Buying or selling a home can be a stressful process. That’s why you want to be sure that you have the very best support team on your side. They should be fully equipped with the knowledge, experience, and motivation that you need to feel comfortable and enjoy the home buying or selling experience.
So, how do you find that support team? We have put together 5 Questions to ask your real estate agent and, hopefully, you’ll feel confident with their answers.
1. How long have you been in the business?
This question, while the reasoning might be obvious, is not always a giveaway. Of course, it’s always best to have a seasoned agent who knows the ins and outs of the business, but you also want to be sure that they are still motivated to be the best agent they can be for you.
A seasoned agent typically knows the area better than most. If they have a proven reputation, then you might note that they’re methods are highly productive and they might be abounding in references.
On the other hand, you might find that a newer agent has more determination and drive to get your house sold or purchased. After all, every great realtor started somewhere. If you like their energy, but their lack of experience discourages you, ask them what their personal support team looks like and who they will be seeking out for guidance. If they have a solid (and experienced) team behind them, coaching them through this process, it could be worth a shot. You’ll want to decide what is more important to you.
2. What geographic areas and types of property are you familiar with?
It’s important that your agent is familiar with the area that you are either buying or selling a home in. One specific city might have several different neighborhoods that you might want to either avoid or target your home buying efforts towards.
Does your agent know what homes are worth in your area? Does your agent know where the best schools are in your area or the best ways to travel around the area? Make sure you have done your own research, as well.
3. How many clients are you currently representing?
Sometimes asking your agent how many clients they are currently representing can be misleading if you’re not sure why you’re asking.
If the number is extremely high, you might not get the attention that you deserve, or at least not enough to make you feel like you can be comfortable and enjoy the home buying or selling experience. If you’re not being treated like your situation is special, and you have to share the attention with too many other clients, you could be discouraged.
However, a busy agent might also indicate that they are in high demand because they are one of the best ones in the area.
On the other hand, too few clients might mean that they are less experienced or possibly not a full-time agent. As we mentioned above, however, less experience doesn’t always mean a bad thing. You’ll have to decide whether you want a busy experienced agent, or a part-time or newer agent who can give you more personalized attention.
4. How do your realtor fees work?
Don’t worry about being too forward if you want to talk money right away. You deserve to know exactly how your money will be allocated.
Typically, you’ll discuss with your realtor what the commission is for their work for you. They don’t get paid unless they sell your home or find you a home.
If they are selling your home, the commission they receive from you will then be split, by THEM, to the other realtor who brought a client to purchase your home. If they are getting a large commission and they state that the commission they will pay out to the opposite agent is relatively small, there is a great chance that realtors won’t bother to bring their client to your house because the payout is not worth it to them. This will be a huge disservice to you.
Don’t feel awkward asking for these details. It is your right to know these things.
5. What are the drawbacks of my home?
If you ask your realtor what they perceive as “drawbacks” to selling your home and they reply with a list of some easy fixes to make the home more appealing, chances are that you’ve found an honest agent.
If you know that your home isn’t quite desirable and you have a few things in mind to fix but your agent tells you it’s fine the way it is, stop and think. Does this agent really care about selling your home? Does this agent really care about the way possible buyers might view your home?
If the agent has zero feedback on what you can do to help bring back appeal to your home for selling purposes, the agent might just not care enough or they might have little experience in what the market is currently looking for.
Bottom line: If your home doesn’t look or feel appealing, your agent should have some helpful suggestions. If your agent doesn’t seem to care what the house looks like, he probably doesn’t care if it sells in a timely manner, either.
We hope these questions helped you to be better prepared to choose the right agent for your home buying or selling needs! Start your home buying process with us. Check out our selection of homes for sale in the Antelope Valley here!