Are you looking to buy a new home? Whether you’re finally ready to take the plunge and buy your first home, or you’re relocating and need to sell your current home quickly, first thing’s first: you need to hire a realtor. But do you know the best questions to ask to help you choose the right one?
Here are 7 questions to ask a realtor before making a commitment.
1. Are You a Certified Realtor?
There are a handful of titles used by people qualified to buy and sell homes, including agent, broker, and realtor. A realtor is a part of the National Association of Realtors, meaning they must abide by stricter guidelines and stick to a code of ethics in their business endeavors, giving you an extra guarantee they know what they’re doing and will follow through.
2. How Long Have You Been in Real Estate?
While everyone has to start somewhere, you might want to stick with someone who’s got more experience in the business for your real estate needs. An established realtor already has a working relationship with other agents, mortgage brokers, and any other contacts you may need along the way.
3. What Does Your Work Schedule Look Like?
The answer you’re looking for here is full time. Hiring a realtor that works full time is pretty important if you hope to see homes as they pop up. A part time realtor may not always be available when you need them.
4. Will I Be Working Directly With You or Someone Else?
Some real estate offices are staffed by several different agents and assistants, none of which are the actual owner. If working with the person in charge is important to you, let them know up front, and check around until you find an office where this is a possibility.
5. What Sets You Apart From Other Real Estate Agents?
This question may be all you need to ask when determining how to hire a realtor. Consider the type of answer you’re looking for prior to asking this question, and find a realtor who says what you’re looking to hear, whether it’s honest, trustworthy, always available, or willing to do anything to close on a deal.
6. Do You Work Often in This Area?
A realtor can be amazing at their job, but if they aren’t familiar with the area you’re looking in, they may be lacking critical information you’ll need to find the right home. If your area’s housing market has unique characteristics, or if the realtor is from too far away, you might want to keep looking until you find someone who is from the area to make sure they know what they’re talking about.
7. Have You Closed on Any Homes in My Desired Neighborhood?
It’s important to find someone who knows how to sell a house in your desired neighborhood (check out our article “Moving Trends: Where Are People Moving and Why?”), especially if you’re looking to sell quickly. Find someone who knows the market within that particular area so they know the best way to market and stage your home to maximize offers and selling potential.
It is your prerogative to request references if you’d like and follow up with previous clients to hear what their experience was with any particular realtor. If you do your research and listen to your gut, you’ll be able to find the best fit for your needs.