How to Pick Your Agent

INTERVIEWING A BUYER’S AGENT


WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND RESOURCES YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENTS?

Real estate is an incredibly complicated business involving large sums of money. Your agent should be able to clearly explain what it is they bring to the table on your behalf. First and foremost, should be the commitment and ability to protect and represent your interests above all others – to find you a great home at the best possible price and terms. Are their other qualifications focused on helping you? Do you get the sense they are consummate professionals in the business? Do they listen carefully to your wants, needs and circumstances? Do they love what they do?

WHAT IS YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE?

When buying in San Francisco, you want a Realtor® who works San Francisco. Out-of-town agents are bad representatives. No exceptions. Everything about real estate is specific to location: values, community, legal issues, the different options in property type and neighborhood within a given county. One can’t be an expert everywhere. You deserve an expert to represent you: Paragon agents are San Francisco experts.

TELL ME ABOUT THE LAST DEAL OR TWO YOU CLOSED?

This is an excellent open-ended question to help you determine how the agent works, their enthusiasm for the business, what they focus on as important, the skills they bring to bear for their clients, and how they interact with clients and other parties during the transaction. Do they completely and calmly own and manage the process? Do they negotiate effectively? Work hard and make special efforts? Good at explaining options and strategies? Motivated by doing a great job for their clients?

WHY ARE YOU WITH THE BROKERAGE YOU’RE WITH?

Brokerage firms come in many qualities and it can be insightful to know why your agent chose theirs. Did they pick it because it allows them to provide a higher level of service and resources to you? Are they focused on reputation, expertise, ongoing training and skill improvement, liability management and integrity?

IS THIS YOUR ONLY CAREER?

Many real estate agents are also mortgage brokers or have other second careers. This is a bad sign. Real estate is a business which takes all of a good agent’s professional time, energy and resources to do the job right. You don’t want, and don’t deserve, a part-timer. Pick your real estate agent like you would your financial manager or attorney – hold them to that standard. What would you think if your attorney also sold cars?

REFERENCES, REFERENCES, REFERENCES!

The best indication of the job an agent will do for you is the job they did for past clients.