Did you know… there are more than 1.2 million Realtors® in the U.S. and that doesn’t include agents who are not members of the National Association of Realtors®?
By the way, a Realtor® and a real estate agent are not necessarily the same thing. They are both licensed to sell real estate. A Realtor®, however, belongs to the National Association of Realtors® and must abide by their code of ethics. So, a Realtor® is a real estate agent, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®.
When buying or selling, how do you decide which agent to hire?
Best way is always references. If you know someone who has had a successful and even enjoyable real estate transaction, ask why and who they used. As in any profession, 20% are good, 80% you’d prefer not to use.
Here are some good questions to ask as you interview potential agents:
- How long have you been in the real estate business? Do you work in real estate full-time?
- Do you have an assistant? Are they licensed?
- What are your working hours?
- What is your preferred means of communication (email, phone, text, fax)?
- Will you be available during the next several months or will you be on vacation or busy for other reasons?
- Has anyone ever sued you over a real estate transaction? What was the outcome?
- Have you ever had an ethics complaint to the local Realtor® board or the state department of real estate? What was the outcome?
- Do you have errors-and-omission insurance to protect against any mistakes you or your assistant(s) might make in a transaction?
- How many clients did you work with last year? How many of them completed a transaction with you?
- May I have references of other people who have bought or sold property with your help?
- What marketing strategies will you use to help me find or sell my property?
- How familiar are you with this area?
- How will you help me negotiate the best possible price and terms?
Don’t be intimidated by doing a thorough interview. Professionals will be prepared for it and also prefer to interview you as a client. This will be a very large transaction and one of the most important you will make.
Don’t take hiring an agent lightly. You need someone capable, professional and with whom you can communicate comfortably over the long haul.
What can you add to this list?