Questions (And my Answers) to ask Your Realtor

You are ready to buy your house–Great!!

What’s your next step?

Find your Realtor!!

The Portland metro real estate market is swift and not for the faint of heart. You’ve got to have the right team to get you successfully to your goal. Choosing the right Realtor is step one!
In my previous blog post, I listed out 16 questions that I think are important for buyers to think about and ask before their choose their Realtor. If the Realtor they are meeting with doesn’t want to ask these questions then that should be a big red flag! Here are my answers to those questions! I promise I’ll try and be brief. Obviously meeting up and talking face to face is best, but this will give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work with me and how seriously I take my role in serving you when buying your home.
Are you a full time Realtor or is this a part-time job?

  1. I am a full-time Realtor which means I work on average 50-60 hours per week. There is nothing part-time about my business or the level of service and care I provide my clients.  I’m not sure what the current stats are, but 75% of agents are part time and sell between 1-5 homes a year. 

How many homes do you sell a year?

  1. Great questions: Here is a link to my zillow profile which shows you 85% of the homes that I have listed & sold or served buyers in purchasing, that have been listed in the RMLS. (It’s also the map at the top of this post).  **NOTE: If the house is new construction and not listed or was off market, it will not show up. Also, many of my Vancouver transactions are not sticking for whatever reason, so this map is great as a visual, but is missing quite a few transactions. On a typical year, I close between 35-45 homes.

What areas do you work in? Do you only work in one part of town?

  1. Because such a high percentage of my client base comes from referrals, I literally go wherever my clients need me. If it’s in an area that online information is not plentiful or where I cannot be an expert then I’ll partner with a local expert. i.e. if I have a client wanting to buy or sell in Longview WA etc.. It’s just too far for me to be an expert. But my co-worker will help on the local and and that way my client gets my expertise start to finish but we both benefit from a local expert who is on hand with local knowledge.   I do not believe in being hyper-local. All the information that I need about a specific area is all available to me online.  I do not restrict my ability to serve my clients to one neighborhood. With that, my clients love that I have the flexibility and license to help wherever is best for them whether Oregon or Washington. It’s one of the very best ways I can serve them. They won’t need 2 Realtors.

What about references, could we talk to a few people that you’ve worked with?

  1. Absolutely–I’m very glad to give you a list of references. If you’d like to read the reviews my clients have written about me, here is that info.   No I do not pay for reviews 🙂

How many buyers do you work with at one time?

  1. I take on only as many buyers as I can successfully manage. Many buyers are not actively searching and not ready to make a move. So there are always several of those. However for active clients ready to go and out searching, I max myself out at 8 fully active buyers at one time.

Do you help only your buyers in a transaction or do you help the seller too in the same transaction?

  1. This is called ‘double dipping’ or ‘double ending’…not only does it sound bad, it is NOT in your best interest.  I do not help both sides of a transaction. I only help my buyers when they are buying or only my sellers when they are selling. It is ethical to do both, but I cannot divide my loyalties. If the seller needs someone to help them and they ask me, I’ll find someone to help them. It will not be me.

Do we need your help if we are buying new construction?

  1. Of all the transactions biased towards the sellers/builders favor, it’s new construction.   The representing agents at the sales office work for the builder, not for you. They do not have your best interest at heart.   The contracts for new construction are written and drawn up by the builder’s lawyers, they are not the OREF sanctioned documents.   You need an experienced Realtor who can navigate and negotiate on your behalf. And yes, this includes inspections at closing. So many buyers don’t have proper representation, don’t get home inspections (it’s new–why do you need an inspection?) and then have serious issues down the road.  Yes you need my help with new construction and I’m glad to serve you through this process.

What is your communication style? What can we expect from you during our search and when we find our home?

  1. There is a flurry of emails depending on how ready you are to find your home. Once you are pre-approved and ready to go, we will be in touch as much as you want! Once we are in contract–there are weekly updates every Monday or Tuesday plus additional updates as things come up. My goal is to cover everything each week with ‘where are we at’ and ‘what’s next’.  I strive to over-communicate with you through the process. I’m also very direct and up-front!

How long have you been Realtor?

  1. January 2nd 2017 started my 10th year! I cannot even believe time has gone by so fast. I was the 14th or 15th Realtor at M Realty when I joined the firm and now we have over 155 Realtors. This is going to be a special year! I started on purpose when the market crashed. I wanted to learn how to do this amazing business the right way. So while other Realtors were running out of the industry, I was deliberately walking in.

Do you work with Short-Sales & Foreclosures?

  1. Absolutely! We walk through these two types of purchases and if their parameters meet your timing and repair capacity, they can be a great way to get your home.  They are not on sale like they were during the crash, but they can still be a bit below market!

Are you able to help with finding a solid reputable lender and quality inspectors? Do you get a referral fee?

  1. Yes, I only use lenders and vendors that I have personally used or I would personally use. It is part of my reputation that I have wonderful, reliable, trust worthy vendors to share with my clients.  No referral fee’s, it’s illegal and it’s not in my clients best interest.

How do you get paid? What if we find a FSBO?

  1. Sellers and listing agents pre-determine the compensation for the selling realtor (Buyers Agent) when the listing is signed. The buyers do not pay for the brokerage fees. Nor is this fee negotiable as it resides with the listing agent and the owner of the home.   I’ve worked several times with For Sale By Owner sellers and yes, they pay what we call ‘courtesy to broker’ to my brokerage.

Do you belong to the National Association of Realtors & Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors who subscribe and hold to a strict code of ethics?

  1. Yes, I belong to both NAR & PMAR.   Did you know that it’s not required to belong to these industry associations and that those who are not members are not allowed to call themselves Realtor? Realtors are part of NAR and PMAR AND hold to the highest code of ethics. So if you want to know the difference between an agent and a Realtor–that’s one of the factors…. adhere to the Code or not.

Will you share your opinions and concerns with me as we look at homes and walk through the process? Are you going to push us into a house so you get a transaction? Will you tell me/us if you think we should say no to a house?

  1. For better or for worse, I’m very protective of my clients and opinionated. I’d rather have you search a bit longer and make sure it’s the right house vs. having you buy a house just to hurry up.  I will always let you know my opinion and concerns. What you decide to do with them is up to you.  My job is not to sell you a house. In fact, I’ll probably talk you out of homes most of the time.  When we find the right house, you’ll know!

If we choose to work together, are you going to hand me off to someone else in your office?

  1. Nope!  When you work with me, you get me! And because in this fast paced market the goal is to get into homes that could be ‘the one’ as soon as possible, I do have co-workers who will help me get you into see homes if I have another appointment at the same time.  My husband is getting his license this year to help me with behind the scenes stuff evenings and weekends and my assistant is part time and keeps my paperwork details straight.

How do you stay up on changes in your industry? What designations do you hold?

  1. I have my GRI (Graduate Real Estate Institute) that I obtained the first year I became a Realtor. It’s 4 1-week conferences held all over the State that have advanced, detailed and practical information providing additional in-depth education.  This year I will be getting my Principal Brokers License and in 2018 I’m hoping to get my CRS–Certified Residential Specialist…. Even though I’ve been that for many years, I still want to get the certification to ad to my alphabet soup!

Whew! That’s a lot of info. Obviously this is very direct and to the point. So much more I could say, but this is good for now!
Remember that you may email, text or call me at any time for more details or to get together for a buyer consult at a coffee shop.
Best wishes to you in this fresh new year!
cell: 971-275-3691

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