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Tips for Interviewing a Real Estate Agent

Sep 17, 2008
A Realtor works for you; he is your employee. As with any job, employees can expect to be interviewed before being hired and the same is true for a real estate agent. You have a choice and should consider carefully who wants to help you find your new home. Why take this step? Aren't they all the same, because they want to make a commission which means putting you in a house? Why bother meeting with several before deciding on one? Isn't it just a waste of time? Actually, just the opposite is true. Interviewing several people and carefully considering each one can end up saving time and make the house-hunting process less stressful.

First, you need to decide, who you want to interview. Ask for referrals from friends and family. Talk to your bank and see if there is a company or agent they recommend. If you are moving to a brand new place and don't know anyone, do some online research. Just by checking out a personal or company web page, you can tell a lot about a person. The types and price range of homes he typically sells. There may be a personal statement or bio to give you more insight into his personality and experience.

Here are a few questions to ask, when conducting your Realtor interviews:

* What is his experience in real estate? This includes, since how long he has been licensed and how long he has been working in the particular area you are shopping.

* Is his license current and is it issued by the State you are living in? Typically, licenses must be renewed every couple of years. It is common to require continuing education as well, which is a plus in the ever-changing market. So, verifying his credentials is important.

* What is the community like? Any good agent should be able to give you information about the schools in the area, emergency services, clubs etc. Think of him as walking yellow pages for the area.

* Does he have a dollar limit? An online search of different agents usually reveals the typical price range they sell within. That is not to say that a person who only sells million dollar homes won't be interested in helping you buy a $250,000 house. But, it saves you both a lot of time if you simply ask up front.

* Does he have time for you? Obviously this is important. You want to make sure that after you hire him, you do not get pawned off on an assistant for the actual process. The agent you hire should give you the same personal attention as anyone else, no matter how much money you have to spend.

During the interview, pay close attention to the other person. Do you like him? If you have a negative feeling towards the person or you just feel like your personalities are too different, it is better to move on to the next interview. You should be able to trust, that this person has your best interest at heart. If there is a personality conflict, neither of you will enjoy the process, nor can resentment flare up. Buying a house is a stressful process. Also, does he seem organized? Was he on time to your meeting? Obviously, you want someone who respects your time (just as you should respect his). It is also important that the person who takes on the job, can keep your information organized and at hand because he will be dealing with the seller's agent as well as your bank and scheduling the appraisal and inspection. You want to make sure that everything is in line for a smooth closing.

There are a lot of people out there who would love to sell you a home, but that doesn't mean they all can or should. By asking questions and paying attention, you can pick the right Realtor to find your dream home.
About the Author
Finding a home is a significant task and choosing the right realtor helps you to find your home with ease. New Orleans real estate agents from the Latour team will guide you throughout the house-hunting process. To contact them, visit http://www.thelatourteam.com/ .
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