15 Essential Questions to Ask a REALTOR Before You Sign Anything!

Note:  After reviewing these important questions, see our list of pre-screened real estate consultants at the bottom of the page.

There are over 3,000 Realtors in the Greater Houston area. Statistics show us that in 5 years, 87% of those Realtors will have left the business. That is why it is imperative that you put your trust and money into a Realtor that is proven and committed.

Often times the best place to find a Realtor is through your mortgage company. They deal with scores of Realtors every day, and it is in their vested interest to work with the most professional and responsive Realtors in their area.

The following questions will help you qualify the Realtor that you interview for your real estate transaction.

1. How many years have you been involved in the real estate business?

Greater Houston Area has about 3000 licensed Realtors at any given time. Statistics tell us that within 5 years, 87% of them will no longer be in the business. You will want to engage the services of a Realtor that is experienced and committed to the industry. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because they have been in business 20 years, does not always make them a good candidate!  Often times it is the "experienced veterans" who are reluctant to try anything new or use cutting edge technology or marketing concepts that can save you time and money.

2. Is the company you are affiliated with nationally known?

Nationally known companies usually have an excellent referral system and a good track record of successful home sales in your area. In addition, statistics show that a full 40% of homes are sold by company name recognition or agent contact.

3. Is your company a member of the MLS system?

MLS stands for the Multiple Listing Service, wherein member companies catalogue their listed properties for sale so that all agents have immediate access to the information--even information on homes where there is no yard sign. Access to more properties means more for you to choose from in your home search. (Typically, if the agent is a member of MLS, (s)he is also a member of both the national and local Realtor organizations).

4. Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?

The National Association requires higher standards of ethics for membership, thus ensuring you are treated fairly.

5. Are you a member of your local board of Realtors?

The Houston Association of Realtors requires a clearly outlined standard of ethics and provides ongoing educational classes and awards for excellence. This creates local accountability, credibility and influence.

6. Do you have an assistant?

A Realtor who does have an assistant will have the ability to give you more time and individualized attention. Their assistant will be able to help with details and paperwork, so that they can keep in touch more often and have time to be more aggressive about helping you find the home of your dreams.

7. Do you have any professional designations and have you won any awards?

Though the fancy initials behind a Realtor’s name may not seem important to you, they chart achievements in doing for others what you would want your agent to do for you.

8. Can I get out of the agreement if I am not pleased with your services?

It is good to be loyal to an agent who has invested their time into helping you find your home. However, you need to be free to terminate the agreement if you feel you are not getting adequate service and support. Be sure to ask if there is a procedure for terminating the relationship and have them outline it in writing for you.

9. Is your real estate company of good size?

This is an important question because larger companies have more agents and often more internal listing inventory which you may become available to you before it is made available to the general public.

10. Do you preview the homes you plan to show me?

Agents who preview properties are agents who respect your time as well as their own. Agents who preview properties will not waste your time showing you homes that don't meet your needs because they've already seen them. In addition, they are able to prepare you for things that might otherwise be unpleasant surprises--like a home that meets all of your criteria in terms of space, but needs some work. This gives you the opportunity to decide whether or not you want to see it.

11. Will you give us your opinion of the market value of the home we are considering purchasing, based on sold listings that are comparable, before we make an offer?

A "CMA" is a comparative market analysis based on recent similar sales in the area of your new home. A Realtor should not just give you their opinion offhand, but should be able to document and support their value assessment.

12. Do you request that all potential buyers be pre-approved for a loan before they submit a contract offer?

As with the agent who previews the properties they are showing you, agents who require that you be pre-approved for a loan before submitting an offer, are agents who respect your time as well as their own. In fact, many of the most successful (and smart) agents in the industry require that you be pre-approved for a loan before they will show you any property. This prevents the heartbreaking scenario where you go out and fall in love with a home only to discover that it is not financially possible for you to own it. You may think that this is an awful lot of trouble to go through just to look at homes, but the agent who genuinely wants to help you find the home that is right for you will insist upon it. **Not ready to work with an agent yet considering a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), or would like to start looking on your own? Get ahead of the game by getting pre-approved anyway. An Allegro Lending Source mortgage consultant will be glad to help you determine just how much home you can buy right now and/or provide you with guidance on how to get to the price range you want. Contact us today! Your free Real Estate Assistant software details the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval, and provides you with mortgage calculators to give you a ball park figure of what you can comfortably buy. Get your free Real Estate Assistant now!

13. Will you return all my calls in a timely manner?

Because lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints in the real estate industry, it is important that you get the agent to look you in the eye and assure you they will call you back promptly when paged or called. Everyone is human, but on average, you should get rapid responses--or at least know when to expect a response--to your inquiries. Repeated failure to do so is reason to cancel your agreement.

14. Do you have a list of personal references and a list of past clients? Can I call on them?

This is a very good way to ensure that you have picked a good Realtor. If you make sure to call on some of the past clients, you can get a very clear picture of the service your agent should provide you, and what standards you should be able to expect. Take notes so that you can point out to your agent during your real estate process that you would like this or that service they arranged for their past clients.

15. Will you be present during all contract negotiations for the purchase of our home?

Because you have enlisted your agent to be your real estate advisor, they should always be personally present during all contract negotiations. This will save you large amounts of time, and worry, if a problem should arise.

**This list represents some general guidelines in selecting a real estate professional to assist you in the purchase of your home. They are not hard and fast rules as some of the most successful and agressive people in the industry have been in the business less than 5 years and do not work for large companies. One of the best ways to find a real estate professional is to ask neighbors, friends, and family members for recommendations of people they have enjoyed working with. These people will be in a much better position to tell you what you can actually expect from the person you're thinking of engaging to help you find your home.


For a list of Pre-Screened Real Estate Consultants (not salespeople) in your area who specialize in Helping People rather than selling simply Click Below...

Pre-Screened Real Estate Consultants

To have our State-of-the-Art Free Loan Finder Computers search over 500 different loan programs for you to help you find the best loan and interest rates, Call Allegro Lending Source anytime at 832.476.3498 ext 709.