RG 025 – Top Questions To Ask Your Broker When Buying U.S. Real Estate with Robert Whitelaw

In Cased you missed the episode, here are some highlights from my interview with Robert ‘The Rebel Broker’ Whitelaw:

About Robert: 

  • The real estate business is in the family and Robert was licensed before he left college.
  • Robert was inspired by his Grandfather who was a real estate agent.
  • Robert has his own podcast on the hidden pitfalls of dealing with real estate agents, to help everyone make informed decisions.
  • The podcast is called Real Estate Realities With Robert “The Rebel Broker” Whitelaw.

Something Unrelated to Real Estate Investing:

Robert originally went to college to be a doctor and studied medicine.

Robert spent 2 years at college funding the bills by being a private investigator.

Nuts and Bolts:

The top questions to ask when vetting a real estate broker as an international investor buying in the U.S.

  • You should have a high level of expectation as all agents will have had to pass exams
  • Don’t be scared to ask the basic questions, such as; What do the laws in your state require you to do for me?
  • Treat each state like a different country in terms of what to expect from a real estate agent.
  • Don’t listen when an agent claims to be in the top 1%, this is often based on randomly selected statistics.
  • You should ask about their record in securing deals above asking price and how many successful buyer escrows they have closed.
  • Big problems to look out for; Agents putting their own needs above their fiduciary responsibilities, telling you what you want to hear not what you need and using county “traditions” to split the paying of fees.
  • You should occasionally disagree with what the real estate agent is telling you, this shows they’re not just telling you things to please you.
  • How to make sure your agent knows you are an investor; they should be asking you technical and relevant questions about CAP rates etc, and ask them to send an example of the data sheet on a property they think fits your goals.
  • Don’t be scared off from investing because of high prices, in an area the averages may be high but will be dragged up by the cities, so look outside these zones.
  • For example; San Francisco county the average price is $1.4 million, but in Roberts multiple listings area the average price has not reached pre crash levels.
  • Some of the big investment money from China is starting to dry up so this could be an opportunity for other people to buy up the high price portfolios.

Top Investing Tips:

  1. Most successful habit?A daily review of small goals and a monthly review of the larger goals.
  2. Most influential tool in you RE business? Propertyevaluator.com to get all the facts and figures for a property.
  3. What’s the most exciting project right now?Robert is buying raw land to build his own home.
  4. Who is your most influential person? Robert’s grandfather, Jay Hardiman
  5. What’s your best US deal to date? A challenging sale during the recession where Robert negotiated $15,000 over the asking price for this clients.


To talk about real estate agents and the common problems: www.therebelbroker.com

To talk about real estate investment from generally: www.soldbyrobert.com

Until next week…. Ready, Aim, FIRE!

Happy Investing!

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