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SpokaneHouseHunter Answers to Real Estate Agent Questions

Karene Garlich-Loman

Over 20 years in the service industry has taught me the value of good customer service. I believe it comes from honesty, integrity and perseverance...

Over 20 years in the service industry has taught me the value of good customer service. I believe it comes from honesty, integrity and perseverance...

Apr 1 6 minutes read

1. How long have you been a full-time real estate agent in my market?

Not only is it important for you to know that I have been a full-time Realtor® since 2004, but I’m a born and raised Spokanite. I know Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho like the back of my hand. Most importantly, this isn’t my hobby nor a side hustle. I’ve seen the highest of highs and the lowest lows (hello 2009-2010) in the real estate market. All while serving over 750 families in the Inland Northwest over the last 15+ years.

2. How many homes do you close each year?

I have a strong track record of actually closing homes sales. I average 30-40 homes sales a year and am continuously in the top 10% of the Spokane Association of Realtors and top 5% of Realtors with Keller Williams Spokane.

3. Who will be my primary point of contact?

I know communication is important – in fact, I have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communications. That’s why I will always be your main point of contact! That said, I also have a strong team that supports me on the back end so that I can dedicate my time to answering your questions via phone, text, or email.

4. What qualities or certifications set you apart from other agents?

I have dedicated my life to being a life-long learner and that carries over to Real Estate and how I serve my clients. In addition to attending (and teaching) continuing education courses in both Washington and Idaho, I also have a number of certifications. Here are just a few of the credentials I have:

Realtor®: This is a real estate professional who’s a member of the National Association of Realtors.

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): These are the crème-del-crème. Only 5% of all Realtors® have this designated as the PhD of Real Estate and is reserved for only top-performing agents.

SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource): Provides the framework for understanding how to direct distressed sellers to finance, tax, and legal professionals as well as consult on negotiations with your lender.

CMRS (Certified Military Residential Specialist): Gaining critical knowledge and insight and developed expertise for working with veterans and active-duty military when assisting them in finding affordable, suitable and maintainable housing solutions.

RCC (Residential Construction Certified): Learned more about the materials, methods, quality, and terminology of residential construction from the ground-up.

CNHS (Certified New Home Specialist): Real Estate’s most respected and comprehensive training for working successfully with builders, developers, investors, and buyers to gain more leads, more listings, and more closed transactions

What if the agent you’re talking to has some of these qualifications and they’re one of our Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs)? Well, then you’ve got yourself a dadgum good real estate agent.

5. How will you help me sell and/or buy a home in a competitive market?

Prior to getting into real estate, I was in marketing and advertising – creating nationally run campaigns for fortune 500 companies (AT&T Wireless, McDonalds, REI, Nintendo) so I know the true value of having the right marketing to sell your biggest asset. Once we have an offer on your property, I put my expert negotiation skills to work (have you read Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss?).

And when it comes to buying, I use those some hard-core negotiating tactics to get you into your next home. These tactics combined with my long-developed relationships with other Realtors help put your offer at the top of the pile.

Most importantly, it doesn’t matter if we’re in a seller’s market, a buyer’s market or a neutral market. I’m going to tell you like it is. I’m straight forward in my assessment of the market because I want you to have the best chance to achieve your goals.

6. What's your commission fee?

I firmly believe in providing full brokerage services. I am not going to just do the 3 P’s (put a sign in the yard, put a lockbox on it, take a few pictures, and put in the MLS,). We never cut corners.

Instead, we start with awarding winning photography (and videography when appropriate). From there, we create custom websites for each listing (Sample #1, Sample #2, Sample #3) and then create extensive internet marketing campaigns. Our goal is to always net you the most money.

7. Do I have to sign a contract and can I cancel without a penalty?

We will always sign an exclusive listing or buyer’s agreement which lasts for a specified period of time. That said, will never hold you hostage. We know circumstances change and not everyone is a good a fit so if you’re not satisfied with our service, we will promptly let you out of the contract.

8. How will you communicate with me?

Do you prefer to talk on the phone? Are you more comfortable texting? Maybe email is the most effective way. Whichever way you prefer as your primary communication method, we’ll work with. It’s easy that way.

9. How do you set realistic expectations for your client?

This one is tied to communication. When it comes to buying or selling a home, you want a realist to guide you—not a pie-in-the-sky optimist. Ask them about this and listen hard. Are they all sunshine and rainbows? Will they tell you that your house will sell for $300,000 when similar houses in the neighborhood are bringing $225,000? Do they promise you’ll be in a new house next week when the market is super-hot and houses are harder to buy?

Being positive is great. But make sure they’re going to keep you grounded and set reachable goals.

10. Who can I contact for a reference?

Finally, if you want to know how good an agent really is, talk to their past clients. Listen to their personal experiences. Get the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re interviewing an agent and they refuse to provide a list of past clients? Then say, “Thank you. Next!”

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