If you’re ready to buy or sell a house (congrats!), you will most likely need some help to do it right, which is where a realtor comes in. But, how can you decide on the right real estate agent to hire? Well, here are 15 questions to ask when hiring a realtor, to make sure you choose the best fit for you and your situation.
But before we get into it, maybe you’re not even sure yet IF you want to hire one. You don’t know the benefits of hiring a real estate agent, and you don’t know if it will pay off.
If that’s the case, here are the top reasons to hire a real estate agent, that will help you understand why that’s the best way to go about buying or selling a house.
Now that we covered that, let’s get into questions to ask when hiring a realtor.
15 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Realtor
Do you have any references?
This is a standard question when hiring basically anyone, but it can definitely come in handy when hiring a realtor.
Since buying or selling a house is a huge deal, it’s not something you want to treat lightly. While a good realtor can greatly help you, a bad one can definitely hurt you in the process, so you want to make sure the realtor you’re hiring is actually good.
And it goes even beyond that. While an agent can be good, you need to see if they’re good for you.
So, by talking to referrals, you can ask them questions that will help you determine if that realtor is generally good, AND if they’re the right fit for you.
Will you educate me on the best practices?
It’s very important to find a realtor that will educate you on the best practices, and make the best decisions based on your situation.
You don’t want someone to just tell you what to do without ANY explanation because you won’t be able to make the right decisions if you don’t know the reasons behind them.
So, you want someone that will be able to advise you, and take things off of your plate, while also educating you on the best practices and the reasons behind their decisions. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
How involved will I be in the process?
This can also be an important thing to ask. Decide how much or how little you’d like to be involved (some people want to be involved in everything, while some don’t want to deal with anything that they don’t have to deal with), and make sure the realtor works in a way that matches those wishes.
How and how often will we communicate?
These two questions may not seem that important, but they actually are.
Some people prefer to talk over the phone, some prefer to text, and some prefer to write emails. So, it’s important that your preferred way of communication matches your realtor’s way of communication. If you hate texting or emailing and you only like phone calls, but your realtor mostly wants to communicate via email, you might not be a good fit. While they might be a great realtor, they’re not the best match for you, because one of you will have to “suffer” throughout the whole process.
Also, you want to make sure your realtor will keep you updated all the time. At least once or twice a week, and in fast-paced markets and processes, even daily. So, make sure you won’t be ghosted most of the time.
How has the market changed over the past few years?
This question isn’t necessary, and the answer isn’t that important to you for the sake of info, but it can tell you a lot about the expertise the realtor has. An experienced realtor that has been in the industry for a while now, will be able to answer that question very easily, without much thinking. So, it might be worth asking, so you can read between the lines.
What does your contract entail?
Make sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to. Ask them how long the process will be (according to the contract), how much you’ll pay them, and what else you’ll find in the contract, so there are no surprises when the time comes to sign it.
How many people did you help in this area?
Everyone needs to start somewhere, but ideally, you want to hire someone with experience. Ask them how many people they helped sell or buy in your area, so you know how much experience they have.
Do you work specifically in this area?
Another important question to ask when hiring a realtor is if they work specifically in your area. You want someone who knows the area, who knows the market in that area, and someone who knows the ins and outs of neighborhoods and places in the area.
Plus, you want someone who not only knows the area, but has helped clients find or sell houses in that area.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
This is an obvious one, but you definitely want someone with experience. If someone has worked in the industry for 10 years, they will know allll of the tips, tricks, best practices, best experts, and “secrets” that will help you get the best deal possible.
How long does it usually take your clients to buy or sell a house when they work with you?
Since you probably have a time frame in mind, check if the realtor’s time frame matches that. If you need to sell or buy a house in 3 months, but they say they usually take 6 months, you might want to find a better match for your needs.
How will you find the best houses/buyers for my needs?
This question will help you understand how they work, and also see how big of an expert they actually are, according to their answer. An expert will know what they’re talking about, they’ll be able to answer the question right away, and they’ll be able to go into details if needed.
Do you work with both buyers and sellers?
Hiring a realtor that works with both buyers and sellers is a great idea. Why? Because they know both sides of the coin, so they’ll know how the other side will work and think, and what tricks they’ll try to use. So, even though you only need one of the services, someone who offers both will have more insights that will help you get the deal you want.
Are you licensed?
This probably goes without saying, but you need to be 100% sure the realtor you’re hiring is actually licensed. There are some scammers out there, so make sure the realtor you hire is legit.
How often are you able to get the desired price to your clients?
The success rate of getting their client’s desired prices can tell you how skilled the realtor actually is. If more often than not, their clients have to accept a price they didn’t want to accept, that’s not the best sign. Of course, there are some unreasonable clients out there, that have unreasonable expectations, which obviously isn’t an indication the realtor is bad, but it still doesn’t hurt to ask and see.
Will I be working directly with you?
Many realtors work with big teams. So, when you’re thinking of questions to ask when hiring a realtor, ask if you’ll be working directly with them or not.
It’s not a great feeling when you have the initial talk with the realtor directly, you get the feeling you’ll be working with THEM, and then you get handed off to the assistant.
While it’s great they have a team, you want to be on the same page about who you’ll be working the most with – them, or someone on their team.
Hire a realtor
If you’re in Phoenix, AZ, and you’re looking to hire a realtor to help you buy or sell a house, look no further!
I’m Jenn Jenkins – born and raised in Phoenix (which not every Phoenix-based realtor can say), and I’ve been a realtor for more than 10 years.
Together, we will find a home you love or sell your current home so you can start your next chapter.
I’ll educate and empower you to make the best decision for your circumstances, wishes, and needs. My clients become family and I’m always a phone call away (even after we’re done working together) if you need help or have questions.
So, if you want to buy, sell, or even rent a house, contact me, and let me help you have a stress-free process.