When buying or selling a home, many people choose to work with a real estate professional to help guide them through the process. In most cases, this is undoubtedly a wise decision as the agent has been through this procedure before and will be one of the biggest assets you have. However, it is not always simple to choose an agent to work with on one of the largest purchases or sales in your life. To make this first step easier for you, here are five questions you should consider asking any real estate professional before hiring them.
1) Ask the agent how much experience he or she has, but remember to not focus strictly on the number of years they have been working. A full time real estate agent, who has only been working for a year, may have more experience in the field than a part-time agent, who has been working for ten years. A full-time agent may be able to dedicate more time and provide you with a higher level of service.
2) Ask what type of geographic areas and properties the agent handles. Knowledge of neighborhoods is vital since neighborhood markets are apt to have differences. Other types of expertise can be important as well. For example, if you are a first time buyer or seller, you might prefer working with an agent who deals with a lot of first-timers because they may have more patience and understanding.
3) Ask how the agent will be communicating with you. A communication lapse of even as little as a few hours can make or break a deal. It is understandable that everyone has busy schedules and may not always be able to stay glued to their phones. However, in this day and age, there are plenty of means of contact: phone calls, text messages, and emails to name a few. Pick something that works for both you and your agent so that you may communicate in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
4) Ask for references. If you are on the fence about a particular agent, you may consider asking them for references from their buyers, sellers or even co-workers. That way, you will get to hear what other people have to say about their work ethic and capabilities.
5) Finally, ask how much it will cost to sell the property. Oftentimes in residential transactions, buyers don't pay the agent a commission. The sellers of the property pay the agent’s commission at the time of the closing. Some agents may offer you lower rates than others. While that may seem preferable to you at the time, you should remember that you get what you pay for. An agent who is willing to charge you a lesser amount may already know that he or she will not be putting a substantial amount of effort into your property, whereas an agent charging you the standard market rate is more likely to do their job properly and to your satisfaction.
At United National Realty, I stand by my agents because I have personally trained them to provide outstanding service to their clients and customers. Feel free to come to our office and choose the agent right for your needs.