Buyers on Lake Sinclair SHOULD ask questions before they hire an agent

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

Before you make a major purchase you do research... don't you?  You look on line? Do you get more than one bid to get your house painted?  Do you ask questions?

It has long been a standard practice for seller to "interview me" as their listing agent. I sometimes know I'm in competition and I don't mind at all. 
Sellers have gotten educated and ask all kinds of  important questions like:

  1. Where do you advertise?
  2. What kind of internet presence do you have?
  3. What search terms will my listing come up under?
  4. What is your commission?
  5. Will I get feedback from showings?

Now that it is common practice for agents in Georgia to also represent buyers, if you are a buyer you may need to ask some questions before you choose an agent as well.  I'd be more than happy to let you "interview" me for I show you property.  After all, I'll be asking you lots of questions.

So putting myself in your shoes... if I were to be looking for property in another area what would I ask my potential agent before I decided to work with them? So buyers if you are looking to make a purchase of property don't just pick the first agent/broker, choose the right one.  Ask Questions:

  1. How long have you and your firm been in business?
  2. How long have you lived in this area?
  3. When can you be available to show me property?
  4. Will you keep me aware of new listings on the market that might fit my needs and desires?
  5. Do you have lenders to recommend to me?
  6. Do you have closing attorneys to recommend to me?
  7. Are you going to show me everything in my price range or just listings from your company?
  8. Do you have information about the local schools both public and private?
  9. Can you give me information about local health care, hospitals and physicians?
  10. Will you provide me with a CMA on a property I might be interested in prior to making an offer?
  11. Can I get a home warranty on my purchase?
  12. Will you be able to recommend local people for any work needed on my home after the purchase?
  13. Where are the good places to eat?
  14. Do you have information on local churches?
  15. What does your community have to offer for entertainment?
  16. Are you a full-time agent?

Look for my answers to these questions in part II

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Rainmaker
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Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

I disagree. In an initial consultation the real estate agent needs to be telling potential clients this.  I'm not applying for a job, and I don't interview.  I run a business, provide a service and I offer an initial consultation to inform and enlighten potential clients on how I practice real estate.  The majority of people who read things on the Internet, watch HGTV, read a book on "How to Sell a House for Dummies" think they know more then the real estate agent.  As for buyers agent, I'm not inclined to answer #8, #9, #13, #14, #15.  Am I a bad agent?!?  In my initial consultation I let potential clients know how I pratice real estate, how I will represent them and most of the "interview" questions are covered in depth by me before they even have time pull their checklist out. 

Jun 16, 2012 07:09 PM #1
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Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

I rarely find people who do research thinking they know more than me.  And I agree the "interview" process should also go agent to client as well.  It needs to be a good fit in not one, but both directions.  I also ask them questions, but I'm prepared to answer their questions as well.  Sometimes though, like some of the questions you think you wouldn't answer, if you read part II tomorrow you will see are answered by pointing them in the direction to get those answers for themselves.

Jun 16, 2012 08:26 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,604,028
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Why is this not common sense? :P

Jun 16, 2012 08:52 PM #3
Rainmaker
920,986
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

I think you are trying to get buyers and sellers to understand the difference between a good and a not so good agent.  A few of the questions are not relevant to whether an agent is good or not and some of them could land us in trouble in my area, like schools.  They can be different from one house to the next.  Also, my taste in food might not be yours.  But I really think these will sit up and make prospective clients aware of things they may not have thought of.

Jun 16, 2012 08:55 PM #4
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Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

Jane- I don't give them opinions of schools.  I give them sources of information.  I think an agent should know if a parent has made a choice of X or Y school district where properties are located that are in those districts and be able to provide links to all the local area schools websites.  As for food tastes... if someone asks if we have a Greek place or a steak place... I am sure this would not come up in a city, but when folks move to a county with few places to eat out compared to where they are moving from these questions become more important.  I get your point and respect your opinion, but providing a buyer client the "church page" our of the newspaper that has a list of all churches and addresses can't get me in trouble.  :)  I don't cross the lines I just stand back and point to them.

Laura- sense is not so common I find.

Jun 16, 2012 09:12 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Tammy, the point is to ask questions and, thus, determine which agent is the best fit and knowledgeable about the market and area. A smooth and successful transaction is based on teamwork but it starts with a great client-agent relationship ... an initial consultation with questions from both sides helps establish said relationship as well as make sure that expectations are on the same page.

I agree, a good agent will be able to provide the resources to all the questions we get but can't answer and provides guidance. Ask and you shall receive!

Jun 16, 2012 09:22 PM #6
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Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

Andrea- yes I also have the phone number and address of the local law enforcement if they want to know about crime in a certain area.  I can't answer that question either, but I can be the resource of knowing where to get the answers.

Jun 16, 2012 09:43 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,271,166
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I think #10 is very important. Buyers don't know how much a home is worth because all they typically see are homes for sale. They know the amount people are asking but they don't know how much they sell for. If you ask a buyer how much they think a home will appraise for, they generally have little idea.

Jun 17, 2012 07:04 AM #8
Rainmaker
673,469
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

A suggest from me, I loved the questions and I am stealing them for my agents.  This is such an important post.

Jun 17, 2012 08:06 AM #9
Rainmaker
920,986
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Difference in the big city. I think directing is a good idea.  Safe.

Jun 17, 2012 07:02 PM #10
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