You Have References From Your Potential Realtor....But You Don't Know What To Ask?
Let's face it....if you knew everything that could go wrong/right with a real estate transaction, and how to handle it, you wouldn't need a Realtor®. You are considering a real estate professional for that very reason...to handle it for you. You need someone you can trust and want to do your due diligence to make sure that you are making the right decision. So, you've asked for references.
Of course no one gives out negative references (actually, I do) so you expect to make a phone call and hear "she did a great job." If all you do is ask "did you like working with blank?" then that is what you are going to hear back. So...since you do not work in real estate how do you know WHAT to ask to get to the real value of the agent you are considering? Here are some ideas to get you started...then see where the conversation goes from there.
1) Did the agent return phone calls/emails promptly? was she available when you needed her or had questions? did she provide researched answers?
2) Do you feel you got all the information you needed to make good decisions? Did you ever feel pushed into making a decision that you later questioned?
3) How do you feel the agent interacted with other professionals involved in the transaction....such as lenders, escrow, other agents, other principals?
4) Were there any problems with the escrow? Do you feel your agent knew how to handle these problems and did so in a timely manner? Were they resolved in a way you felt appropriate?
5) Did you feel you had just as much....or even more....attention from your agent after the contract was signed as you did before? Did you feel you could reach your agent at any time and that she would take care of issues for you?
These are the questions which lead to conversations. They allow the reference to really reflect upon the transaction and how it was handled "in the moment." The good news? They clearly feel that it was a good experience after the fact, but I like the prospect to understand what sorts of things come up in an average (is there such a thing anymore?) real estate transaction.....and that they can count on me to take care of them. I think that's the real worth of an agent.