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Ask before you start

Owning a home is likely the largest investment many people will make in their lifetime. Home ownership helps create generational wealth, as well as creating emotional security and a place to call home. For most people, buying and selling real estate is not an everyday activity. So hiring a real estate professional to help you with your sale or your purchase is an important decision.

What Questions Should You Ask Before
Hiring A Real Estate Agent

How long have you been an agent? Agents that have been in the business for more than a few years will likely have experienced both a seller and a buyers market and everything in between. They will be able to guide you through any challenges you face with problem solving skills developed through years of experience. They will be able to use their negotiating skills to get your offers accepted or get you the best price and terms for your sale, all while making this stressful experience go much more smoothly.

Are you a full or part time agent? A part time agent will not be available to you and your needs. An agent who works full time will not only be accessible to you, they will be available to other agents who have questions regarding your home. Keep in mind, this is also the way a full time agent earns a living, they have more invested than someone who only does this on the side and will likely work harder for you.

Do you work with buyers and sellers? An agent who works with both buyers and sellers have a perspective from both sides and will bring that experience and knowledge to your transaction.

How many homes do you help buyers purchase in a year? National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average agent is representing 12 buyers or sellers per year. Any less than the national average and you might want to ask why. 

How many clients are you currently working with? You want an agent that is not working with too many clients, this way there is time to devote to you, however, too few might be a red flag.     

How long do you work with buyers from the time of your first showing to the closing? If the answer is 6 months or more, you might be careful. Average national days on the market for a home listed was only 34 in Feb 2023, according to NAR, this will vary in individual markets. You don’t want to miss out on your dream home with the wrong agent. 

How do you help buyers best position themselves to compete in the market? In a sellers market, especially like the one we experienced after COVID, it is extremely important for an agent to give guidance to help put the buyer in the best possible position to get their offer accepted. A successful agent that has worked through shifting markets has experience they can share, secrets that not all agents know and the ability to get the best home for the best price for their buyers.

How does your commission work? You want to be sure how your agent will be paid before entering into a contract, whether selling or buying a property. Most agents are paid by a commission arrangement. This commission is typically paid by the seller to the agents broker, then the commission is split with the listing agent. Often a portion of that commission is paid to the buyers agent and also split with their broker. Sometimes the buyers agent will collect their commission or a portion of it from their clients. ASK

What locations do you work in? There is a lot of information an agent should be able to share about the communities you are interested in. Be sure they can guide you in market value, the types of homes in the area, proximity to transportation, etc.

What is the average price range your clients are in? The type of marketing varies for different price ranges, you want an agent who works with clients in your homes price range. If you are a buyer, an agent that has knowledge of the properties available in your price range.

Are you on a team or will I be working with you? It can be a surprise when you start working with one agent, only to be handed off to another agent on the “team”. Be sure who you will be working with when you sign your Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agreement or your Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement. Your agent should make it clear what they are doing for you in your transaction. On the other side of that, your agent should have a support system in place, for those “just in case” moments.

Do you have a list of professionals you work with? After an agent has been in the business for many years, they should have a strong network of professionals built up to refer you to. A few of these would include; lenders, appraisers, staging companies, home inspectors, attorneys, contractors, moving companies, etc.  

Do you have references I can talk with? Many agents get a testimonial after a transaction, if they can’t supply you with a list of happy clients, there might be a reason. 

Being an informed consumer is an important part of buying and selling real estate. Take the time to make sure the professional you choose to work with has the experience and expertise to help you increase your return on investment (ROI), while getting you the best terms for your deal, in the easiest way possible. ~ Kelly Romano

We All Want Success

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