Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Agent

1: How long have you been selling real estate?

I have been a FULL-TIME real estate agent since 2013, and before that, I have been investing in real estate since 1998. I am licensed in Virginia and Maryland, and my team can help you anywhere in the United States. My team has helped over 150 buyers and sellers from starter homes to estates.

As a full-time agent, I can provide you with better services; and I have a team of professionals that can help you throughout the home buying or selling process.

2: What are your qualifications?

I am a college-educated professional with a background in training, consulting, and customer service. I have gone above and beyond the standard REALTOR® qualification with designations/certifications such as:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative® = I have been trained to provide extraordinary services to home buyers.
  • Graduate, REALTOR® Institute = I went through an additional 80+ hours of training specifically to help me better serve home buyers and sellers.
  • Certified Negotiation Expert = Negotiation training to help create a win-win result for my clients.
  • NAR’s e-PRO® = Online marketing and technology training.

I’ve also won multiple awards every year since I started my real estate career

  • Top Producer, 2014 – 2019
  • BHHS Chairman’s Circle, Gold, 2018-2019 (Top 2% of agents out of ~52,000)
  • BHHS President’s Circle, 2016 – 2017 (every year since I joined PenFed Realty)
  • Life-Time Top Producer, 2018
  • Rookie of the Year, 2014

3: Where do you get your current business, can you prove this?

Marketing, we are huge on search engines, social media marketing, and direct mail. Also, more than 50% of our business comes from delighted Past Clients and Referrals. This very special group of people gives us repeat business and highly recommends us to their friends and family!

4: Can you give me a list of client references?

Of course, we have references from clients, agents, mortgage brokers, title companies, etc. You can also find more reviews online.

5: What percentage of your business comes from referrals?

When I first started, 100% of my business came from marketing. But over the years, the ratio has shifted to about 50% marketing and 50% from my Past Clients and their Referrals. They are happy, and they are coming back for more — and they are recommending my team to their friends and family!

6: What makes you different from other agents?

I am not in it to pressure people to buy or sell properties. I genuinely care about figuring out what best for my clients. When I start working with a client, I always start by helping them analyze whether the best option is to buy or sell…or, is there a better alternative?

Once we established that buying or selling is the best option, my goal is to help my Buyers make the best purchasing decision, e.g., a home that they will love to live in and an asset that they will be able to sell profitably in the future. For my Sellers, I help them prepare their house for sale and provide them with the best pricing and marketing strategy to help them sell quickly and for the most money.

In the end, I want to continue to grow my reputation as Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor (and not a guy that is only interested in the next commission check).

More Seller Questions

S1: Do you have a formal marketing plan?

That’s the whole point of this site! If an agent doesn’t already have a world-class website and a formal written marketing plan to sell your home, do you think they’ll start now?

S2: How much do you charge for your service?

Great question! We offer all of our clients the same competitive rate, and we provide repeat clients and their referrals with a discount. Although we may not be the lowest priced option, we are confident that we will provide you with BETTER SERVICES and SAVE YOU MORE MONEY (when you buy) and MAKE YOU MORE MONEY (when you sell). We will also help you MAKE MORE INFORMED DECISIONS.

S3: Another agent showed me that he can sell faster than any agent and regularly gets more than the asking price. Can you do the same?

Those stats are not the best measures of an agent’s ability. We can do the same if we priced your house below the market value or only take the easy listings.

We will perform a careful price analysis and discuss the information with you. Ultimately, you decide on the asking price and how much you’re willing to invest in preparing your house for sale. Depending on what you do, it could be easier or harder for us to sell the property. Since we do not turn down difficult sales, our stats might not look as glowing as some other agents.

S4: How often do you sell your own listings?

Never. Not because we can’t, but because we refuse to do DUAL AGENCY. We believe that it is in your best interest to help you 100% of the time. However, we have referred many buyers to our Broker, who will assign a Designated Agent to help the buyer purchase our listings.

More Buyer Questions

B1: Why do I need a Buyer Agent?

My objective is NOT trying to sell you a property; instead, I aim to guide you toward the best outcome that is customized for your needs. When you work with me, I will help you:

  • Determine if buying the best option for you.
  • Understand the difference between loan approval amount vs. having a comfortable monthly budget.
  • Identify potential problems and deficiencies with a property as we tour it.
  • Help you put together a winning offer.

B2: Do I have to use your lender, home inspector, and settlement company?

Absolutely not. You’re the client, and you can choose your own lender, home inspector, and settlement company. However, over the 6+years and 150+ transactions, we have identified the best professionals in the business, and we can provide you this list of providers.

B3: How will you help me search for my home?

We work together on home searches. First, I will set you up on our MLS home search system. You’ll get a daily email, and you can mark any property you like as favorites.

Secondly, I will also do separate searches in MLS (which has more search criteria, and I can also eliminate properties that are not a good fit).

We do both of these things, so we do not miss out on any home that you might like.

B4: Do you have a buyer checklist or provide me task reminders to keep me on track?

We have a comprehensive checklist set up. Once you’re under contract, you’ll be invited to join our Transaction Management System. You will be able to see all the activities that need to be done and where they are in the process.