10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent
When making the decision to sell your home or purchase a new one, it is important that you are comfortable working with the real estate agent you choose. The sale and purchase of a home are large transactions and you want to be sure that you are finding the right fit, not just the easiest or first person you meet. Here are 10 questions to ask a real estate agent before you sign an agreement:
1. How long have you been in the business?
While this question may point to focusing on agents with a lot of experience, that is not necessarily the best path for everyone. A newer agent may have more time to focus on clients and be able to devote more attention to your needs. Just be sure that the agent has access to mentors with experience in case a problem arises in your transaction.
2. How many sales have you completed in my neighborhood?
You want to make sure that whoever you work with knows your local market and how your particular neighborhood performs. Make sure the agent has knowledge of your specific neighborhood and, as a bonus, has completed a few recent transactions in the area.
3. If you have had unhappy clients, what went wrong?
There is no industry that is safe from complications, and real estate transactions can be complicated. Look for an agent who will give you an honest answer, but will also tell you what was done to correct the situation leaving a positive outcome.
4. What is your fee?
Not all fees will be the same. There are certain agents who will be able to adjust fees based on additional services provided, such as serving as the agent for both selling your home and purchasing a new one. Be clear up front what all cost involved are to ensure no one is confused at closing.
5. Is there anyone else I will be working with?
Agents often have teams behind them so make sure you know who will be handling all aspects of your transaction. Will the agent handle the showings or is there an assistant? While having support is great, make sure the person you hire is doing the job your hired him or her for.
6. What sets you apart from other agents?
Things change fast in the real estate world and knowing what your agent does to set listings apart is important. Does the agent focus on online advertising? Does the agent operate mainly be word of mouth and referrals? Find someone who can tell you about his or her strengths and how these will work to your advantage.
7. What is your strategy for pricing my home?
If you are looking for an agent to sell your home, asking what the pricing strategy is will be paramount to your success. If the agent schedules a price reduction based on the time on the market and you are not comfortable with that, make sure you come to an agreement before signing any listing paperwork.
8. Can I review documents before I am asked to sign?
Real estate transactions come with a lot of paperwork. Looking over these documents well before you are asked to sign will help you to feel confident in what you are signing when it comes time. Good agents will have these forms available to you and will want you to feel comfortable with all the steps in the transaction.
9. Do you offer a guarantee?
Listing your home for sale is a big step. Hopefully all will go well, but if it does not and you are unhappy, will the agent allow you to cancel the agreement? Have any past clients cancelled an agreement with the agent? Making sure you have options can lessen some of the pressure that comes with choosing an agent.
10. Can you provide me with references?
Asking for a list of the five most recent transactions should give you good insight into how your agent performs, as well as the results. If you can, try to call at least two of the five to get a good feel for their experiences. Also, be sure to look online for reviews left by past clients as they can be good indicators of the agent’s performance.
The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ are always available to provide guidance and answer questions about home ownership. For more information, visit CambriaMortgage.com or call 952-942-0110.