Your real estate agent will be your partner during one of the most important transactions of your life, whether you are buying or selling a house. Finding the right agent should take some thought and research, but many of us aren’t sure where to begin. In your search for a quality real estate agent, here are 12 things to ask to help you avoid the bad actors.
1.) Have you been a real estate agent for a long time?
Real estate brokers that work for condo for sale tulum mexico are not obliged to have a college diploma or pass the bar exam, therefore many of them learn on the job. Real estate brokers with a lot of experience and a lot of successful sales can provide you with a lot of industry expertise and practical advise.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t approach new agents with caution; simply ask them a few extra questions about their path. Many of them have received excellent training and have even gained specialized experience working alongside seasoned Realtors®. Because they have fewer clients, new agents can typically provide high-quality, individualized service.
Amanda Hagley is a Content Specialist at AceableAgent, an Austin-based real estate education company with an online and mobile app. She advises purchasers to be certain that the agent they hire has the required knowledge to help them navigate any obstacles they may face.
Finding a knowledgeable agent might be the difference between a stressful and smooth home buying or selling experience. Find an agent that is knowledgeable about the various contracts you’ll need and how to properly fill them out, as well as the legal and financial duties you’ll face. If you’re selling a home, you’ll want to be sure your agent is up to date on the industry’s latest and most effective marketing strategies.
2.) What proportion of your customers are buyers? How many of them are buyers?
Many agents specialize in either assisting with homebuyers or those who are selling their houses. While it’s important to find an agent who has experience with the phase of the process you’re presently working on, an agent who has experience with both can provide added value. Even if you’re selling your home, the agent’s experience interacting with purchasers will aid them in selling your home. Furthermore, if you are selling your house and then buying another, having one agent to work with throughout the process might be beneficial.
Find out whether you should hire a buyer’s agent for your future home search or whether you should go it alone.
3.) In which parts of town do you primarily work? In my neighborhood, how many properties have you closed?
Many property buying and selling markets have micromarkets that are influenced by the characteristics of specific communities. It’s critical to understand topics such as schools, historic district designations, development plans, and even traffic patterns. Finding an agent who is familiar with the places where you live (or want to reside) can provide you a significant advantage and enable you to make more educated selections.
However, just because an agent is familiar with your chosen zip code does not indicate they have had experience assisting buyers and sellers in that area. Look for a real estate agent who has a track record of closing deals in the regions you’re interested in, not simply one who claims to.
Hagley feels that location is important, and recommends that buyers seek out an agent who has experience working in the area they wish to live in.
In what part of the country are you wanting to purchase or sell? Your best bet is to select a real estate agent who specializes in the area where you want to buy or sell. If they work in that region on a regular basis, they’ll know what pricing to expect, what type of value you can expect in the area, and will be able to make excellent recommendations for local businesses and services once you’ve moved in.
4.) How would you assist me with marketing?
One of the most essential reasons for a seller to engage a real estate agent is to benefit from their marketing experience. Your agent should be able to educate you about the successful sales strategies they employ, which range from classic methods such as prepping your space for the best possible sales photography to newer techniques like as social media marketing. You may not believe that as a buyer, you will want marketing tools, but in a competitive market, your agent should have creative ideas for discovering deals and may even be required to “sell” you, such as in circumstances when several offers are made.
Shane Lee works as a data analyst at RealtyHop, a real estate brokerage that specializes in smart home investments. She works with a number of brokers and landlords to develop long-term and trustworthy partnerships in addition to data analysis. Lee advises buyers to look at their agent’s marketing skills.
Examine the agent’s social media accounts. Pay attention to the stuff he/she shares (it typically indicates how knowledgeable they are) and, more importantly, whether or not the evaluations are genuine. The importance of marketing plans and tactics cannot be overstated. Some [Realtors®] prefer to move with the flow, while others prefer to stick to the same strategies and plans. Remember that the strategy and marketing plan should be tailored to YOUR specific requirements. In real estate, the one who understands the most about marketing wins!
5.) What is your typical list-to-sale conversion rate?
The list-to-sale ratio is a metric that determines whether residences in a certain market sell for more or less than the asking price. Knowing this number can give you valuable information into a potential agent’s negotiation skills as well as market trends in the area you’re trying to purchase or sell in.
Divide the final sale price by the property’s final list price to get the list-to-sale ratio. A home that was advertised for $200,000 and sold for $195,000, for example, has a list-to-sale ratio of 97.5, meaning it sold for 97.5 percent of the asking price. Homebuyers and sellers will assess this indicator in several ways:
In all but the most competitive seller’s markets, buyer’s agents should be able to negotiate a price lower than the list price. Their list-to-sale ratio should be less than 100%.
Higher numbers — as near to 100 percent as possible — should be used by listing or selling agents. As a result, they are frequently able to sell homes for near to or at full listed prices.
6.) How many foreclosure or short-sale transactions have you completed?
This is a good question to ask even if you aren’t looking at distressed properties. The process is more convoluted with foreclosures and short sales, and your risks as a buyer are higher. These transactions can be difficult, and agents who have worked with banks to close complex deals demonstrate excellent negotiation and organizational abilities that will help you in your homebuying journey.
7.) How quickly can you assist me in viewing a home that I am interested in?
Homes in desirable markets can sell rapidly, often even the same day they are listed for sale. How quickly can your agent schedule a tour for you if you see a new listing that you like? How much advance warning do they require? Are your schedules in sync? Is your agent a full-time employee or only available to assist you on a part-time basis? What is the number of additional buyers (or vendors) they represent?
Buyers, according to Lee, must ensure that their agent will be able to meet their day-to-day needs as well as their overall timeframe.
Make certain to inquire about the number of persons with whom the agent is collaborating. Real estate agents tend to prioritize clients with expiring contracts, which is terrible news if you’ve just signed with an agent because you won’t be the first on his or her list. You’ll also want to make sure the agent isn’t overworked so that he or she has enough time to conduct research and create a rapport with you.
8.) From the first showing until the closing, how long do you generally work with buyers?
Few people can locate their dream home in a day or two, and even if they do, the process from hiring an agent to finalizing the transaction can take anything from a few weeks to a few months, or even longer. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how long it should take to purchase a property. Different places may have their own problems that slow down the process, but your agent can influence how quickly things progress. Agents that offer timetables of more than six months should be avoided unless it is normal in your market.
9.) How will you communicate with me, and how frequently should I expect updates?
Look for an agent who is familiar with the communication tools you prefer, whether it’s by phone, email, or text. Do they have electronic choices for completing documents from any location when it’s time to start making offers? Will you have enough time to analyze the paperwork you’re about to sign without feeling pressured or perplexed?
Also, be clear about your expectations for updates – many homebuyers and sellers become dissatisfied when their realtor fails to communicate with them as frequently as they would like.
10.) Do you have a list of vendors that you recommend?
Knowing who you can trust when you need help is one of the most difficult aspects of buying, selling, or owning a house. A excellent realtor will have a strong network of specialists to support you, from lenders to inspectors to contractors. Remember that your agent can make recommendations, but not mandates, for the people you hire – the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) gives buyers and sellers the freedom to deal with whomever they want.
11.) What should I stay away from when buying (or selling) a home?
Honesty, and even the occasional disagreement, are two of the best things your real estate agent can provide you. You should be able to trust your agent to provide you their expert advice and steer you away from major mistakes before they happen, whether it’s in regards to preparing your house before selling it or concerning inspection findings.
Brenda Di Bari began her work as a fashion stylist before deciding to pursue a career in real estate. She’s created many brokerages in Miami and New York City, and she’s learned that having an open and honest relationship with a Realtor® is crucial.
It’s critical to realize that choosing a real estate agent to deal with is akin to starting a relationship. You must sense a genuine connection with the person, and if that connection isn’t there, regardless of their credentials, keep looking. There’s no magic amount of agents to interview; you just have to ask the correct questions and trust your gut.
How do you feel about their assessment of your property if you’re selling your home? Do they have sound advice on how to improve the curb appeal and market value of your home? How well do they know the neighborhood you want to buy in if you’re buying a house? How and how often will they communicate with you?
Finally, have they listened to you and asked you the correct questions about your real estate goals? A good agent will be able to reiterate your stated objectives and explain how they will assist you in achieving them.
12.) Do you have any questions for me?
Despite the fact that you are paying them to do a function for you, your relationship with your agent should be one of true collaboration. Look for an agent that is genuinely interested in learning about your plans and objectives, and who will consider all of your requests and requirements.
Kris Lindahl, the owner of Kris Lindahl Real Estate, helps buyers and sellers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin with both commercial and residential real estate. Buyers should look for an agent that takes the time to thoroughly grasp their position, he says.