Finding a Realtor

Tim Lucas
Military VA Loan editor

Finding a RealtorRealtor® and veteran Ed Kunkel, Jr. shares his advice about finding a good agent to help you buy or sell your home.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, finding a Realtor® sounds easy enough, but can prove difficult unless you know what to look for.

You’ve asked around, and friends or family have given you referrals of Real Estate professionals they know and recommend.

Are you prepared to ask the important questions? Your bottom line is to purchase the right home if you’re a buyer, or net proceeds if you’re a seller. But is that recommended agent the best choice for you and the market you are going to do business in? Here are the most important factors to consider when finding a Realtor®.

Questions to Ask about your Realtor®

Does the agent know the market?  A prepared Real Estate professional should know what the average price point for their market is, as well as how many homes have sold in the past 30-45 days.

They should also know how much supply is available.

The agent should be able to articulate what to expect during your experience based upon the conditions of your market. If they fumble through it, they’re not prepared.

Does the agent have a sensible game plan?  All too often, many agents are just ‘winging it’ when it comes to their business. Ask for a game plan from your agent.

A good buyer’s agent will take the time to understand how to work with you and your weekly schedule to show homes for sale when you are available.  Additionally, they will have resources for you to consider when it comes to home inspectors, contractors, appraisers, and home warranties.

When selling a home, the agent’s plan is just as important. How will the marketing of your home take place if you are still living in it, and are you clear about your role when the home is scheduled to be shown?  Do they have a plan for staging the home, making repairs from an inspection, etc.?

Does the agent have “people?”  People, meaning do they have recommendations for lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, staging professionals, roofing contractors, HVAC contractors, cleaners, etc.  If you need a certain project done, will the agent’s contractor allow you to pay them when the transaction is complete or do they require upfront payment?

Let’s imagine you’re a buyer and the inspector recommends repair work by a specialty contractor. You need additional time for further inspections.  Does your agent know who to call to quickly solve the problem?

Your Agent as Lawyer

Keep in mind that in a narrowly focused sort of way, your agent is practicing law on your behalf.  Needless to say, he or she needs to handle your contracts carefully.

Make sure that you get copies of everything you sign, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about something you don’t understand.

Pay attention to the agent’s demeanor when interacting and answering your questions to help you understand how knowledgeable they are with their own legal forms.  If there’s a sense that your agent candidate may not have it all together, it may be a sign that you should consider interviewing someone else.

With some homework and asking the right questions, finding a Realtor® will be a successful and profitable accomplishment.

Ed Kunkel, Jr. is a Managing Broker/Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty in Olympia, Washington. Visit Ed here. Ed’s Military History: Veteran – U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve; Highest rank, E5; 11 years combined military service.