Questions to ask your prospective Real Estate Professional when you are a Home Buyer
2. Do you belong to any Professional Networks and/or referral groups?
3. How long have you been in the business?
4. Have you attained any certifications and designations and have you developed specialized knowledge in Real Estate you would like to share with us?
5. Will you be representing me?
6. Are there times when you will not fully represent me? And if so, on what occasions? (Even though your Real Estate Professional will review matters concerning agency representation at the outset, you can still ask the question for further clarification.)
7. Why should I/we look to buy a property with you?
8. What is your negotiating philosophy/strategy?
9. Which towns in this general area do you have more knowledge of than others?
10. Can we view a map and have you show me which towns you have the deepest knowledge of?
11. Which Towns does your MLS cover?
12. Can you help me arrange for attractive financing?
13. Do you prepare a market analysis (CMA) for the buyer for when you either work with or negotiate for the buyer, regarding a particular property?
14. How do you balance your need to remain collegial with other Real Estate Professionals while simultaneously, fiercely negotiating for me/us…please explain how you do this.
15. How do you protect me/us for paying too much for a particular property?
16. Will you show me/us all potentially suitable properties, even the ones that do not guarantee you a commission?
17. Can you give me a few examples of how you have done a great job of negotiating for your past buyer clients?
18. While I know you cannot speak to future results of any home purchase or investment, what is the best way for me/us to try to estimate which neighborhoods, towns, or types of real estate might appreciate better?
19. What do you do that other Real Estate Professionals and companies also do…but that you do better?
20. What do you do that NONE of your competitors do?
21. (When applicable) How much experience do you have helping families relocate with special needs?
Please know that the manner in which Agency/Representation is practiced (or not practiced) varies from different states, markets, Real Estate Professionals, and Companies. Although Real Estate Professionals are bound to explain this at their first substantive meeting with you, make sure that you completely understand how each Real Estate Representative will be professionally proceeding in this regard. I emphatically suggest that you go well beyond issues of credentials, results, and proclamations of trust, as there is a world of difference between how some Professionals view what constitutes their results versus your results.
Questions to ask your prospective Real Estate Professional when you are a Home Seller
- Are you a REALTOR®?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you belong to any Professional Networks and/or referral groups?
- Have you attained any certifications and designations and have you developed specialized knowledge in Real Estate you would like to share with us?
- Can you provide us with three major reasons that make our Town, City or Neighborhood most desirable?
- How will you respond to any negatives or perceived negatives about our Town, City or Neighborhood?
- Will you be representing me?
- Are there times when you will not fully represent me? And if so, on what occasions? (Even though your Real Estate Professional will review matters concerning agency representation at the outset, you can still ask the question for further clarification.)
- How do you market/sell the virtues of our Town, City, or Neighborhood so it either potentially adds or strengthens the value of our property?
- What is the difference between a “Listing Agent” and a “Marketing Agent”?
- What is your negotiating philosophy/strategy?
- Do you think it is more important…that you Market/Sell more Homes…or Market/Sell Homes for More…when working with or representing Home Sellers?
- What is more valuable: the Service that you provide or your Skills? Please explain the difference.
- Since most Real Estate Professionals can post Listings on the Web (and do so in an industry-wide cooperative method)…what makes you different in how you Market a Property Online?
- How do you Market Offline…also, how do you network with other Real Estate Professionals?
- When a Home does not sell, what do you think, generally, is the biggest reason?
- What is the difference between “Staging” and “Merchandising”?
- What is IDX?
- What is your strategy for when there are multiple offers?
- When are Open Houses a good idea…and when are they a bad idea?
- Do the Four P’s of Marketing (price, product, placement and promotion) also apply to Real Estate and, if so, how?
- What do you do that other Real Estate Professionals and companies also do…but that you do better?
- What do you do that NONE of your competitors do to market our lifestyle?
- Do you believe that Homes are like “commodities” or, instead, that each one represents a unique lifestyle which requires customized Marketing?
- Please share with us your narrative as to why we might want to move to this Town and buy our Home as if we were relocating here. This will give us a sense of how you will be positioning our lifestyle to fellow Real Estate Professionals, at open houses, and through your descriptions on the web and your marketing materials.
- Do you market properties on numerous websites beyond your company’s?
- Can you provide me/us with a list of customers/clients that will endorse you?
- How often will you communicate and follow-up with me/us during the process and how and by what means?
At all costs, make sure whichever Real Estate Professional you select that they do not bat an eye when you ask them questions that speak to their core competencies. Such as being able to explain the difference between a listing agent and a marketing professional, staging and merchandising, and most of all the difference between what is required to cause more homes to sell…versus causing homes to sell for more.
And, if any Real Estate Professional mistakenly tries to compare individual Homes to “Commodities” (Your “Cottage or Castle” compared to Wheat, Barley, Copper, etc.) then this is a tell.
It will reveal that this Real Estate Professional will not be committed to first determining…and then defining…what is truly distinctive, remarkable, and, therefore, what makes your property its most valuable. In other words, how can somebody marketing a home convince Buyers that any property is truly “remarkable” and “distinctive” if their fundamental premise is that Homes are like “Commodities. Therefore, Home Sellers, remember, you are not selling a “Commodity”…and, Buyers, you will not be purchasing one…but a distinctive Home…along with a highly special Town, City, or Neighborhood. Congratulations!