9 Important Questions To Ask A REALTOR Before You Commit To One:
Whether you’re buying or selling a house, working with a real estate agent can make the process go much smoother than if you were by yourself. That’s assuming, of course, that you can find the right professional for the job. Before you hire a REALTOR® based solely on their TV or online ads, you should think about what you want this person to be able to do for you. Think of yourself as an employer interviewing a potential employee. What questions would you ask them to make sure they’re up to the task?
What Does A REALTOR® Do?
Before we get to those questions, let’s take a brief look at what a real estate agent can do for you. In general, an agent represents their client – buyer or seller, and in some cases both – throughout a real estate transaction, guiding them through all of the important paperwork and acting as a liaison between the involved parties.
An agent also has access to the multiple listing service (MLS) and can find homes for sale before they’re listed to the public. REALTORS®, real estate agents and real estate brokers all hold a wealth of knowledge about the market that would be valuable to any buyer or seller.
General Questions To Ask A REALTOR® Or Real Estate Agent
Buying and selling a house involves different strategies for success, but regardless of the service, there are some questions you should ask every agent to see if they’d be a good fit. Here are some general questions to consider asking upfront to find the best real estate agent.
1. How Long Have You Worked As A REALTOR®?
Experience goes a long way in any career. Someone who’s been on the job for multiple years can anticipate potential problems and head them off before they arise. A seasoned real estate expert can also utilize trained and tested negotiation skills to get you the best deal.
2. Are You A Part-Time Or A Full-Time REALTOR®?
Real estate isn’t everybody’s passion. Some professionals dedicate only part of their schedules to the job or treat it as a side hustle. If you want the process to go faster, you’ll want to know upfront whether an agent will dedicate their time to you in full. If a part-time agent doesn’t fit your style, kindly seek out one who can do what you need in the time you want it done.
3. Do You Work Primarily With Buyers Or Sellers?
Knowing an agent’s area of expertise will tell you right away if they’re the right person to help you through the home buying process or with selling your house. Some agents may have more success with home buyers than when they work for sellers. A best-case scenario could be finding an agent who specializes in both areas of knowledge, therefore granting you insights into both sides of the process.
4. Do You Work Individually Or With A Team?
Many agents work with a team in order to maximize their availability for their clients. Some home buyers or sellers might prefer to work one-on-one with their agent, which is why you should check upfront whether you’ll be working directly with your representative full-time or with another agent or assistant on their team.
5. How Many Clients Are You Currently Representing?
The answer to this question can go a couple different ways. On one hand, an agent working with a lot of clients at once may not be able to devote the time you need from them. On the other, an agent with fewer clients, or none, may be a sign you should look elsewhere. If you’re not sure how many clients would be too many, any more than 10 could mean that the agent wouldn’t be able to commit to you as well.
6. Can You Provide A List Of References?
Any successful professional would have a short list of satisfied clients from previous transactions. Ask for a list of references and contact them if you wish. An agent who can’t provide their references can’t guarantee a satisfactory experience for you.
7. What Are Your Hours Of Availability?
Real estate agents are people, too, and have their own time off from the job. If an agent doesn’t work on weekends, a time when most house showings occur, that’s something you’ll want to know before you give them the job.
8. What Is The Best Way To Reach You?
Emergencies can spring up at any time, and a great agent will only be a phone call away. If an agent says they only communicate through text or email, you can’t be sure you can reach them when you need to.
9. How Will You Be Paid?
This might seem like an odd question, but it can be beneficial for you to know how your agent will be compensated. Typically, a buyer doesn’t pay their agent anything, and the agents’ fee is rolled into the closing costs paid by the seller. A seller pays their broker, who then splits the commission with the buyer’s agent. Knowing if this is how your agent operates will mean no surprises later on.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot you need to know before you can entrust someone with finding you your dream home or selling your old one. If a REALTOR® can confidently answer the questions listed above, then they just might be the right one for the job.
Partial Source: https://www.rockethomes.com/ | By: MIRANDA CRACE
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I am a Brazilian Licensed Realtor at Re-Connect, LLC with 18+ years of experience in the Real Estate industry. I speaks 3 languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish)