the market hot right now! However, just listing it in the MLS is not enough to sell a house. You are really paying for a Realtor’s expertise in getting top dollar and knowing how to play the ‘poker game’ of negotiation.
For buyers it’s finding the Agent that knows the area and what is ABOUT to happen not just sign up clients and let them bounce around.
Next realize that YOU, the home owner or buyer, are the major contributor to our economy. You put money in many peoples pockets when you get involed in a real estate transaction
The realtor that represents the seller usually earns 6% commission. This percentage holds true when the realtor represents the buyer and seller on the transaction. Realtors earn 3% if they are just representing the buyer– (Ok…… the seller pays it but the realtor YOU choose to represent you earns 3%). That translates to $27,000 if you have a $450,000 home.
If they are lucky they can make the grand slam. They represent a seller who brings in a buyer WHILE trying to find the seller for a new home. That could be a whopping 9%.
Do the math…….. on a $600,000 home the commision will cost the seller $54,000! Thats what most people make in a year! So as you start this process realize YOUR concerns are most important.
Don’t worry about offending a realtor or upsetting them. And dont let them make you feel you are too demanding. Realize also that listing the property in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) will be the main source for selling your home. Don’t let the realtor tell you that they a new magical formula never thought of.
If you are a buyer you should realize YOU are the center of this whole industry and without you no one gets paid.
So no bad feelings for doing your homework and interviewing everyone; realtor, inspector, contractor….anyone!
Ok. Ready to find your team?
Now lets get to how to interview a realtor!
#1. Ask them for all of THEIR properties they have already listed and the phone numbers of the people they represent. When you call 5 of them ask them if this particular realtor listed the property (sometimes realtors try to confuse you and take claim to their realty company’s listings as their own)
#2. Then go to our site or a site like realtor.com and look to see if EVERY property has multiple photos AND a virtual tour. Do you know a virtual tour costs the agent a one time fee of only $29?
#3. Next is ask for the flyers on 5 of the properties that the realtor recently represent(ed) and evaluate them. Do they really SELL the home? show payments? offer incentives? When you look at them do they look like a promotion(making you think and want to buy) or merely a fancy business card? – Don’t miss this concept……as my grandfather used to say “this will shake the snakes out of the grass.” The reason this is important? because most realtors are clones, they do what everyone does and yet they will tell you “I work for you,” or “I go out of my way for you.” If that was the case then why don’t they make fliers that SELL your home? Include payment terms, use the back to offer more selling points (you already paid for that space- use it).
If they use the standard flier then they are the standard realtor no matter what they say. Its what they do not what they say you should count on.
#4. Does the agent have a premade form or website page that you can get access to multiple choices for people you will need to help you with the process? (home inspectors,remodelers,mortgage and personal finance analysts,credit report analysts, movers,contractors, landscapers,etc.) ***many might say they cant because of liability but that is a warning sign and beware, besides in the agent agreement it says they are not liable for outside companies.
#5. Do they have a team of assistants that help the realtor and you? Open house specialists, escrow coordinators,alternate realtor in case they are not around?
#6. Ask them their game plan as to how they are going to promote YOUR home in ways that other agents don’t.
For those hiring a Buyer’s Agent this is very important! many want you to sign for 90 days and if ANY transaction happens then they get a piece. DONT FALL FOR THAT!!
Give buyers Agents a 30 day contract at first and if they are working hard for you then extend it another month , make it to where if you find the property you have the right to use whoever you want. Dont let them push you around on this. They will make you feel like they are going to walk…………let em. The next day they will be back.
THEY NEED YOU, remember that!
Buyers Agents should be paid for what they do FOR you not just because they sign you up . It can make the realtors lazy and make you do all the footwork and they are around to write a contract where you did all the digging. Remember they will earn $15,000 to help you for about 45-60 days of work .
Sellers Agents have a minimum of what they should do to. Realize the market is so hot right now there is a shortage of inventory and just listing it in the MLS is enough to sell a house, its getting top dollar and knowing how to play the poker game of negotiation is what you are really paying for.