Interview the Agent!

By Beacon Staff

In my real estate experience, I am approached with all kinds of questions about the real estate market. Lately, the questions most people seem to ask are, how’s the market? Is this a good time to buy or sell? I always give my honest opinion, even when it isn’t what people want to hear. However, here are a few questions one should be asking when looking to hire a realtor for their next purchase or sale.

With a large number of realtors in the Flathead Valley, this means the consumer is going to have some great agents to choose from; and in this market, choosing the right realtor is a very important step when it comes to hiring someone to represent you in buying or selling, quite possibly, your largest financial asset.

Finding the right agent for you can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to start the process. First of all, be ready to interview with a list of appropriate questions. Ask the realtor about their background, what did they do before entering the real estate market, and why did they choose this career path? These questions are going to help you to get to know the realtor a little better. Ask about references. A good realtor will have happy, past clients whom you can contact. What is their action plan to get you the best price in the shortest amount of time? What are the results of their market study? When it comes to pricing, make sure you see the facts before deciding on a price. This is also apropos for buyers too; great buyer agents will provide their client facts about sales prices in the area.

A simple, effective way to meet realtors is to go to open houses and begin a dialogue with the realtor holding the open house. This accomplishes a few things. One, as a potential seller/buyer, you get to see what is on the market, more importantly you gauge what your housing competition looks like. Secondly, you get to meet a bunch of agents, and get a better understanding of how agents work. In other words, you see them on the job.

Another great source is the internet. With a high number of consumers using the internet, log onto real estate websites and see how properties are marketed on the internet. Ask for referrals from people you know. Specifically ask others how, and more importantly, why they chose their realtor, and then ask them if they would hire them again.

Companies interview so they hire top talent. We have political primaries so we pick, we hope, the best candidate. Interviewing several realtors is a smart thing to do, because you want someone who will protect your interests, make your property stand out, and keep you focused, both legally and emotionally. This is why we need professionals on our side. If the consumer has hired their agent based on a good interview, great marketing strategy and references, the chances are pretty good that the consumer will have a successful transaction.

Chris Fraser is a Realtor at Park Place Realty, and can be contacted at [email protected]

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