10 Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Hiring Them

10 Interview Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Hiring Them:

My mom's friend's sister is a Realtor. Should I just use her?

Maybe... maybe not.

Unfortunately, not all agents are created the same. Our advice is to ask questions, and don't just settle with someone you might know who may just have a real estate license.

Since your home purchase will be one of the largest investments you will ever make, no one should judge you or guilt you for being careful about who you choose to represent you. Asking the right questions when interviewing an agent should help you gain insight into the Realtor's competence, experience, and personality. 

The agent you choose should offer reviews from past clients who they have helped. They should also be an expert in the neighborhoods and communities you are looking to purchase in and be someone who you actually like as you will be working closely with them through the home buying process.

1. "Can I see reviews from your past clients?"  
Every agent has clients they've served well. But the best agents consistently deliver excellent service. There's a difference between reading a few hand-picked endorsements and getting the full good, bad, and ugly on your agent. We think a good agent should have nothing to hide, which is why West Real Estate Group encourages public reviews from every client we serve. While you won't find that for every real estate agency, you can use sites like Google.com to see what customer opinions pull up for an agent you're considering. If you can't find any public reviews, this may be a sign you aren't working with a professional agent.

2. "Is this your full-time job or are you a part-time agent?"  
Many agents are part time. A full-time agent is more likely to be up-to-date with the market, the laws, and have the time you'll need when searching for the right home. You will want a high protein, high energy, Realtor working for you.

3. "When am I committed to using you?"
Selecting the agent that you are going to hire is an important decision, and it's not something you can do accidentally in Idaho. Make sure you get the facts about this important step. Our agents review and discuss this with you, so you won't be misled or confused.

4. "Do you work as a solo agent or part of a team?"
These days, real estate groups are becoming more popular. Whether it's a pair of agents who share the work, a single agent with a support staff behind them, or a group of several agents all under one business name, you'll want to know with whom you'll be working with. Do they specialize in one particular area or are they jack of all trades? The more you understand who you are hiring, the better.

5. "What sets you apart from other agents?"
What you're asking them is, "why should I hire you?" This is a fair question. Don't shy away from it. You're looking for experience, not just enthusiasm. You want to see a track record, knowledge of the market, and suggestions on the best neighborhoods in the Treasure Valley. You want to see reviews from past clients, reliability, and an in-depth knowledge of any special requirements you may need to know about.

6. "What's your fee?"
The seller of the home you buy pays your agent's fees usually around 2-3% of the sales price. Since the home seller sets the commission amount and this can vary from property to property, you'll want to insist that your agent is upfront about their share. You don't want to have an agent who is pressuring you into buying a home based on a larger commission. Click here to read more about what it costs to have a Realtor help me buy a home. 

7. "What experience do you have?"
An agent's experience should be more than simply how long they've been in the business. Longevity doesn't automatically equate to expertise. You need more. Finding an agent who is an expert in a neighborhood or city you wan tot buying will be a big asset for you. A buyer's agent in Idaho who knows their stuff will take your present and future needs into account. They'll use your needs to find you the right home in the right location (e.g. if you have kids you might want a neighborhood with great schools or parks that are close by).

8. "How will you keep me informed?"
This is the area where an agent has to shine. Buyers and sellers who have an agent who doesn't communicate typically find another agent. You want to make sure you discuss expectations and preferences up front- do they text, email, call, video message, or all of the above? For the relationship to be successful, this has to be discussed at the beginning.

9. "Do you represent buyers and sellers?"
When one agent represents both the buyer and seller, this is known as "dual agency," and it's not always a good thing for home buyers. If the seller's agent is trying to get the most money for his client's home, how can he also be trying to get you the best deal? Our team has Buyer Specialists that represent you and only you as a buyer.

10. "What if I'm unhappy with your service?"
If you are in a signed sales contract, most often, the agent will get paid when you purchase a home whether you are happy with the service or not. Ask your agent if they are willing to guarantee your satisfaction, and what recourse you may have if you have a bad experience. 

At West Real Estate Group, our agents are professionals. We're experienced, knowledgeable, and we have the heart of teachers. We know the Treasure Valley, the best neighborhoods to buy in, and where you can get the best cup of coffee.

But don't just take our word for it.

We're here to listen to your wants and needs. When you connect with our team of real estate professionals in Idaho, they'll walk you through the process at your pace- not theirs. Once you have decided to hire your agent, you can move forward to the next step in your home buying process!