5 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Selling or buying a home is a big step that requires a great deal of time and energy, so making sure that you’re working with the right realtor needs to be a top priority. We set up a list of the most important questions to should ask before hiring a real estate agent in order to find out whether he or she really is the real deal.
Working with the right real estate agent isn’t just important because you want to sell or buy a home as soon as possible.
Apart from being your person of trust when it comes to getting the right information about the right house, the right real estate agent will be the one who supports you during the buying or selling process and the one who represents you and your wishes.
And being represented by a pro really does make the difference – finding the right realtor means being a big step close to finding your future home.
It is, however, more than just a good first impression: getting a good vibe from someone does show that he or she is a nice person – but our gut feeling can’t tell us whether they really are good at what they do.
That’s why it’s important to ask questions – and to choose the questions carefully. Respect the realtor’s time, and ask only what you feel is important to you.
Expect questions in return as well. The same way you are looking to choose the right real estate agent, they are looking to commit to clients that are serious about their business, no matter whether it’s selling or buying a property.
Ask the realtor to provide references from recent clients.
.. and if you can contact them to ask for additional information.
This is a rather significant question to ask before hiring a real estate agent, as you can obtain truly valuable information from reliable sources. You can get to know..
- how other clients liked working with this realtor;
- whether or not recent clients regret choosing this real estate agent;
- whether there is anything else you should know if you’re going to hire this real estate agent.
It might not be necessary to ask a top real estate agent to provide additional references, as there are probably many reviews about them available online. But keep in mind that online reviews can give you an insight, never the whole picture: not every client leaves a comment online, and not everyone who leaves a comment should be trusted blindly.
It might be a good way to get a few opinions, but only people you can personally talk to and people who have done business with this realtor can help you see the bigger picture.
Being able to trust your real estate agent is of vital importance, so do your best to obtain at least a few reliable testimonials from former clients.
Choose a real estate agent that has local expertise.
According to U.S. News, choosing a realtor who isn’t familiar with the characteristics and the dos and don’ts of the neighborhood where you want to sell or buy is considered to be one of the biggest no go’s when choosing a real estate agent.
Today, there are houses that cost up to $100,000 more than other homes which are just a few blocks away, and your realtor needs to know them. This can have a huge impact on your budget and the entire buying or selling process and asking about their local expertise is therefore one of the most important questions you should ask the real estate agent before hiring him or her.
Before hiring a real estate agent, make sure he or she is a licensed agent.
Working with a licensed real estate agent has a couple of advantages: you know that they follow that organization’s code of ethics and that other experts have given this person permission to work in the real estate business – he or she should have sufficient knowledge of real estate matters.
One thing you should be looking for in particular are memberships of the National Association of Realtors (the so called NAR) which accepts only well-trained and professional real estate agents, which all have to subscribe to the NAR code of ethics.
Other certifications are: Counselor of Real Estate, Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Military Relocation Professional (MRP), Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), or Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES).
The latter might be a great choice if you are more than 50 years old. Real estate agents with this certificate are experts for handling real estate-related matters for elder people.
Which marketing strategy and approaches does the realtor recommend?
It’s vital to ask potential real estate agents before hiring them what their actual plan is and how they think they can help you sell or buy a particular property.
Ask about their marketing strategy, whether or not they make use of videos, professional photos, where the listing will appear and so on.
If you are planning to sell a house, you could ask one of the following questions:
- Where do you advertise and how often?
- Will you be making use of online and offline marketing solutions?
- Will you show me samples of the ads?
If, on the other hand, you want to buy a home, you could be asking these questions:
- What criteria is your search based on and how do you perform the search?
- Who is in charge of placing offers?
- How many houses should I be prepared to see before making a final decision?
Is there anything else I should know?
Don’t be afraid to be straightforward, especially if you feel like you’re not absolutely sure about how the buying or selling procedure is supposed to be handled or if you feel you’re missing out on something.
Again, it’s important to choose someone you can trust, so don’t be afraid to pose a few basic questions before hiring a real estate agent or to ask for help or any piece of information once you’ve decided who you’re going to work with. They have tons of experience with sellers, buyers, other agents – and good realtors know how important it is to have well-informed parties on both sides, don’t hesitate to ask.