Category Archives: vetting real estate agent

Home Buyers: 10 KEY Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

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real estate agent with small house on hand ready to help buy a homeReal estate agents can seem like a dime a dozen; you might even know one.  But when it comes right down to it, buying or selling a home is a big financial move.  Blind trust in a friend-of-a-friend or a cousin may seem like a wise decision, but can cost you big when you’re navigating your way through a major financial transaction like buying or selling.

If you want to choose the right real estate agent from the sea of agents, do your due diligence.  Contact the top real estate agents in your area and ask them some key questions that’ll help you weed out the right real estate expert for your home purchase.

How much experience do you have selling homes? Do you buy and sell full-time or part-time? How many homes have you bought? How many have you sold?

These are questions that give you important insight: the amount of time the real estate agent has spent buying and selling homes, what area (purchases or home sales) they have more experience in, and the number of clients they have assisted over the years.  Hiring a full-time agent can also be helpful when time is the only obstacle between landing your dream home or accepting a great offer.

Do you have any references?

Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research on your own, so you can find out what their past clients say.  Check out any their agency social media pages for reviews, and ask around to see if their past clients are satisfied.

Do you know our area?

What’s the difference between two real estate agents in towns just a short distance apart? Often, it’s their knowledge of the town.  A real estate agent that knows the area can give you key information about commute times, school district, and the values of homes in neighborhoods within your town.  The latter pieces of knowledge can be invaluable for home buyers and sellers both, so they are making smart financial moves based on the values around the neighborhood they are interested in.

How much does it cost to list or buy with you?

The difference between a percentage point may not seem like much, but it can mean a big difference in dollars when you are dealing with a huge real estate transaction.  On the other hand, you want to make sure you get the quality advice you pay for and hire the best agent with experience that can help you through the process.

Who else will I be working with?

Purchasing and selling a home is a team effort, so don’t be shy about asking for the other names of your team members.  Having a huge team of agents at your fingertips can also be a huge asset; if your real estate agent is not available, it pays to have another agent to show you a home or a friendly receptionist you can leave an urgent message with.

How are you going to contact me?  When will you contact me?

One of the top frustrations for home buyers and sellers is a real estate agent who stops…everything.  You meet with the agent, then never hear from them again.  To avoid this scenario, ask your agent how they will contact you—and be sure to hire an agent that communicates with you in the manner you are most comfortable.  Some people like phone calls, others are more comfortable with emails or text messages.  Ask them when they are going to contact you again so you know what to expect and don’t feel like your real estate agent isn’t doing their job.