“How hard can it be to hire a realtor?” That’s a good question, but often people don’t give a lot of thought to the answer. And to be honest, it’s not hard to ‘hire’ one – but hiring one who is going to do what is needed to either find or sell a property for you – that’s another story.

Because when it’s all said and done, working with real estate is a business transaction. You may know real estate professionals from your family or social circle, and it seems like they would be the easiest choice to make, right? But unless you know how they operate in business and are comfortable with all their methods, you may want to cast your net a little farther afield. (If only to retain those personal relationships, because nothing will damage a friendship or familial tie faster than a financial transaction gone wrong – in either direction.) Actually – when you think about it – friends are a lot harder to come by than Realtors®. So perhaps keeping business and personal separate is generally a good idea.

It’s Business, Not Personal.

When the time comes to choose a Realtor®, the most important thing to do is make sure you pick someone that you can have a serious, straight-talk business conversation. At some point, this person is going to become very familiar with your entire financial picture – something that can skew a personal relationship uncomfortably. You may agree or disagree on decisions about properties, lender choice, or any number of things in the process; and let’s face it: not every real estate transaction turns out perfectly. If there’s any chance of personal feelings getting in the way of getting the best outcome, you’re probably going to be much happier with a straight business relationship – handled by a professional that has no emotional stake in the final outcome. (Can you hear it? “But if you buy this house, we’ll live on the same street!” Yikes!)

Obviously, you want to choose the most qualified person for your needs (a specialist in your area, a Seller’s or a Buyer’s agent, a relocation specialist, etc.) – and one that you feel will work well with you. So in the big picture, the bottom line is to find an experienced professional who knows your market, acts in an ethical manner, answers all of your questions, addresses your concerns, and listens to you – acting as your teammate – throughout the entire process.

Knowing all that, there are still a few questions that will be helpful for you to ask any potential Realtor® with whom you’re considering working. And the answers to those questions will help you determine if they are the right fit for your needs. Any reputable Realtor® – even those with a long-term business presence and sterling reputation – will understand that working with an informed client is to their benefit, as well. (Meaning, if a real estate agent ‘doesn’t want to be bothered’ with a brief interview, they’re probably not the best choice for you.)

Nine Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor®

Just to get the ball rolling for you, we’d like to provide a brief list of questions you should inquire of a potential Realtor®. Many of these inquiries will lead to other questions that will ultimately help inform your final decision. But in our experience, these are a great place to start!

1. What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
2. How many years of education and experience do you have as an agent or broker? What percentage of your clients are buyers (vs. sellers)?
3. In which neighborhoods do you primarily work?
4. How many homes have you closed in my chosen area or neighborhood?
5. Will I be working with you directly or handed-off to anyone else other than you? In other words, will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? (A knowledgeable assistant can be invaluable, but you want to make sure you can connect with your agent regularly.)
6. How many other buyers are you representing now? How many sellers? Hint: the busiest agents often are the most efficient.
7. What would be your marketing plan/strategy for my needs?
8. Will you help me find other professionals? (lenders, appraisers, etc.)
9. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know about you?

Buying or selling a home is a big deal – no matter what anyone tells you. Because it affects so many important areas of your life (where you’ll live, schools your kids will attend, financial well-being, creditworthiness, and much more) – even though real estate transactions happen every day, you can’t take for granted that everyone who hangs out a shingle knows how to do it right. (There’s a reason that some lawyers specialize in Real Estate, you know.) Make sure you take a little extra time up front to find the right, experienced, and knowledgeable agent to help you get it all done. It’s worth it. Trust us.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!