By: Jessica, U.S. Coast Guard Spouse
Remember the awkwardness of a first date? Well, that’s kind of how it feels when looking for a real estate agent every time we move. We’ve tackled six moves in 14 years of marriage, so you can be sure I’ve had plenty of first-date feels when trying to find the right fit with a real estate agent.
It’s crucial, by the way, to have the right fit.
#1 The agent profits from your sell/buy.
#2 The agent pushes/works your sell/buy.
See what I mean? Their relationship is crucial in making a “win” happen.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have solid agents for every single buy/sell. I honestly think it’s because we ask a ton of questions up front to make sure that person is a “fit” for us.
Here are some questions we’ve asked that can get you through not knowing what to ask (you know, like conversation topics you try to have ready for a first date):
- How many years have you been an agent?
- How many military clients have you served?
- Do you help families with rentals and purchases? (True story: We had one agent I called to interview tell me she’d love to help us find a rental. We went on to use her for a home purchase and a sell all within a three-year period. She made out pretty well taking the leap with helping us find a rental.)
- Do you have any current and past clients I can chat with regarding working with you?
- What’s your preferred mode of communication?
- How do you advertise your homes?
- What’s your social media strategy with homes you list?
- What’s your commission breakdown with your team?
- What’s your current client load?
- What’s your typical days on market rate?
- What was your listing number last year?
- What is your availability on weekends? (Make sure to specify dates if you’re coming to look in a particular timeframe.)
- Do you hire a professional photographer for your property listings? (Ask to see current listings and/or Google the agent.)
- When our house is shown, how quickly will you provide feedback from the showing? (This is critical. Hold your agent to getting you feedback.)
It’s totally okay to look at this initial interaction with an agent like an interview. Real estate agents are in a sense “applying” to be your agent. You need to make sure it’s a dreamy fit. Your agent doesn’t have to be your best friend; truthfully, I recommend you look at it like a business partnership. Remember, he or she will be your liaison through a sale that more than likely involves a big chunk of change. Don’t sell yourself short. Ask questions, find the right fit, and watch him/her work that real estate magic.
P.S. Working with a real estate agent is so worth it! Remember, they’re experts in their field. I wouldn’t ever go to the dog groomer to get my hair cut and colored. Just saying…find a reputable agent (and know that more than likely that agent isn’t you).