Buying a home — especially here in Hawaii — is most likely the largest investment you’ll ever make. Likewise, selling your home is probably the largest transaction you’ll ever make. The REALTOR® you choose to assist you with buying or selling your home can have a significant effect on the amount of money that you stand to spend on or earn from your real estate transaction.
Yet, many people select the first REALTOR® they meet, or choose to work with a family member or friend who has a real estate license, without interviewing multiple agents. Because working with the wrong real estate agent for you can be a costly mistake, here are the six key questions you should ask yourself when interviewing REALTORS®:
1. Is he or she a good listener?
Look for a REALTOR® who really listens to your wants and needs. It’s important that he or she understands what’s important to you. An agent who knows your end goal can advise you on the steps to take to accomplish that goal.
2. Is he or she knowledgeable and a problem-solver?
Being knowledgeable doesn’t mean that your REALTOR® has to know everything, however, he or she should know which questions to ask, and where to find the right answers, data and resources to effectively overcome any challenges that may arise.
3. What resources does the agent have to support you?
With more than 10,000 REALTORS® across the Hawaiian Islands, not every agent has access the same training, marketing or administrative resources. Some real estate companies provide their agents with unique support services, such as transaction management and a dedicated market research department. The more resources agents have, the more efficient and effective they can be.
4. How will he or she market you?
Consider how your agent will present you — as a buyer, or your home — if you are a seller. For example, if you are thinking of selling your home, take a look at the agent’s current or recent listings. Did they use high-quality professional photos? What about a professional 3-D video tour? Did they write a captivating property description that will catch the eye of prospective buyers? Ask how he or she plans to target buyers, and where your home will be advertised.
5. Does he or she have experience with multiple offers?
In today’s competitive market, multiple offers are common — especially for homes that are priced well and in good condition. As a buyer, having an experienced agent in your corner who can craft the best offer (which is not always the highest price!) can make the difference between your offer being accepted or passed over. As a seller, you’ll want an agent who can bring in and negotiate the best offers to get you the best possible return.
6. What does your gut say?
Once you have satisfactory answers to all the practical questions, listen to your gut. For example, would you feel comfortable spending a few hours driving around with your REALTOR® on a Saturday afternoon visiting homes? What about sharing your personal and financial information? And finally, do you feel that your agent truly has your best interests at heart? If you can honestly answer “yes” to this last question, congratulations! You’ve probably found the right REALTOR® for you and your family.
To learn more about the home-buying or -selling process — and the role of your REALTOR® — visit LocationHawaii.com/learn.