Choosing a Realtor to represent you is like interviewing a new employee for hire. It is just as important as when you hire someone to do work on your home, as you will be stuck with your decision for months and years to come. Hiring a plumber, you ask questions. Hiring a contractor, you ask questions. Why should the person you pay 5% of your(the) property's value not get the same treatment.
In so many tragic cases, I see and hear of buyers and sellers using a family member, friend, or recommendation blindly because of this pre-existing relationship. This breaks my heart, especially when I have someone coming to me disappointed, but stuck in a contract. Do your due diligence, people. Don't rest on your laurels. Vet your Realtor like you would vet the new employee that is handling such an important task for your business. You owe it to yourself.
Below you will find 20 questions I would as my Realtor. A couple are eerily similar to what one might ask on an interview, but that is not to take away from the question's validity. Your goal here, as a Buyer OR Seller is to gather information that will be essential in understanding if you are dealing with someone who is competent, experienced, and equipped to handle you and your business.
Of course, some of these questions are pointed, and have answers that are directly related to how I do business, but that is the point. I would hire myself to help buy or sell a home, because of the great depth I have gone to in order to improve the process, but also because of the experience I have gained that has helped me in creating marketing plans and other systems to serve my clients better.
So, if you see a pointed question and wonder why I put it there, let me know and I will answer the question as I would on an interview.
Feel free to print these questions, and take notes as you interview your future Realtor! Also, I recommend asking for testimonials, clients to contact, and seeking their online profiles, specifically on Zillow/Facebook or another site that would help get an idea of how strong they are online in this Internet-centered world.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.