Whatever journey you plan to take, you always book a guide, right? Clark and Lewis had Sacagawea when they went exploring the West, Frodo had Sam when they went to destroy the ring and Harry Potter had Dumbledore to help with his magical powers. You following us so far?
Similarly, the home buying process also involves one person, who helps you get your dream house: The real estate agent. Our magical powers are somewhat practical and include having knowledge about the real estate market trends; familiarity with home values, we can write a mean offer for you and we know how to negotiate like a pro. Think of us as therapists who takes all the stress away and provides you with comfort and safety in return.
Searching for a Real Estate Agent
Obviously, there’s much at stake: your time and money. Rather than trying to tackle this on your own thinking that you will save a “few” dollars on the commission (few being the word), approach a real estate agent immediately.
Here are 10 questions you must ask a real estate agent before hiring:
First things first, browse for real estate agents on the internet. Check their websites and compare their credentials. When you come to ranking your final three real estate agents, set up interviews with them.
Q1. How long have you been working as a real estate agent?
Ans. Lots of experience is key to knowing how well the agent will do in helping you search for a house. Make sure the information matches what is listed on their website.
Q2. How many houses did you sell last year?
Ans. This question is not about knowing the “number” of houses they have sold but is a subtle way to find out how active they are in their profession. The more houses they have sold, the better they will be able to handle any complications that might occur during your home-buying process.
Q3. Is your license in good standing?
Ans. If you are having trouble making a decision on the real estate agent you are planning to hire, check the validation of their license with the Real Estate Commission in your state. This will reveal whether the agent has any disciplinary actions against them or not.
Q4. How frequently will you show me houses?
Ans. Again, this is a subtle way of finding out how the agent will communicate with you. In case the listing they showed was not to your liking, how soon will they show the next one? This is something you need to know, so that your time is not wasted.
Q5. What type of neighborhoods are on your listings?
Ans. The agent must be familiar with the neighborhood you want a house in, so that they can get you a better deal.
Q6. How does your price range work?
Ans. It’s possible the agent might ask for additional money if the negotiations are prolonged. So in the beginning, make sure the agent knows your full and final price.
Q7. Can I speak with your past clients?
Ans. This is a great way to talk to previous clients, to find out more about your agent and the way they work with people.
Q8. Can you explain your home-buying process?
Ans. The agent must give you a clear and reasonable time line on how soon you will have the keys to the house in your hands based on your situation.
Q9. Did you ever recommend a buyer not buy a certain property?
Ans. This will tell you a lot about how the agent will look out for your best interest. Of course, at the end it’s your decision.
Q10. Do you have any recommendations for mortgage lenders?
Ans. One other important player that you will need in this process is a mortgage lender. If the agent provides you with one, this means they are well connected in the industry.
Whew! You finally made it. Now that you know what questions to ask and what answers to seek, you can easily go through with the process. Good luck!