Five Questions For Your Realtor

Will you give me names of past clients who will give references for you?

Interviewing a Realtor to help you buy a home can be very similar to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting a Realtor's references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.


Do you have a performance guarantee?

Understand that, especially in the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be increasingly difficult for a Realtor to offer a performance guarantee. Sometimes you may find a Realtor who is willing to guarantee that if you are dissatisfied in any way with their service they will terminate your listing agreement. If your Realtor does not have a performance guarantee available in writing, it is not an indication that he or she is not committed to perform.


How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?

This is an issue that can also be related to Representation. In many areas, the seller still customarily pays all Realtor commissions through the listing broker. Sometimes, Realtors will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.


How would you develop pricing and marketing strategies for our home? Will you commit to the marketing strategy in writing?

Pricing a home correctly is the single most important factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Although location and condition also effect the selling process, price is a primary factor. Access to all current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent where he or she obtained the information to create the market analysis.


What will you do and what will you not do to sell my home?

Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted?  Ask your real estate agent to present to you a clear marketing plan.