Jean Groesbeck & Associates

Main Content

Smart Questions to Ask a Real Estate Consultant

a happy couple having a discussion with a realtor

The help and expertise of a real estate agent can be indispensable whether you are buying or selling a home. The challenge lies in finding the right person to aid you in your real estate transaction. As you interview candidates, here are several questions you should ask to determine if they are perfect for you.

  1. “How long have you been working in the real estate industry?”

    One of the most basic questions to ask is how long they have been working in the business. You can use this as a starting point as you probe deeper as years of experience in the field is not always an indicator of real estate expertise.

    Some real estate agents have only been in the industry for a couple of years but have already sold a significant number of properties. Others might have been in the real estate industry for decades, but their working experience might be worked with periods of inactivity. The latter is not an entirely negative thing, but working with somebody who has had no successful transactions recently might not be to your advantage.

  2. “Have you received additional training?”

    Some real estate agents go further and enroll themselves to certification and designation courses. This allows them to be certified in a specific branch of real estate, making them actual experts in that field.

    Certifications and designations are not mandatory in a real estate agent, but it is always a welcome bonus, especially if you are looking for a specialist. Here are some of the certifications and designations that the National Association of Realtors awards, but you might also encounter other labels, such as Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and Military Relocation Professional.

  3. “What’s your average list price-to-sales-price ratio?”

    It is not enough that a real estate agent states they have solid negotiation skills. They must have something to show for it. That is where their average list price-to-sales price ratio comes into play. It can be an indicator of how adept they are in negotiating as per their client’s interests.

    Ideally, a buyer’s agent should have a ratio well below 99 percent, meaning that they have successfully lowered the asking price for their clients in the past. Meanwhile, a seller’s agent should have a ratio close to 100 percent, which indicates they were able to sell homes as close to the original asking price as possible.

  4. “What makes you different from other real estate agents?”

    Just as products and brands have their unique value or selling propositions, real estate agents also have characteristics that set them apart from their competition.

    There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it mostly depends on the characteristics you value the most in a real estate agent. A proven track record in real estate transactions is always a good thing, but so is honesty, integrity, warmth, and exceptional communication skills.

  5. “Do you have a cancellation policy?”

    Sometimes, things just do not work out. And before the relationship turns completely sour, it is best to put an end to it. Just in case this occurs down the road, it helps to know if your potential agent has a cancellation policy in place.

    Will they be able to refer you to another real estate agent that better suits your needs? Will you have to pay a fee to cover the short time you have worked together? Do they have a set of reasons that are acceptable in order to terminate the contract?

    All this information, along with other things, should also be included in the buyer’s agent agreement or listing agreement. This will ensure a smooth transition in case their services do not meet your expectations, or something happened that has caused you to cancel your purchase or home sale.

  6. “What is your plan or strategy for my real estate goal?”

    More than just laying out a scenario, this will help you set your expectations and learn, early on, if a real estate agent can give you the kind of service you want. If you are buying a home, how will they help you find your dream property? What are the tools they will use? Where will they take you, if you have yet to decide on a specific neighborhood?

    Prospective seller’s agents should give you a rundown of their plan for your property, from home staging and virtual tours, to marketing and finally negotiations and closing. Do not hesitate to ask any related questions to get a clearer picture of the process.

Are you buying or selling your home soon?

Contact The Groesbeck Group today at 360.941.3734 or Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com to schedule a free real estate consultation.