Buying and selling a home can be a roller coaster ride. Emotions are often high, and of course, the price tag is often the biggest of your lifetime. Therefore, the person who helps you navigate those processes is pretty important. Selecting an agent whom you feel comfortable with and can trust is essential. Asking the right questions when you interview agents will help you determine if the agent is a good fit for you and vice versa. We have compiled a list of questions to help you on your journey to not only finding a prolific agent but one that you may eventually and hopefully call, ‘friend.’
1. When did you become an agent?
Determine how long the agent has been working in the industry. There are pros and cons to both veteran and novice agents alike. If they are new, they have a lot of enthusiasm and often have new ideas to solve problems. A veteran knows the ins and outs of the purchase/sale process and can help you navigate and avoid problems. Use your instincts to get a feel for whether it will be a good match or not.
2. Why did you become an agent?
The answer itself isn’t as important as the insight it provides. It will help you to get to know the agent as a person and help you determine whether the two of you will mesh.
3. How much experience do you have selling/buying in this neighborhood?
If you have some neighborhoods that you are interested in, it is great to ask your agent if they have bought or sold in the neighborhood. They will have a pulse on the market and how much homes are selling for as well as what the perks and downfalls are of a particular neighborhood. They can help you determine if the neighborhood is right for you and your family.
4. How many homes have you sold and how many have you helped buyers purchase in the last two years?
Their response to this question can provide you with some idea of whether they do more selling than buying. It doesn’t necessarily tell you whether they are a better seller or buyer, but it does give you insight into how much experience they have. You can also ask them what some of the challenges have been buying/selling, and how they have overcome those challenges.
5. How many clients are you working with?
You want an agent that has time for you and your needs. Determining how many other clients they have will help you determine if they have the bandwidth to meet your needs. Keep in mind that if you want an agent that has a long-held reputation for A+ service, they may have more clients than you will find ideal. But, more than likely, they have the skills necessary to juggle all their clients and meet their needs.
6. Do you work with a team or by yourself?
There are pros and cons to your agent having a team. A team can help the agent with the many tasks that are part of a real estate transaction. But, you may want a more personal touch where the agent is always the one contacting you and keeping you informed. By asking this question, you can choose which agent is right for you.
7. When are you available?
An agent who is always available is great because you know they will get back to you right away, and they will be willing to show you a home as soon as possible. Being upfront about what you want and expect will ensure you aren’t upset about the level of service you are being provided. And, you are setting your agent up for success!
“Don’t underestimate the importance of clicking with your agent. You will be spending a good amount of time in their company and communicating with them so, why not make it a fun and enjoyable experience!!”Jeannine Pond, REALTOR®
8. How do you like to communicate?
Again, by talking to your agent about their preferred ways of communicating, you are setting your relationship up for success. If you prefer texting versus calling, or emailing instead of texting, let the agent know your preferences and they can let you know theirs.
9. Do you have references?
It is always a good idea to get references before selecting an agent. You want to know what to expect so that there won’t be any surprises. Surprises and real estate rarely end well most of the time. When you contact their references, ask about the agent’s strengths and weaknesses, and what they feel the agent does better than the rest.
10. What are your fees?
Talking about money isn’t fun, but it is necessary. Find out what the agent’s commission is and what other fees you can expect as part of the agreement. You should feel free to ask what the fees are for as well. And remember, you often get what you pay for, so don’t run far and fast if the fee is more than expected. It could just be because they usually get their clients more than they would expect.
Your relationship with your real estate agent can be one of the most important in your life. They are there for you through many ups and downs in a lifetime if you stick with the same one. Finding one that you feel comfortable with and feel free to speak your mind, then you might have found a keeper. Last bit of advice, take your time to interview three or four agents, to make sure you find the one that is a perfect fit. You will be glad you did (probably over and over again).
At 616 Realty, we want your real estate transactions to be as stress-free, lucrative, and pleasant as possible. Contact us! We would love to help you find the perfect agent for YOU!