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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent: 10 Questions to Ask

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Last year, people bought around 5.51 million homes and built 612,000 new homes. With about 1.47 million realtors, figuring out who to turn to when buying or selling your home can be daunting.

Whether buying a home or selling your home, you’ll want to choose a realtor who is right for you. Learn more about the ten questions to ask and how to choose a real estate agent here.

1. How Long Have You Been a Licensed Realtor?

You want to find a professional who knows the area and has realtor experience.
If your agent is new, find out if he will get some guidance from an experienced real estate broker. Brokers have more education than the agent level. They typically manage other agents.

Real estate is a commission-based business, so if someone has been doing it for years, they must be doing well. You will not find someone doing it for ten years with awful service. Plus, agents with experience have seen many situations and won’t worry as much should something happen.

2. What Neighborhoods Are Your Specialty?

Ensure your agent knows the area well, such as schools, home prices, public transportation, safety, and other amenities. To get an honest opinion, you don’t want an agent who lives far away and searches online for information.

If someone knows the area well, they can tell you the best neighbourhoods. You can’t always find everything you want to know through the Internet, such as safety. That’s why you want a professional who knows the area well.

3. What is Your Availability and Schedule?

Some real estate agents work only part-time, so reaching them at certain times may be more challenging. You may want to consider a full-time agent to help you with the sale. What if you run into a last-minute issue at closing?

4. Do You Work with a Team or Independently?

Not everyone is a one-person team in real estate. Working with someone in a group, such as an administrative assistant or other agents, has benefits. If you need to get ahold of your agent, you may be able to get ahold of someone on their team if your agent is unreachable.

A team also has a broader level of experience, so someone may be able to offer advice for a specific situation that another agent isn’t sure about. You should know beforehand how the team works so you know who to contact and when. If you get passed around without any structure, that’s not a benefit.

5. Do You Specialize in Buying or Selling?

Most agents will help with selling and buying, but some tend to specialize in one area. You will want to know upfront if the agent is more experienced in one place, but you may find an advantage to an agent who does both.

An agent who is well-versed in buying and selling can offer a broader perspective, having seen how both sides operate. One agent can make your entire transaction more seamless because they know the whole picture.

6. How Many Homes Did You Close Last Year?

Asking how many people the agent has worked with doesn’t tell you how successful they were. You want to know how many homes are sold. People always work with multiple real estate agents, so you want someone with a high closing ratio.

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7. How Will You Help Me Find a Home?

It would be best to be prepared – buying a house takes a lot of time. Searching takes about 30 to 60 days. After that, it’s anywhere from another 30 to 60 days from the contract to the actual closing when the sale is contingent on financing.

That’s just a general idea because all people move at a different pace. However, if the agent says it takes about a year, you know something could be wrong.

Be sure to ask the agent for advice for home buyers. You should feel comfortable with this agent because you could be spending a lot of time with this person when you search for a home.

8. Do You Have Vendors You Recommend?

A reputable and experienced agent will develop relationships with other industry professionals.

These professionals include contractors, lenders, title companies, and home inspectors.

You ultimately get to choose your vendor, but you know this agent has experience with these companies. The companies also trust this agent – so it’s a two-way street.

9. How Many Clients Do You Currently Have?

You don’t want an agent that has too many clients at once. You won’t be able to get the personalized service you deserve. Any agent with more than ten clients may be too busy for one-on-one assistance.

You can also ask your agent if there is another team member you will work with when the agent is too busy. Remember, they provide a service, so you should feel you are getting the time and attention you want.

10. How Will You Keep in Contact with Me?

Be sure your agent’s preferred method of contact is the same as yours. For example, does your agent prefer text messages while you would rather talk on the phone? It’s best if your preferences align to avoid any frustration on either end.

Also, ask your agent how often you will hear from them. Your agent should at least check in with you every week. If the housing market is hot, you may want to talk to your realtor daily or every other day to avoid missing your dream home.

Be sure you set expectations on how you will be updated and your preferred method before signing up with an agent.

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent Summary

The questions above will help you interview any agents. Be sure you meet with more than one. Choosing the agent that makes you feel the most comfortable would be best.

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Looking for More Information on Buying a Home?

Check out Property Talk for articles about selling homes, like boosting property value. Now you know how to choose a real estate agent, so look for more articles about buying a home, like finding deals on real estate.