Buying or selling a home will have ramifications that will last for years (or decades) to come. Hiring the right real estate agent with their experience, professionalism and expertise can make a big difference. According to our internal data at HomeLight, the best agents sell your home 26% more on average.
Depending on the information your real estate agent gives you, a great agent can dramatically reduce the time it takes to find your home or help you maximize the value you can sell for. Choosing the right agent is an important step to ensuring your success.When considering candidates, keep these questions to ask about real estate in mind.
What does a real estate agent actually do?
First, let’s take a look at what a real estate agent has to offer. After all, in today’s information age, a new home can seem like a click away and easily accessible without the help of an agent. Or, you could consider posting your home online and selling it by owner.
However, real estate agents are essential advocates. They will be experts in your current or target neighborhood, helping you find the perfect home, recommending minor upgrades to maximize value, and providing information you won’t find elsewhere. anywhere else through resources, such as Home Base. The MLS data they have behind the scene house.
They will also guide you through the transaction process, help you fulfill your offer and ensure that your contract includes all the right provisions for your protection. Without an agent, you may have to do all the paperwork and work yourself, which can cost you money or create unnecessary roadblocks.
To help you figure that out, here are 14 questions to ask a real estate agent to figure out which one is right for you.
14 questions to ask a real estate agent before hiring
1. How long have you been an agent?
An agent that has been in the business for a long time will be able to foresee issues and use tried and true bargaining strategies. They will also have connections with other real estate experts. For comparison, the average Realtor® experience is 8 years.
2. How many homes do you help buyers purchase each year?
According to NAR, real estate agents represent 12 buyers or sellers on average each year. If your agent performs significantly worse, it can be cause for concern.
3.Can I see your real estate license?
This straightforward inquiry assures that you’re working with a qualified, certified specialist. No respectable agent would refuse to provide you confirmation of their sales license in your region. If they are unable to provide, feel free to go on.
4.How long does it typically take buyers you’ve worked with to find and purchase a home?
Purchasing a home requires time. The usual time to look for a home is 30 to 60 days, and the time from signing a contract to closing is 14 to 60 days. This figure, however, fluctuates considerably from place to place, so it’s essential that you have a sense of how long it will take you. Yet, you also don’t want an agent that procrastinates needlessly. The phrase “usually takes six to a year to buy a property” is a warning sign that you could be disappointed.
5. How many clients do you have right now?
This is a fine line to walk. Too many customers may indicate that your agent does not have enough time to dedicate to you; too few clients may be reason for concern.
6. What’s the ratio of buyers to sellers that you represent?
You may get a sense of your agent’s specialty by understanding the ratio of buyers to sellers. A balanced client list may indicate that a business is well-versed in both aspects of the transaction.
There isn’t a secret quantity to watch out for. But according to Kauffman, it’s more about fit and if you think their response matches what you’re searching for.
7. Do you have references I can call?
You’d definitely contact their references if you hired a new employee, right? Make sure you treat your new agent with the same care you would any other professional working for you. Be wary if they cannot provide you with a list of pleased clientele.
8.How often and when are you available?
How quickly can they show you a wonderful house if it becomes available? If you reside in a seller’s market and your buyer’s agent is only available on weekends, the property could already be sold before you ever get a chance to see inside.
If an agent works part-time, use caution. Selling a house is a full-time business, so they need to be concentrated. A smart real estate agent invests enough time in providing excellent customer service.
9. How will you determine what homes may match my wants and needs?
A reputable buyer’s agent will present a complete questionnaire to assist customers narrow down their home-buying requirements, so request this survey ahead of time. Your realtor should also be able to inform you whether your “wish list” is really affordable in your location.
10. How will you keep in contact with me during the buying process, and how often?
Do you like to communicate with your agent mostly through phone, email, or text? Generally speaking, it’s better if you and your agent can communicate using the same preferred methods. If you prefer a phone call to a text exchange with your agent (or vice versa), it can drive you both crazy.
You should also inquire about how frequently you two will communicate. You need to have frequent communication with your agent in order to successfully navigate the home-buying process, so look for someone who will do so at least once per week. Your realtor has to communicate with you frequently in a market that is shifting quickly so you don’t miss out.
11. What professional contacts do you have?
Mortgage brokers, appraisers, inspectors, real estate lawyers, general contractors, moving firms, and anything else related to real estate should all be recommended by your agent. Your agent’s network may be as valuable as their team.
12. How does your commission work?
As with any financial transaction, understand how your agent is compensated before engaging with them. Most agents follow a brokerage commission structure.
Usually, the buyer does not pay a commission to the agent. Fees are paid by the seller to their broker, after which the commission is divided among the buyer’s agent. Percentages vary by agent and market, but are typically around 2-5% for buyer’s agency commission and seller’s agency commission.
13. Has anything ever gone wrong in a deal, and how did you handle it?
When purchasing or selling a house, there are other moving parts in addition to the items you load in the moving truck. You want to work with a real estate agent who can make decisions quickly and who is accustomed to handling difficult situations.
If you ask a real estate agent, “When is a time when anything has gone wrong in a real estate deal?” Lagouros believes that this is a warning sign. they assert, never. She asserts that “things go wrong in every every deal” and “the majority of my work is problem handling.”
14. Do you work independently or with a team?
Some people believe that real estate is a solitary sport, but many agents work on a real estate team with other agents, an administrative assistant, and a team leader—and there are advantages to working with a team agent. For example, if your agent is unavailable and you need to see a house right away, someone else in the team can step in and show you the home or handle any last-minute issues in your place.