11 interview questions to find a great realtor
There’s thousands of real estate agents in the greater Charlotte NC area and the difference in value between two agents is literally thousands of dollars (in your pocket or someone else’s).
So the big question is not how to find a real estate agent; it’s how to choose one.
For whatever reason, homeowners hold a very low standard for what to expect from a real estate agent.
Reviews aren’t a reason to hire a realtor
Surprisingly, scanning through customer reviews doesn’t help much and that’s because it seems as though sellers expect so little from their agent. In fact, getting reviews as a realtor is usually just a function of being likable and existing on social media, not doing your job well.
That merely means that as long as an agent is likable, communicative and eventually sells the house, they’ll get a great review.
Irene Nash, a Seattle-based realtor and realtor-mentor also challenges the traditional notion that “emphasizes volume as the biggest marker of success.” She recounted a recent instance of a seller walking into an office: “Let me talk with your highest producer.” That’s the person he hired. After reviewing his home’s listing photos and the home’s presentation, the marketing remarks and listing was below the standards of the firm.
Don't choose a realtor solely based on soft skills
I was recently reading through a viral blog post asking for the TOP quality they look for in a real estate agent.
The comments that followed were extremely depressing. It was more or less an accrued list of soft skills you might use to find a virtual admin:
“Responsive” “Hard Working” “Communicative” “Reliable” “Honesty”
I expect those qualities when I higher my nephew to mow my lawn, let alone selling a property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Does a real estate agent need to be communicative and trustworthy? ABSOLUTELY. But you can be communicative and trustworthy and still be bad at your job.
Don't choose a realtor solely based on "experience"
After soft skills, the second trend is throwing out the almighty word, “Experience.”
It’s a fun, hard-to-define (and usually unfalsifiable) word that is hard to challenge when the card is pulled. Often, this is the first word that’s used when a realtor doesn’t quite understand their own value proposition.
I know plenty of contractors who have tons of experience but I would do the work myself before I let them bid a job. Contrarily, I’ve known agents, contractors etc who became juggernauts in their market within a year or two by being smarter and harder working than everyone else around them.
Experience alone isn’t a value proposition that draws a necessary correlation to results. So… what should you be looking for in a realtor?
How can we move beyond the basic expectations of added convenience, legal knowledge and focus on the value they add to:
- Maximize home value and;
- Sell your home in a reasonable amount of time.
To help you in your conquest of finding a great realtor in Charlotte, NC it’s going to take an interview or two and a list of great questions.
Interview questions for your NC realtor
Before you interview agents, make sure you’re clear about what your situational needs are. Are you looking for the highest price for your home or is your bigger priority selling it as quickly as possible? A question like this will help you figure which answers best suit your needs.
It’s a good idea to quiz your agent on how they’ll draw in buyers. If all your agent is doing is throwing a sign in your yard and posting on the MLS, run away as fast as you can. Most brokerages are paying for large scale marketing schemes which highly benefit you, the seller.
- Which marketing channels would you and your brokerage use to market my home? (SEO, SEM, Social Media Ads, Direct Mail Campaigns, sharing with other agents, etc)
- Do you provide professional photography and videography to draw in more eyes? Can I see some examples?
- What marketing materials can I expect you to create for my home?
- Anything else you do to generate interest in a home?
An agent should be able to tell a seller how much they should realistically expect to get for their home, not some “pie in the sky” number just to get the listing.
This means truthfully critiquing a property and making suggestions on how to improve its marketability/price if necessary.
- What small or large upgrades to my home are showing a significant increase in home value of my neighborhood?
- I have a budget of $_____ to improve the value of my home. How would you recommend I spend that money?
- adding a powder room?
- finishing the basement?
The last set of questions are feelers for how competent they are at their job.
With thousands of agent in the market, it’s an obvious fact that many are not qualified to represent your home.
A great agent should understand your market, know how to negotiate, price your home accurately, avoid legal troubles and correspond confidently with sellers.
- What are non-monetary concessions that you’ve successfully negotiated with buyers in the past? (we want to see their competence with navigating deal mechanics of real estate transactions)
- What is the best time of year to sell my home in this area?
- How do you use a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report to price homes you list?
- What are buyers looking for in my area?
- What potential lawsuits are avoidable by hiring a great realtor?
Need a great realtor or have a question?
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like us to put you in touch with some of our favorite realtors in the Charlotte area.
If you just have a question or would like to get a cash offer on your house, send us a line!
Fill out this form or call our office and we’ll steer you in the right direction.