Are you looking to buy or sell your home? Since buying or selling a home can be daunting for most homeowners, it is best to seek the assistance of an expert realtor. Before you make the choice of realtor, it is best to ask them some questions so that you are able to make an informed choice when buying your dream home.
1. Is this your full time or part time job?
Full time realtors are most likely to have in-depth knowledge of the real estate market. They may also be up-to-date on the laws pertaining to buying and selling of properties. As it is their livelihood they may be motivated to provide the best service.
2. How many sales have you handled and completed in the targeted area and neighbourhood?
If the realtor has handled a lot of sales, they may know the local market and also the recent deals in the targeted area and neighbourhood.
3. What services do you offer beyond escrow and negotiations?
Make a list of services. Paperwork, negotiations and contingencies are standard. Contingencies are conditions that are included with the offer on the home. These conditions need to be fulfilled before the deal is closed. If the buyer or seller is not able to fulfil the contingency, then the offer on the home becomes void. Some realtors may offer additional services such as meeting vendors for home repairs.
4. When I am obligated to work with you?
Most people start touring homes without realizing that they may be committed to work with the realtor, with or without contract.
5. What is a buyer agency agreement?
This is the document that the prospective buyer signs when they decide to work with the buyer’s realtor. Each MLS may have a standard form but the brokerage firm may also have a separate agreement. This agreement may list the conditions of the relationship between the buyer’s agent, brokerage and prospective buyer. Most states stipulate that this agreement has to be signed before the agent can perform any duties such as showing homes.
6. Who else will be working with me?
Realtors are often supported by their team. It is best to know about all the members of the team.
7. Am I obligated to work with the lender, inspector and other service providers recommended by you?
If the realtor answers yes to this question, then it is a big red flag and you need to avoid them. Good realtors have solid recommendations for various service providers but never compel you to work exclusively with them.
8. What sets you apart from other realtors?
Look for realtors with expertise and a proper track record of happy clients. They also need to have special knowledge of things that you may need in the home search.
9. What are the pitfalls of home buying that you can help me avoid?
Realtors with their vast experience in the real estate market may help you avoid pitfalls that you may otherwise succumb to if you are not properly guided. They may protect your interest by helping you get the house property for the right price and terms. They can also help you learn about the contingencies and common inspection items that you may normally miss.
10. Can I see reviews of the past deals that you had completed?
Each realtor has clients that they have served well. The best agents are consistent in delivering excellent service. Ask the realtor to provide details of this. A good realtor may have nothing to hide and may willingly provide all the details to you. They may also share feedback with you.