10 Questions to Ask When Choosing My Real Estate Agent
Is this your full-time job?
An active, full-time agent is more likely to be up-to-date on the market and the law and you will know they are motivated to work for you since it is their livelihood.
How many sales have you handled in my target neighborhoods and area?
You want someone who knows the local market, with a few recent deals in your target neighborhoods and area.
What services do you offer beyond negotiations and escrow?
Make a list. Negotiations, paperwork and contingencies are customary. Contingencies are conditions included with an offer on a home that must be fulfilled before the deal can close. If a buyer or seller is unable to satisfy a contingency, then the offer on a home may become void. Some agents offer additional services like meeting vendors on your behalf for repairs.
When am I committed to working with you?
Many consumers start touring homes without realizing this can obligate them to work with the agent -contract or no contract.
What is a Buyer's Agency Agreement?
The document a prospective buyers signs once they decide to work with a buyer's agent. Each MLS has a standard buyer's agency form, but the brokerage the agent works for may also provide their own agreement listing the conditions of the relationship between the buyer's agent, his brokerage, and the prospective buyer. Many states require this to be signed before your agent can perform any duties for you - including show homes.
Who else will be working with me?
An agent is often supported by a team. It is a good idea to know all the contacts on the team.
Am I obligated to work with the lender, inspector, or other service providers you recommend?
A "yes" here is a big red flag. Though good agents may have solid recommendations for lenders, inspectors, or other service providers, you should never feel pressured to use their recommendation.
What sets you apart from other agents?
Look for expertise, not just enthusiasm. You want an agent with experience in your favorite neighborhoods, a proven track record of happy customers, and deep knowledge of any special requirements you might have in your home search.
What pitfalls of home buying can you help me avoid?
Agents can rely on their experience to help you navigate around issues you may fall victim to if not guided properly. Good agents can prevent you from not offering the right price, not including the right sales terms and contingencies and missing out on common inspection items, for example. The agent's job is to do their best to protect your interests.
Can I see reviews of your past deals?
Every agent has clients he/she served well. But the best agents consistently deliver excellent service. It is reasonable to ask the agent to provide this to you. We think a good agent should have nothing to hide and would gladly share client feedback with you.
Want more homebuying advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all of your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a free Ready Report that is personalized based upon the information that you entered. This report will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.