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7 Questions to ask before you hire a Real Estate Agent

 

Buying or selling a home can be the most significant financial transaction of your life, having the right agent on board can potentially save you thousands of dollars and valuable time.  It is a good idea to interview potential real estate agents before deciding which agent to hire.

Here are five questions you should ask potential real estate agents before you hire.

  1. How long have you been in business? It is essential to understand how much training and experience your real estate agent has.  An experienced and well trained real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the real estate business and can head off potential problems with your real estate transaction which can save you thousands of dollars and plenty of stress.There are also advantages of having an agent who may be new to the business but has been well trained and can get reliable answers to your questions; they may have more time to focus on your needs.
  2. How will you help me? Understanding how an agent conducts business can be an essential factor in choosing the right agent.  The right real estate agent will have a solid plan to earn your business.Home Buyers should ask:
      • How will you find my home?
      • How many homes will you show me?
      • Will I be competing with other buyers

     

    Home Sellers should ask:

     

    • How will you handle offers?
    • How will you sell my home?
    • What marketing resources do you use to sell my home?
    • How do you advertise?
    • How will you present my home in print and on the web?
    1. Can you supply references from recent clients? New agents may have problems providing a reference from past clients but should be able to give agency references. You can also ask about reviews. Experienced agents with recent activity should be able to provide access to online reviews.
    2. Why should I choose you as my real estate agent? Make the prospective agent aware that you are trying to make a final decision about which agent to choose. A great agent understands the need to compete for your business and can share differences between them and their competitor.
    3. What do you charge for your services? Before signing a Buyer’s Broker agreement, be sure you understand what your real estate agent will charge. An agent typically charges a percentage to represent one side of the transaction.  This cost is usually between 2.5-5%.
    4. How will you make documents available for me to review and sign? It can be a challenge to review and approve paperwork throughout the buying process. 

Buyers will have to review and sign:

  • Buyer’s agreement
  • Agency disclosures
  • Purchase agreement
  • Buyer disclosures

Sellers will have to review and sign:

  • Agency disclosures
  • Listing agreement
  • Seller disclosures

 Your agent should make paperwork available to you before you have to sign.

  1. How will you help me find a Mortgage Broker? Home Inspector? Title company? Your real estate agent can provide referrals to other professionals you will need to close your real estate transaction including; Mortgage Broker, Home Inspector, and Title Company.  Take time to understand how your agent partners with these professionals.  Does the agent earn money for referrals to these professionals?

Keep in mind that real estate agents earn income through helping you buy or sell a home. They should be eager to represent you and responsive to your questions while making you feel comfortable about their ability to serve you well.