What are the most important questions to ask a Realtor?

11 Replies

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being that I'm just starting out I'm feeling overwhelmed in the local market, I plan on looking to invest about 1.5 hours away in the Sacramento area. I have an upcoming trip and will be scheduling a couple of meeting with realtors. I plan to look into multifamily properties.

What are the most important questions a new investor should be asking an agent to determine that that want to work with them?

Hi Jessica, 

Easily the first question I would ask them is if they work with investors on a regular basis, not just a one off here and there.  

If they say yes let them keep talking if they say no then politely run the other way. 

Good luck,


1 - How many HUD offers have they made?

2 - Will they make all the offers you want based on your needs (offer price), and not based on what it will take to get the property.

3 - Will they make the offers before you have visited the property.

Can you get me daily mls email listings

Do you have the time to do showings quick without a loaded down schedule that could make me lose hot deals

Are you willing to do comps on properties and get
The back story on houses

Can you find me off market deals not found on the mls

@Jessica Scott

I work extensively with Bay Area investors like yourself looking to buy multifamily in the Sacramento area (still operate there with a team), and can tell you there are some specific things your agent is going to need to know to help you accomplish this.

1) Ask them how many investors they have helped purchase multifamily properties

This is not a single family or owner occupied scenario. Way different ball game. They need to understand exactly what it is that you're trying to accomplish. If they don't do these type of transactions on the regular, it'll be the blind leading the blind.

2) Ask them what metrics are most important when buying MFH investment property

If they look at you with a confused stare, move on to the next agent. They need to understand how to calculate cashflow, cash on cash return, gross annual yield and so on. Basically, they need to be able to speak the lingo. If they don't understand what metrics are important to you when considering a property, they'll never be able to help you find a property that matches it.

3) Ask them what can you do to make your offer more competitive

Understand that you're going to be competing for these properties. I just listed a fourplex in Sacramento a couple weeks ago on a Friday, and had 5 offers by Monday. As a buyer's agent, your Realtor should know the little things they can do on the offer to make it more competitive. Every little edge counts. If they can't explain how they can help you do this clearly, they'll never help you beat out the competition.

Basically, it all boils down to (1) Do you have experience working with investors on Multifamily properties? (2) Can you speak the lingo? And (3) How can you help me win a property and beat the competition?

Hi! I'm new to investing :)

At first (like a week ago LOL JK) I didn't know the importance of connecting with agents & brokers but after reading and researching I decided to make an elevator pitch for meeting/speaking with agents. 

I can send you the draft, if you'd like to have it for ideas?!

Do you own your own home?  

I was talking to the LA of some quads that went pending in days. How can this be, I asked. People are scrambling to buy at a 4 cap? Tenants and toilets, maintenance and yards for a 4% return? Oh no she said. These are 15! You mean GRM? Oh..I guess. That, yeah.

This will be much easier than trying to find a good house realtor. Ask if they know the difference between a cap rate and GRM. LOL When the answer is no, move along. The right one will stand out like they are on fire, at night, in the middle of the street, doing cartwheels.

@Jessica Scott In addition to all the good points made above, I stongly suggest working with an agent who is FULL TIME.

In a super-hot seller's market, you need someone who is able to get you into a property and submit an offer at the moment's notice.