5 Questions to Ask Your Buyer’s Agent Before Hiring Them

Emily Terpak November 17, 2023

Most people think to interview an agent before they list their home but very rarely does a buyer interview an agent before hiring them to find their home. Perhaps it’s because sellers pay both the listing agent and buyer agent’s commission. Therefore, they want to make sure that they’re getting the best service possible. Although you don’t pay your agent’s commission as a buyer, you should still have high expectations. Therefore, consider asking a few questions before teaming up with someone. Here are the top 5 questions I would ask if you want to learn more about the agent you’re hiring. 

1. Do You Work Full-Time or Part-Time?

There are some agents who have flexible enough schedules to balance both their main career and their real estate career. But that’s rare. You want someone who is available to take your calls and respond to emails/texts in a timely manner. Real estate is time sensitive and waiting too long can result in you missing out on seeing a house, an offer deadline, etc. Ask what their schedule is like and what their availability is both on the weekdays and weekends. Hint! Most real estate transactions happen on the weekends when buyers can see houses. So also be aware of agents who say that they are only typically available Monday through Friday. 

2. How Do You Help Buyers in a Competitive Market?

In an event that you like a house that multiple buyers are bidding on, you need an agent who has strategies in place to help your offer stand out. This means an agent who is going to walk you through each of your options and why they would be appealing to the seller. A great buyer’s agent will also reach out to the listing agent to find out what the seller is motivated by. For instance, let’s say the seller lives in California. The last thing they want to do is handle repairs when issues come up during the inspection period. Therefore, you might want to add in an inspection clause that says you’ll accept repairs on the home up to a certain amount of money. In this situation, you might not need to go too far over asking or say anything about the appraisal. That’s because the seller might find the inspection clause in your offer the most attractive. 

3. Do You Work as an Individual Agent or Are You Part of a Team?

Some agents work independently while others are part of a team or are the team leaders themselves. In my experience, this doesn’t play a huge factor in how great of an agent someone is. However, if an agent is part of a team or a team leader, it’s important to clarify who you would be working with. For example, if they’re a team leader, they might have an initial conversation with you and then put you in touch with an agent who works under them. If that’s the case, simply ask if you can have a call or zoom with that particular agent to get to know one another and how they work. You can even ask the agent who you were initially in touch with if they have other people they can connect you with should the team member not be the right fit. 

4. Do You Have Recommendations for a Lender, Home Inspector, Title Company, Homeowners Insurance Agent etc?

Assuming you don’t already have a title company in your rolodex, you’ll want an agent who has great recommendations when you need one. When my clients are happy, I’m happy. So over the years, I have vetted through different lenders, inspectors, title companies, and homeowners insurance agents to make sure that my clients are in great hands. You’ll want the same from your real estate agent so make sure you ask this question!

5. What is Your Best Quality as an Agent?

Every agent will answer this differently but I think their response will tell you if their values align with yours. Will they go above and beyond in a way that would be greatly beneficial to you? Personally, my best quality as an agent is how I educate my clients. I empower my buyers with all of the knowledge that they need to make the best decisions for themselves. And trust me, you have to make an endless amount of choices from the very first day you decide to start the home buying process up until closing day. After all, it’s most likely your biggest purchase to date. So having someone who can explain everything along the way will be your biggest ally.

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