Ask The Right Questions - Finding a Realtor
Looking for the right agent can be a challenge. They have to fit your expectations, know your needs and be willing to work countless hours to find you the right home. There are several questions you might want to keep in mind when looking for an agent.
How long have you been in business?
Newer agents aren't always a bad thing. It really depends on their training experience. Older agents have a lot more clientele than newer. Possibly leaving them with less time for new clients. Newer agents tend to have a lot more time for you because of they haven't yet built a large client base. But if you’re looking for knowledge and strength, experience (10+ years) is the route you might want to take.
What is your average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio?
If you're a buyer looking at a home that is out of your price range by a couple thousand, a good buyer's agent can bring the price down for you significantly and by a reasonable standard. You'll want a buyer’s agent who knows what they're doing and has strong negotiating skills.
What is the best marketing plan you can create for my needs?
As a BUYER you should find out the following:
- What goes into the finding of my home?
- How many homes, on average, am I going to have to look at before I find one that I want?
- If and when I find the home I want, will I be competing with others?
- How do you handle several offers on one home?
- Do you, as an agent, present the offer or am I involved?
Could you provide references from past clients/colleagues/employees?
References are something that no agent can turn down. They either have past clients that have enjoyed working with them, or they have employees/industry colleagues that can vouch for how good of an agent they really are.
Could you name some things that separate you from your competition?
This answer will be one that an agent won't hesitate to answer. Sure, they have their own idea of morals/standards, but you'll find that most have the same ideas when looking for an agent.
Do you have documents that I have to sign that I can view beforehand so I know what to do?
Most agents should have documents up for preview that clients can view so they can get a gist of what to expect.
A good agent will walk you through the process before you are required to sign anything.
Can you help me find other professionals?
At this time let the agent explain to you who he/she works with and why he/she has chosen them. At a minimum, they should be able to provide a mortgage broker, home inspector, and a title company to work with.
Above all these; whether you are buying or selling, you must chose an agent whom you are comfortable with.