Interviewing REALTORS

Interviewing REALTORS® and Red Flags

Interviewing REALTORS® and Red Flags

I help buyers and sellers regularly and observe and learn from other REALTOR® every day. Occasionally I wish folks could see for themselves just how great, or not-so-great their chosen agents are representing them when they are not there to witness it. Several times when I have represented a seller, I have received an offer from an agent in an email with no context, little to no introduction and several clerical mistakes made in the purchase contract and usually these are the least competitive offers. A wasted offer that could have been the winning offer had the buyer’s agent asked the listing agent a few questions first.

For both agent interviews, it’s important to ask how they handle situations when they are not available like are sick or out of town. With a few trusted agents I can call on, I have the help I need when I can’t be in multiple places at once. Although it’s been a rare occurrence, my broker is always available to step in to help, like the time my appendix was removed or when I was in a different time zone.  Not every agent has the relationships and support that are required to keep things running smoothly when they are not available, it’s important to understand how your REALTOR® has your interests covered so you can be best represented.

Interview Questions for Buyer REALTOR®:

How do they communicate with listing agents when it comes to a property you might be interested in? Do they call the listing agent first and introduce themselves before submitting your offer? Do they find out what the seller is looking for in an offer? Do they send your offer to the listing agent in a package to easily read and communicate to the seller? What is their approach? How do they help position buyers to be competitive when there are other offers or interests?

Interview Questions for Listing Agent:

Ask for references. Are they following the market? How do they handle offers? How do they hold open houses? Do they recommend pre-listing inspections? If they find a buyer, do they try to work with both the seller and the buyer as a dual agent? How do they handle scheduled showings?

Red Flags

  1. They do not work nights and weekends. I’m not saying all REALTORS® should be working 24/7 and boundaries are important for work-life balance. It is important to know that real estate can move very fast, and you need an agent that is available when you need them to be. When I call a REALTOR® back and their voicemail says they will return my call the next day unless it’s a weekend, then they will call Monday, I see a red flag. I don’t know how Realtor could have regular business hours of 9-5 only Monday to Friday and still be successful at serving their clients. Often showings and communications between agents and their clients are in the evening and throughout the weekend.
  2. They have a demanding career and being a REALTOR® is part-time. It is just not always possible to juggle it all and make sure all the bases are covered when working two full-time jobs, especially if they are both demanding.
  3. They don’t respond to calls or texts the same day or in a timely manner. Real Estate can move fast, and delayed communication could be the reason for missed opportunities.

If you are seeking a professional REALTOR® to help you buy or sell, or you are a REALTOR® looking for a referral agent you can trust your clients with, I am only a call, email or text away.