1. What is your availability like? 

Houses are moving quickly and if you can’t get in right away it could be gone before you can see it if your agent has limited availability to show it to you. Being able to get into that new listing the second it hits the market could be the key to snatching it up before other buyers have a chance to see it. Make sure your agent is generally available or has a "showing agent" to ensure you a speedy home visit.

2. Will you point out a home's deficiencies to me? 

Some agents only care about closing a sale, any sale. So the trick is to work with one who will advise you when she thinks a house is wrong for you or who will point out problems with a house. I talked one of my buyer client's out of making an $800k purchase yesterday because I thought the neighborhood was all wrong for her. I had serious misgivings that she hadn't even considered. She was so grateful for the heartfelt advice.

3. What is your success rate and strategy for submitting the winning bid in multiple offer situations? 

Multiple offers are extremely common in today’s market. A great agent will know how to structure a solid offer that will put you at the front of the line for consideration. I have a few "secret weapons" that I use when making offers in multiples situations (see blog link below). I have an extremely high success rate in snagging properties that are "in multiples." It's probably the one thing I am most proud of.

4. Do you have access to off-market listings, or "pockets"?

Many sellers do not want their homes listed on the mls. This typically occurs with higher-end properties owned by celebrities and others who have a need for privacy. But it can occur in non-luxury properties as well. If you can't find what you are looking for, a pocket might be the ticket.  Is your agent "hooked-in" to the pocket world? It might make all the difference in your search. 

5. Do you work with a preferred lender that you can recommend?

 Great Realtors have a working relationship with one or several great lenders. A great lender can be the key to a smooth transaction and can also help you tremendously in being the winning bid in multiple offer situations.

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