What are the questions to ask a real estate agent when it comes time to start shopping for a home? For many home buyers – especially the first-time ones – the list of queries, questions, and wonders knocking around must seem endless.
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Trust us, we know just how complicated (and expensive) the path to buying a home can be. Our mission at LemonBrew is to help simplify that process – especially when it comes to finding your very own real estate agent. Here’s our guide to the questions to ask a real estate agent when you start shopping for a home.
Question One: What’s Your Track Record?
Taking a look at a buyer’s agent track record is often the best way to find any “red flags” that might impede the process down the line. To get a sense of what your agent is like, get a sense of their background. Take a look through their resume or LinkedIn page to see where they’ve been and what they’ve done. Get a sense of their marketing plan and how they sell themselves – are they a top agent in the company in the area, an up-and-comer, or something completely different? Ask for examples of big sales they’ve made, especially in the area, price range, and transaction style you’re looking to replicate. They should come prepared with some past transactions to prove their agents work and the bona fides of their experience. Also, be sure to check their qualifications; make sure you find a properly licensed real estate agent to finish off your transaction.
Another helpful idea when searching for a real estate agent? Ask around for recommendations. Some of the best insight into an agent’s personality and work style comes from their clients – and some of those valuable clients could be your friends and family. See what agents the people close to you can recommend.
The second big question to ask a real estate agent is, how do they like to work? For such a complicated transaction, clarity, transparency, and open communication in the real estate process is an absolute must. Come to an agreement on the best times to chat and the best methods of communication. Is it better to talk via email, via a phone call, or via text message? Do you prefer to look over every single legal document involved in the process, or is a lower-touch method necessary? Is the real estate professional one of the many full time agents out there, or is it a part time gig for them? Their own schedule might demand some adjustments from your end. A little clarity on work styles at the very start of the search can make a gigantic difference (and for a lot fewer headaches) as you go down the line.
The best real estate agents should have an excellent handle on the market you’re looking to buy in. Ask them for a comparative market analysis on your desires for your home – something that can give you the information needed to take decisive action. Look for information on the price ranges and price ratio of the area, the average listing price for your house style, the trends in the market, and much more. This is all information that any top agent should either know or can access quickly. Also, try to get a sense of the area – everything from schools and businesses to transportation routes and nearby leisure activities – from your agent. The best agents have a keen sense of the community they serve.
A real estate agent is only one spoke in a very large wheel when it comes to the real estate process. There are many other individuals that must be involved in order to close a deal. You may need everything from contractors to fix problems in the home to real estate attorneys to dig into legal matters and financial backers for the mortgage. A good real estate agent has a fine list of people that can get all of these elements done for the potential home buyer. Look at any agent’s network before you go ahead and make a decision.
Great real estate agents don’t just prepare the paperwork and help you when it comes to finding a place to live – they also serve as helpful guides throughout the process. It’s essential to find not just an agent but a useful guide. Make sure your real estate agent has the patience (and the mannerisms) to bring you through what is a very complicated transaction. Ask about the closing costs and the sale price on the house to get a sense of what you’re going to be paying in full. Look to the agent for things like the home inspection process, title insurance, and homeowners‘ insurance. See if they can take you through anything else that comes with buying a home; if they can’t serve as a guide along with being a helpful agent, maybe they’re not the right person for you.
One of the essential questions to ask a real estate agent? Well, one of the first things you need to ask is what their fees are like. Different agents will ask for different fees, based upon a host of factors – experience, market, how complicated the transaction is, or might turn out to be, et cetera. In many cases, a buyer’s agent will not charge you anything to be your advisor; their commission may come from the seller or seller’s agent! Regardless, before you decide on an agent, it’s essential that both parties are absolutely crystal-clear on how much the real estate agent fee is.
The process of going from interested home shopper to home buyers is a long and confusing one. Buying a house, after all, is one of the biggest investments one can make – and a lot of questions come along with it. LemonBrew is here to help. LemonBrew is the perfect resource for buyers and sellers (and anyone else interested in the real estate process). Offering everything from matching with a real estate agent to lending to title insurance, LemonBrew can help with everything you need to know involving real estate. Check us out right here.
One more thing to mention! If you’re looking to sell your home, looking into buying a house, or involved with any aspect of the real estate process (agents too), try checking out the LemonBrew blog. The LemonBrew blog features engaging, entertaining, and informative articles on everything real estate – including “The Best Real Estate Agents Know These Four Things,” “5 Ways to Manage Your Finances in an Uncertain Time,” and “How Long Does it Take to Close on a House?” Come take a look and see how we can help inform your unique real estate journey!