What You Need to Ask a Potential Real Estate Agent

The Savvy Synopsis

How do you pick a real estate agent? Turns out, finding the perfect house is not the only important decision you’ll need to make. It all starts with a real estate agent. We’ll help you narrow it down by asking a potential agent these questions ahead of time to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Did You See This?

When you decide to buy or sell a house, often the first step is finding a real estate agent to work with. So how do you know who to work with?

In many cases, it starts with an initial discussion. Whether you meet in person or over the phone, you’ll want to ask some questions and get to know your potential realtor. Are they the right person for you? How can you tell?

Talk through some of your thoughts and questions ahead of time. You’ll want to tell them your goals and needs. Find out why they are the right agent for you--and ask them how they think they can help you. Learn about the market and typical home prices for what you are looking for to set appropriate expectations.

But remember, every person is different. Your timeline and decision-making process is unique to you. Some buyers are quick to find what they want, while others like to go slow. Find the real estate agent willing to work alongside you and guide you through at your pace. Make sure your style and personality align with your new agent’s, because you’ll be working with them on some pretty big decisions!

To hear more of the questions to ask a potential real estate agent, listen to the entire episode or click the timestamps below to skip ahead to a certain section.

1:01 - Should you set up a pre-meeting to get to know an agent?

2:40 - Talk with your agent about your goals and needs.

3:32 - Ask about the current state of the market in the area.

5:07 - Find out how many houses a buyer typically sees before finding their home.

8:45 - If you are selling your home, ask the agent how long homes sit on the market with them.

10:38 - How many agents should you interview before working with them?

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: It's time for the savvy real tour podcast I'm Walter Storholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of acole realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ends announced When it comes to buying or selling a home, you can find the team online by going to a coal realty dot com. That's a c o l e realty dot com or by calling 9195783128. That's 9195783128, and now it's time for one of the top rail tours in the Triangle. Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast. So, Angie, these air some suggestions I've come across. This is a kind of a collection of various articles and online guides that I've looked at just sort of accumulate sort of a checklist of suggestions for finding and interviewing an agent so that you can find the best fit I want to see. If you kind of agree with these things and give us some guidance on each of these points, how's that sound?

Speaker 2: That sounds like a plan.

Speaker 1: First thing on the list is to set up a pre meeting to get to know an agent. Is that something that happens frequently? Is that just a phone call, or do you go meet with folks in person? How often are you having a pre meeting with somebody?

Speaker 2: Sure, you know, I would say every agent works differently. There's some agents in our market that do like a buyer presentation, where they actually have the buyer coming to the office for about an hour to sit down and you know, really up sell themselves as being the best agent that that buyer should work with, go through all the housing criteria, wants and needs. Talk about the process. Our team. What we try to do, or what we you know, do most of the time is we don't wanna waste the buyers time in regards to you, asking them to come into the office and take an hour to out of their day. So we typically do the kind of that pre meeting over the phone. You know, we it depends on the buyer and their timeline in their goals. You know, some buyers don't care. Thio just move slow. They're like, Let's do this. Let's move fast. Let's go. Let's start looking at homes and so we can have that conversation over the phone, you know, But if a buyer does prefer to meet in person, you know, before starting the process per se, we're happy to do that as well. So, um, I would say a pre meeting can be base a base. Or it could be just more of a over a phone just to, you know, tell that potential client about yourself.

Speaker 1: So not out of the ordinary to have a pre meeting. They just might look a lot different depending on what agent you go to, but kind of makes sense. You're gonna have some sort of initial conversation before you say, Yeah, Will you be my real estate agent? Usually you're gonna have a little bit of interaction first, so that would make sense on Dhe. Then it's recommended that during that pre meeting, you talk about goals and needs versus wants. I'm just sort of envisioning for anybody who's house hunters, where they sit down with the agent. That's like, All right, give me your wish list in that kind of thing.

Speaker 2: Sure, and I think that's always that always happens, right? Whether it's ah, face to face meeting or over the phone. It's okay. What's important to you, Lis? First of all, talk about your minimum requirements, you know, location, minimum bedroom, style of home. You know, do you want a garage? Is a master bedroom on the main floor important your price range? So going through and talking about your needs versus your wants. You know what our must have, what our wants. And then from there, we can send you, you know, ideas of homes that meet your needs. So, yes, we definitely need to know that. And you definitely need to have that conversation with your agent. And that's how they're going to help you write. The more information you give them, the better that an agent can assist you.

Speaker 1: Yep. Absolutely. And then one of the suggestions that I've come across is definitely ask about the current state of the market in the area, and I'll combine this with it. Angie, then say OK. Is that normal? Or how does this compare to historical, You know, data for where we are right now?

Speaker 2: Sure. Yeah. It's definitely important to understand the current state of the market. You know, I don't really think it's that important to get into details of where the market was five years ago. Who cares, right? We need to focus on now. And, you know, what does inventory levels look like? You know what's you know, typically available in this location in this price point? You know, Are we seeing that the values are appreciating depreciating? Are we seeing that? You know, this home is over price or under price? You know, knowing what the current market looks like is important because that will help when it comes time to make an offer, right? As far as you know. Are we gonna have negotiation power? Do we need to go in full price? Well, we more than likely end up in a multiple offer situation. So understanding the market and really particularly the market that you were searching with then, you know, if you're looking at a $200,000 townhome in Raleigh, you know, what does that market look like Versus in $800,000 single family and Raleigh to different markets that we're focusing on. So I don't think it's really important to get into details as faras years ago. Focus on now.

Speaker 1: I, like focus on now. That's a great way to present it cause what it looked like five years ago isn't really going to impact you all that much. It's it's what is the story? If you're a buyer, it's suggested that you ask how many houses and or homes and agents clients see before putting in an offer, at least typically. Why is that important?

Speaker 2: I think that just kind of gives, you know, some guidelines and expectations. I think it's more of just setting expectations. But you know, every buyer needs to remember that every buyers different. There's been many times that our team, we have shown one home and the person has gone under contract, close, super happy. Everything's wonderful. We have other clients that are definitely more slower pace, which is completely fine. Maybe they just don't know exactly what they want, and so they need to kind of be hands on and get out in the market to truly understand what home is perfect for them. So maybe it takes them 20 homes. You know, s Oh, I wouldn't say that one buyers like the other, but I would say, on average, I would say most people probably look around 5 to 7 homes before they're ready to move forward with an offer. Sometimes they look at more homes, but it's not because they wanted to. Maybe they lost out on the first and second home. But everyone's situation is different, so don't feel like you need to be like the norm. You know, if you find a home you like, jump on it, run with them.

Speaker 1: Yeah, that's a great point. We, ah, both of our home searches looked at several homes, actually, and I think about it. We looked at, ah, several homes the first time around and a lot of condos and apartments and then decided. Now we just want to go with the actual, you know, true house. And then I think we only looked at two houses. So we put an offer on the 1st 1 didn't get it and then put an offer on the 2nd 1 Got it. And that was the end of that search. And then our most recent search. I think all of the homes that we looked at came in one day, and so we looked at four. And the last thing we saw was the one and boom, that was it. It was gone, I think

Speaker 2: his personality too. I know. Personally, I mean, every home that I have purchased, I've only looked at that won him like, truly stepped foot. Yeah, in that one home, Because maybe I think it is a lot of personal because I'm same way with purchasing a car.

Speaker 1: How much line viewing are you doing to

Speaker 2: it, Right.

Speaker 1: I feel like I look, it's

Speaker 2: not about it in the past,

Speaker 1: you know?

Speaker 2: You know, and I I really haven't. I think maybe I just I know exactly what I want when it's time to purchase. And so there's not but so much out there. So, for example, like our current home that we live in and Raleigh, it's This is a location we want to be in. We want a particular neighborhood, we want a certain size, and he's have this isn't this And honestly, there was one home that really fit our needs. And we said, Okay, this is it right? But everyone is different as faras personality. There's those personalities, the fear of missing out, right where me I'm more of like, All right, let's go do this thing I get frustrated with looking around. I'm ready to buy. Let's move forward. I want it now kind of person where there's yeah, the other people that are they take their time said, It's a personality, you know, situation. But it's also maybe the you know how much inventory is on the market as well. Like, what are the options out there that could determine how many homes you look at?

Speaker 1: In theory, that first search might be a little bit longer Just because you may be artist, picky as you will be in the future, where you kind of know what you want when you see it? Remember when we first started out again? We were looking at, you know, we weren't sure yet on the town home versus house debate. So we were looking at both, which extended the process and looked at a lot more homes before we kind of and you had to then get your feet in there to really see, Do we like this? Do not like the style, you know, all that kind of stuff, so e it'll get shorter. The process probably the older you get in, the more homes that you buy said That's not the thing to keep in mind. That's good to know for a buyer. What about for a cellar? Ah, it's been mentioned that I've seen many times, different re sources say, asking agent How many days on the market is average for their listings?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think that's super important, you know, understanding how active that agent is in the market, how quickly they get home sold because they haven't an extensive and an amazing marketing plan. For example, our team we're at six days currently year to date, where the average agent in the triangles at 24. That is a big difference, with the average days on the market both overall. Quick, right, we're in a strong seller's market still, and so Holmes removing, you know fairly quickly. But because of the marketing that we do in detail our days on the market or weight less than the average agent in the triangle. So yes, understand as a seller, you know, when you are interviewing agents, definitely make sure you know the numbers of that agent you know, has that agent sold one home? Or have they sold 1000? You know no one how long the agent has been in the business. I mean, that's important, too. But you know what? That's not the end. All of beyond. You know, there are many agents who are absolutely amazing that have been in the business for only a year. But you know what? Knowing their numbers, as far as how many transactions they have done is important, you know, working with a brand new brand new age. And I know we all start somewhere, right? So I'm not knocking on brand new agents. But, you know, the brain you agent, that's only done two transaction more than likely is not completely just savvy with the real estate process and transactions because they're even today. And I've been doing this gonna score Ms 13 years Now. There is always something new that happens in a real estate world. You know where I need to check in with my attorney? Maybe I need to get advice from another agent. You know, colleague in my market, because new things happen every day. So, yeah, make sure that you are working with someone who is familiar with the area who's very active in real estate right now. And then who has great stats to

Speaker 1: any other important questions that somebody should ask. What? Interviewing an agent and how many agents do you think somebody should interview before deciding on one? If you weren't one yourself, How many would you interview?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I would. You know if whether you're buying or selling, just, you know, ask the agent. Hey, how are you going to help me? How are you going to represent me? Like, why should I choose you, You know, and let that agent give you kind of their value proposition. You know, what is it that you're going to do for me? That's above and beyond what other agents can? D'oh. So I think that's important. And, you know, as faras the amount of agents to interview there's not a set number. You know, there's if you meet with one agent and you know what you feel like they're a great fit for you and kind of you check all the boxes, you know, run with it. You don't need to go interview, interview, you know, 3 to 5 agents. But you know what? Some buyers and sellers feel more comfortable with interviewing. You know, three agents just a kind of compare one versus another. A big part of it to really is personality. Make sure that you are working with someone who you feel is like minded who you feel like you're going to have a positive you conversation and transaction with because we always say, You know, you're married to us for a while and even though all right, we've put your home in their contract, we still have another 30 to 45 days until we close on the home. So make sure that you're working with, you know, a real estate agent and a team that you will enjoy work with. Long term.

Speaker 1: You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast on Walter Store, Halt Alongside and Jiko. She's the owner and broker in charge of a co realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie Wei invite you to go online to a coal realty dot com, listen to pass podcast episodes on the website, read the block and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a coal realty dot com, and you can also call Angie with your questions. 919578 31 28

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