INTERVIEWING YOUR REALTOR®
Choosing a REALTOR® should be considered one of your most important decisions, much the same as choosing your attorney or financial adviser.
It is important to choose a professional who will advise you wisely and who will keep your personal goals at the forefront of all decisions.
You should interview several potential REALTORS®, just as you would interview any person you might be hiring for a job, to establish their specific knowledge and experience.
Don't be afraid to interview a few to compare them and choose the one that best suits you and your interests.
Asking the Right Questions
- Are you a licensed REALTOR®?
Agents who cannot call themselves REALTORS® have not sworn to uphold the profession's code of ethics. Members of our Board have access to all of the most current information and training on the real estate business. Our Members have access to the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®) System and can search through properties in Oakville, Milton and the Greater Toronto Area to find a list of those that meet your specific needs.
- Do you have any designations, certifications, or special training?
REALTORS® learn as much as they can about the real estate business through professional development seminars and are required to take a mandatory continuing education program focused on consumer protection, regulatory matters and current industry issues in order to maintain their licenses.
Some professional development courses result in special designations. For instance, some REALTORS® are negotiation experts or specialize in working with seniors. For more information on professional designations, please refer to this information.
- How do you communicate with your clients?
If your REALTOR® prefers to communicate via email, but you want to be called on the telephone, the two of you will need to work out an agreeable plan. Your REALTOR® will work with you to set the appropriate parameters to best keep in touch.
Additional Questions to Ask a REALTOR®
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you might want to ask:
- How many years of real estate experience do you have?
- Can you explain in detail the process from contract to closing?
- What is the process you use to negotiate on my behalf?
- What is your average personal List/Sale Price Ratio?
- What is the average MLS® List/Sale Price Ratio?
- Do you offer a performance guarantee?
- Percentage of business from past clients, referrals & spheres?
- Do you have testimonials/references from past clients?
- Do you do a computerized CMA?
- Do you have a personal website? And if so, how many hits per day do your receive?
- Do you offer custom virtual tours in the MLS® & on your website?
- Do you have personal full-time staff to assist you?
If you are a home buyer, you might want to ask:
- Tell me in detail the type of information you can gather for me about a home listed for sale that may be of interest to me. (i.e. comparable sales, resales, disclosures, etc.)
- What type of assistance do you provide in finding a mortgage lender?
- Do you have any financial affiliations with mortgage lenders, and is that a conflict of interest?
- What role do you play in the mortgage lending, title and closing processes?
- How will you assist me in the inspection process?
- What are the on-going services you provide after closing?
If you are a home seller, you might want to ask:
- What responsibilities do I have as the seller?
- Can you offer me some ideas on what I need to do to get my home ready for sale? (A good REALTOR® will have the experience to tell you what buyers like, and therefore what might need to be done to your home to have the best chance of selling for the most money possible.)
- Describe how you will help me in properly presenting my home for sale.
- What is your role in pricing, showing and taking offers on my home?
- How did you arrive at the listing price that you are recommending? With our current market conditions, pricing is more critical than ever before, because in today's market, buyer's have more choices than ever before. You want to make sure that your home is priced correctly right out of the gate. You can't afford to put your home on the market at the wrong price.
- Tell me in detail how you plan to market my property.
- How long does this process usually take?
- How do you determine if buyers are qualified and will make it through closing?
- How frequently and in what way will you contact me with feedback on those who have expressed interest in or viewed my home?