Shopping For a Real Estate Agent? 7 Questions to Ask

Learn 7 questions you ask when choosing a real estate agent to purchase a PadSplit property.

March 30, 2022

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You’ve taken the first step in your PadSplit journey and decided you want to try the PadSplit model, but there’s just one problem: You don’t have a property yet. It’s time to find one! According to a recent article from Bloomberg, there’s never been a better time to be a landlord.

Many PadSplit Hosts choose to work with a local real estate agent to find the best property for their PadSplit. You may already have a real estate agent you enjoy working with in your area. Still, if not, here are seven questions we recommend asking potential agents during the interview process.

What does a Real Estate Agent Do?

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who organize real estate transactions between buyers and sellers, and they play an essential role in the buying and selling process. As a buyer in today’s competitive market, your real estate agent will be a crucial component of your investment property purchasing process.

They’ll work alongside you through all aspects of buying a home, from start to finish. First, they’ll help you find potential properties to suit the needs and preferences of your purchase. That might include setting up a portal on the MLS database with alerts for you, flagging listings, or reaching out to other agents about properties coming soon. 

Whether you’ve toured two properties or twenty, when you’re ready to make an offer, your real estate agent will discuss terms with you to write a compelling offer, submit the bid, and negotiate on your behalf throughout the entire process. Once your offer is accepted, they will also set up a home appraisal and inspection. 

From your first conversation to closing day, your real estate agent acts as a liaison between you and all parties, so it’s essential to spend time on the front end to choose the right fit.

7 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents

How long have you been an agent? 

Tenure isn’t a deal-breaker when selecting a real estate agent, but it’s important to choose someone familiar with the business and industry. An agent who has been in the business for a length of time will be able to anticipate problems. They’ll also have built relationships with other real estate professionals in the area that will come in handy once you’re ready to submit an offer. Their negotiation skills will have also been tweaked and perfected over the years, which could come in handy in today’s competitive market. 

Is real estate your full-time job?

While working with a part-time agent shouldn’t necessarily disqualify you from working with them, you need to know if this is a part-time gig for them before committing to working with them. Today’s market is incredibly competitive, and you’ll want to move quickly when you find a property you want to pursue. If your agent works somewhere else, they may be harder to reach when you’d like to move fast on a property. Whether an agent is full-time or part-time, responsiveness and clear communication is paramount.

In what areas of town are your clients buying?

Location is a crucial part of the PadSplit property selection process. You want your real estate agent to know the areas you’re looking at and the factors that influence the market in those micro-locations. Choosing a location or neighborhood for an investment property has different considerations than selecting a home as a primary residence.

Photo by GeoJango Maps on Unsplash

Do you typically represent investor clients or have firsthand investing experience yourself?

Find out what types of clients the real estate agent represents on the buyer’s side. When they have experience working with investor clients, they’ll be more knowledgeable about financing and the potential pitfalls of specific properties. It may not be the best long-term fit if they’re focused solely on helping others find primary dwellings. You can also ask if the agent owns investment properties themselves. Real estate agents who have made the same investment decisions have unique insight into your priorities during the property buying process. One thing to keep in mind: Look for an agent who has a different real estate investing strategy than you, so you aren’t competing with them when you find a great property.

Are you familiar with the PadSplit model?

Since 2017, PadSplit’s award-winning co-living model has helped hundreds of property owners increase NOI by more than 2X for property owners. While the idea of co-living isn’t a new concept, PadSplit works best when both the property and the neighborhood are a good fit. Ask potential real estate agents if they’ve familiar with PadSplit and have any experience sourcing PadSplit properties for previous clients.

How many homes have you sold to PadSplit Hosts?

While it’s not a deal-breaker if an agent hasn’t worked with existing PadSplit Hosts to find and purchase an investment property, it’s certainly helpful if they have! If they’re familiar with the model, find out how many properties and investors they’ve helped secure a PadSplit. It could also be helpful to know where the previous homes are in the renovation and listing process. 

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Can I speak with a few references?

You don’t have to take a real estate agent’s word for it. We recommend asking for a few references from previous clients. Ideally, an agent will provide references of current PadSplit Hosts so you can ask PadSplit-specific questions, but if not, you can still learn a lot about an agent from talking with previous clients. Once you identify a few former clients, here are a few questions you can ask:

  • How did you choose this agent?
  • Did you purchase a primary residence or investment property with this agent? 
  • Tell me more about your house-hunting process. How long did it take you to buy, and are you happy with your purchase?
  • Would you work with this agent again? Would you recommend this agent to your parents? Why or why not? 
  • How communicative and responsive was the agent throughout the process?
  • Is there anything else I should know about working with this agent to purchase an investment property?

A short, 15-minute conversation with a former client can help identify if an agent is a good fit or if you should keep looking for others. 

Final Thoughts

Purchasing an investment property can feel overwhelming at first, but it can feel less daunting with the right partner on your side. Asking these questions to several real estate agents during your interview process will help you feel more confident in your decision. A great real estate agent can help you secure the perfect property in a tight market. 

Not sure how to find a great Real Estate Agent in your area? Start with personal referrals or the PadSplit Vendor Network. Log into your PadSplit Host account, and search based on vendor type and location. All vendors in the PadSplit Vendor Network have spoken with a team member and are familiar with our co-living model.

Want to take the headache out of the property selection process altogether? Our new service, PadSplit Turnkey, allows you to hand the entire process — from property selection to renovation — over to a professional with industry experience while still maintaining ownership of the home.

Header photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

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