Hey Buyers! Before you choose an agent - Interview them! Part I

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

Lane Realty

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. (see comments below- Another agent reminded me of a very important questions I left off my list)  Are you a full-time agent?

Look for my answers to these questions in part II

Tammy Lankford/Broker (Lane Realty) Lake Sinclair : Real Estate Brokerage in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia706-485-9668www.lake-sinclair.com

Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner

Call me today for all your Lake Sinclair real estate needs.


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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Tammy, what a thorough and exhaustive list of buyers questions you have. They should just hire you. Why? Cause you're the BEST.

Jan 07, 2009 07:45 AM #1
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Tammy, this list of questions for the seller to ask a realtor is wonderful!  May I use it and tailor it to my area?

Jan 07, 2009 07:47 AM #2
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Susan you never have to ask... I'd be flattered.

Gary- Do you need a vacation house on Lake Sinclair?  I know a great broker.  Thanks for the complement... you are very kind.

Jan 07, 2009 10:19 AM #3
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Tammy, great post and some very good points to think about and use.  Thanks.

Jan 07, 2009 11:04 AM #4
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Tammy.. This is one of the most important things for a buyer to do.  I've been able to acquire clients by this philosophy.  When I mention to prospective clients that I think they should interview, and other agents before they choose.  They usually are taken aback by this.  They interview me and go no further.  They feel that if I'm open enough to have an interview, I must know what I am doing.

valerie osterhoudt

Jan 07, 2009 11:49 AM #5
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Valerie, clients I meet in person usually have the same reaction when I tell them that they should interview agents.  It's like I shock them by telling them this at all.  But I still give them answers sometimes even if they don't ask a question.

Jan 07, 2009 01:04 PM #6
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

You are so right. I always recommend that my clients make an educated choice. -Dinah Lee

Jan 07, 2009 01:11 PM #7
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

You forgot "Do you have another job and have to go into the bathrooms to sneak a call from me?"

Sorry, it's late, I am tired and goofy :wink:

Jan 08, 2009 02:29 PM #8
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

You know Renee-

Adding... are you a full time real estate agent? is really such an excellent point.  Part timers really don't do their clients any favors.  And I forget about that question because I'm at work 6 or 7 days a week... I have no idea how to do this part time and be successful.

Jan 08, 2009 11:49 PM #9
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I've recently put together a list of questions I ask buyers. I mean, I expect buyers to ask me questions, but I also interview them. If they aren't motivated or a good fit, I refer them to an agent who is better suited to work with them because, like you know, I don't work with just anybody. :)

This guy I sent a list of questions to yesterday answered them all this morning. To the question: "How would you describe your sense of humor?" (hey, it's important -- if they have no sense of humor, they may not survive escrow), he answered with a long list of things he finds amusing. Let's just say he passed the test.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Jan 09, 2009 02:28 AM #10
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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