Choosing a realtor & 10 must ask questions

In the Soviet Union in the 1980s, there was a nuclear plant at Chernobyl that melted down. It was a complete disaster, killing two plant workers and, within a few weeks, twenty eight people affected by the radiation.

A few months later, another nuclear plant began to overheat. The Soviet Government called over a German man who designed the plant to help them fix it. By the time he arrived, alarms were blaring and the town was being evacuated. 

The German man walks in, totally calm, and stares down an overwhelming army of valves and levers in the plant. He pinpoints a single valve, grabs it, and turns it. Immediately, the temperature dropped, the pressure came down and safety was restored. 

An expert was all it took to avoid a massive catastrophe.

His final bill to the Soviet Government had two line items on it: 

  1. Closing valve and averting nuclear disaster – $1.00
  2. Knowing which valve to close – $99,999.00

The lesson: when hiring a rural real estate agent, you get the best results when you hire the person who is an unequivocal expert in rural realty. It’s how you avoid disaster.

(NOTE: If you’re an agent reading this, the way to serve buyers and sellers at the highest level is to be an expert)  

To aid you in choosing an expert rural realtor, we’ve compiled 10 must-ask questions for you to vet the options with:

  1. Does the agent you’re considering work part-time or full-time? With a purchase as significant as this, you want someone who is fully invested in their clients’ success.
  2. What’s the ratio of buyers to sellers this agent represents? If you’re buying, but the agent predominantly works with sellers, it may not be the best fit. Again, you want an expert in what you’re looking to achieve.
  3. Does this agent have references and reviews you can view? Social proof is an important consideration.
  4. Will you be working with an individual, or with a team? It’s helpful to know if you’ll be getting lots of attention from one person, or if you’ll be put through a “system” with many people. 
  5. Is there a particular type of land you’re looking for? Is there an agent that specializes in that land? Going back to finding an expert, if you’re looking for land in Hughes County, look for a realtor who specializes in that area.
  6. What do other farmers and ranchers in your desired location think? If there’s “a guy” or “gal” that everyone likes to turn to for real estate advice, that may be your person.
  7. How clear and easy to understand do they make the purchase process sound? If you feel confused listening to them speak, you may want to look elsewhere.
  8. Have they helped buyers find ranches in your price range? If you’re in the $200,000 – $300,000 price range, a realtor who works on million dollar deals won’t be the best fit.
  9. How did they get into the rural real estate industry? Knowing peoples’ backstories can shed light on how good a fit they are.
  10. How long have they been doing this? Everyone has to start somewhere, so you’ll need to determine if you’re comfortable with someone newer serving you, or if you want someone with years of experience.

You won’t be dealing with any nuclear reactors in this process, but significant amounts of money will be changing hands. So it’s important to find someone who can turn the right valves for you.

While you’re searching, make sure you check our list of agents and their listed properties here.