5 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is one of the most important and significant investments you’ll make during your lifetime. If you’re new to the housing market as a first time homebuyer or you’ve done this a time or two before, you still need to find the best representation for your needs.
Hiring the best real estate agent or team for your individual needs makes a sometimes complicated home buying process that much better. A good agent can help you find exactly what you’re looking for and help negotiate the best sales price.
A quality real estate agent should always have your best interest in mind. Find out the important questions you should always ask before hiring an agent:
1. What does your experience look like?
Before looking at any of their listing or asking any other questions, you should always ask about an agent’s experience. While every agent is different in the way they do business, they should have enough experience to meet your needs. Make sure they’ve been practicing for a few years and they have the credentials to back up their work. Otherwise, you might be stuck with an agent that’s too new or hasn’t done the work it takes to make good connections.
2. Can you provide references?
A really good realtor should get at least a portion of their business from referrals. Nothing shows that they’ve done a great job better than a client referral. The more they have, the better they are at meeting the needs of their clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and inquire about their referral rates. They should be happy to give you this information, as nothing is better for business than a good review!
3. Do you have experience in transactions?
This question goes back to asking your prospective agent about their experience. This piece is often overlooked by inexperienced homebuyers, so it’s important to note in more detail. Even if your agent has been through the necessary classes, that doesn’t mean they are accredited in buyer’s representation. This is crucial for bigger purchases, like if you’re interested in land for sale in PA. Finding an agent that can also talk financials is so important.
4. How well do you know the area?
Most agents have listings in areas they’re already familiar with. But when it comes to bigger, corporate real estate companies, agents might have less local experience. Start by asking about landmarks, school districts, and local spots. If they know the area, they’ll know exactly how to answer your questions. A realtor that’s familiar with the area will know the ins-and-outs of the market and local regulations better than anyone else.
5. What do your services cost?
This final question is really a no-brainer, but it’s another one that can be easily overlooked. You should always ask your prospective realtor about all of their fees, costs, and commission up-front. Realtors usually charge commission on sales – the percentage of the sales price depends on the area and the realty company. In some cases, you can also expect to pay them for consulting, financial services, or any other “extras.” Regardless of the percentage of the sale your realtor would expect to take, you want to make sure you’re well aware of the numbers before signing any contracts.
Choosing a realtor is trickier than just deciding if you like the person. Finding the best realtor for your needs, with the best qualifications, can help you seal the deal on your dream home. You don’t want to take any chances here. So, ask a few simple questions to learn a lot about the right realtor for you!