Hiring a real estate agent is one of the most important steps you’ll take when buying or selling a home. Unfortunately, too many people pick their agents by calling the first number they see on the side of a bus or choosing the first listing in an internet search. If you want to hire an agent who’s actually going to help you, you’ll want to make sure that ask him or her the right questions.
The Important Background Information
Some of the first questions you’ll need to ask about any relator have to do with his or her background. Most experienced real estate agents are happy to tout their big deals and the success that they have had with their clients but you need to know some basic facts before you sign a contract.
The questions below will help you to get an idea of who the real estate agent is before you look at buying a home.
How Long Have They Been Working?
One of the first things you’ll want to know about your real estate agent is how long he or she has been in the business. Established agents have more experience helping clients find homes and more experience helping them close deals.
Those agents who are newer to the field tend to be a little more tentative in their negotiations and often have fewer resources on which to draw. This isn’t to say that there are not some fantastic new real estate agents out there right now, but rather that a more experienced agent is likely to bring more to the table.
How Long Have They Been in the Area?
You don’t just need to know how long your real estate agent has been working, but rather how long he or she has been working in your area. If you are looking to buy in a new space, your real estate agent’s years of experience might not be quite as important as they are in other areas.
Another aspect to consider is if they have experience in the specific area you are interested in buying a home in. For example, Downtown Scottsdale has different layouts and real estate options compared to the homes for sale in North Scottsdale.
Take some time to talk to your real estate agent to figure out if he or she is familiar with the area in which you are buying so that you can figure out if his or her experience will be beneficial.
Who Do They Know?
Finally, you need to know who your real estate agent knows. A good real estate agent is going to have a huge list of contacts, ranging from other agents who can clue them in on homes for sale to inspectors and contractors who can help you when you’re getting closer to closing time.
Real estate agents spend years building up lists of contacts that range from mortgage brokers and lawyers to electricians and roof repair company owners, so make sure that you work with someone who can tap into the greater community in order to help you with your home.
The Marketing Questions
Once you have an idea of your real estate agent’s reputation and experience, you’ll need to know how your agent deals with the rapidly changing world of real estate marketing.
If you’re buying a house, this is going to be less of an issue than if you’re selling but you’ll still need to make sure that you understand exactly how connected your agent is with the modern methods of marketing in real estate.
Where Will Your Home Be Listed?
Where your home is listed is going to have a huge impact on the amount of traffic your home sees. Agents have traditionally used the MLS as their major listing point but there are now far more options available for listing than ever before.
You should talk to your agent to see if he or she is just going to list the property traditionally or if he or she will seek out other sources like social media in order to get the word out about your home. The more listings for your home, the more likely it is that it will be seen by an interested party.
How Will Your Home Be Marketed
You should also take some time to see how your real estate agent plans on marketing your home. Is he or she going to be passive and let the listings and the sign do all the work?
If so, you’re not getting as much coverage as you might need. Instead, you’ll want to work with an agent who is going to use a combination of traditional and online marketing (including social media) to make sure that as many eyes as possible are on your home while you’re trying to sell.
The Personal Questions
No matter if you’re buying a home or selling one, your real estate agent’s demeanor is going to matter. This is going to play a role in how he or she helps you to make a deal and how well you will work together.
You should take the time to find someone who has the right personality to help you get the job done. The questions below will help you to assess whether your real estate agent has what it takes.
What is Their Attitude Like?
Attitude matters in the world of real estate. This factor not only has a bearing on your work relationship but it also determines the ability of your agent to negotiate on your behalf. Taking some time to assess the agent’s attitude is always a good way to determine to what degree he or she will be an asset to you.
What is Their Communication Style Like?
How does your real estate agent communicate? Does he or she return calls or texts quickly or do you have to wait days to hear from them? Is this is the kind of person who is going to send you status updates every time things change or are you going to be left in the dark during the process?
You need to know how your real estate agent communicates before you can trust him or her with your real estate issues. Make sure that you talk to your agent about what you expect in terms of lines of communication going forward.
Do They Make You feel Confident?
You also need to think about the level of confidence that your real estate agent inspires in you. Does your real estate agent seem nervous to talk to you? If so, he or she is going to have a hard time negotiating with other parties. Does your agent seem too aggressive or too passive?
Those can be real issues as you’re trying to work together, so it’s better to figure them out sooner rather than later. If you don’t feel confident that your real estate agent can help you, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to work together.
You must spend some time asking the right questions about your real estate agent. From his or her background to his or her methods, you need to know what makes this person tick and how he or she will be able to help you with your real estate needs.
Though choosing the first name to show up in a search is easy, taking the time to pick the right agent is always more rewarding.