Top Questions to Ask a Realtor When Buying a House

By: Mark H. Stowers

Top Questions to Ask a Realtor When Buying a House

It’s your first time home buyer experience, don’t entrust it to the first realtor you find. With the market leaning heavily in favor of sellers, finding the right realtor to meet your needs can save you time and money in a hot market when you buy a home. Brendan Davis, Lead Buyer’s Agent of Jim Shaffer and Associates goes through some “Q&A” to help in choosing a realtor. 

Jim Shaffer and Associates

Here’s a few questions Davis came up with to ask a Realtor when buying a house. 

  • How many transactions did you have last year? 
  • Where do you live? 
  • Are you full time? 
  • Before becoming an agent, what did you do?
  • How many homes do I need to see before I write an offer and get it accepted? 
  • What makes you different from other agents? 
  • What do you do to get my offer accepted over another offer? 

Working from the philosophy that he “doesn’t sell people houses. I help people buy houses. There’s a difference. A lot of agents walk through houses and they say, ‘look at the granite! Look at the stainless steel!’ I tell my clients I flat out won’t do that. I walk through and tell them the furnace is 19 years old and they are going to have to replace it in a couple of years.”

Davis tackles the questions one by one. 

First, How many transactions did you have last year? Are you full time? 

“This will give you an idea of their experience level,” Davis explained. “The average agent is probably at six or seven homes a year. In the last year, I think I had 46. This industry is crowded with people who are not full time agents. That can be dangerous because they are not dealing with issues that arise during the home buying process often enough. They will have problems navigating those when they do come up. The market moves too fast right now. You need to be able to write an offer at any time.”

Where do you live?

“I believe in having a knowledge of the community is important,” he said. “I have a client from Chicago looking to buy a home in Royal Oak. He came up one time to see some homes and asked where he should get seafood. I said, Lilly’s on Washington. He said, ‘cool, thanks.’ If you live in the community, you can better help someone.”

Before becoming an agent, what did you do?

“It’s a marrying of personalities. If you were a teacher before, I may be the kind of buyer that needs shepherding. I was in finance for 13 years before I became an agent. When I talk to my clients it’s very business like. There is really no grey area. Some people really like this but others don’t. As a home buyer, you want to marry the personality you mesh with. We have teachers on our team, we have a guy who ran Motor City Casino so there are all kinds of former occupations on our team.”

Buying a House

How many homes do I need to see before I write an offer and get it accepted? 

“I tell people this is a trick question. It varies from client to client,” he said. “It can be three homes or three years. It’s up to the client.”

What makes you different from other agents? 

“We have a hyper local approach. We live in the Woodard Corridor, we work in the Woodward Corridor, we eat in the Woodward Corridor and even play in the Woodward Corridor and we give in the Woodward Corridor,” Davis said. “That’s important to our clients and we have a lot of experience to draw upon. We easily have over 100 years of real estate experience on our team.”

And lay all your cards on the table with clients and listing agents. 

“Clear communication with my clients and other agents,” Davis said. “I send them an email to my client and basically say you’re agreeing to this and you’re not asking for concessions for this, this and this. I ask them to  respond and confirm and then I send that to the listing agent so they can see it in writing.”

What do you do to get my offer accepted over another offer? 

“For the agents on our team, we have a built-in advantage being a member of Jim Shffer and Associates in that we are highly thought of. Other agents like doing deals with us because we know what we’re doing and we get to the closing table. That’s a nice advantage for us that was built by Jim. As a buyer, you also get that benefit.”

Before signing on with an agent, get the info you need to make the best decision to find an agent with your home buying interests at heart. 

Jim Shaffer and Associates

Hear directly from one of Brendan Davis’ first time home buyers on their experience working with him:


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