One of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make in your life is buying property. This process is neither simple nor cheap, hence must be made after a lot of deliberation and through credible real estate agents.
If you are a first-time buyer, then a good real estate agent will be your best friend in this regard. He will not only find the right kind of house for you but would also steer the entire deal-breaking process for you.
So, before purchasing the house, it is more crucial to properly vet your real estate agent or advisor. There are certain important questions that you must ask either over the phone or in a one on one meeting.
Let’s find out what are the important questions you must ask your realtor.
1. Do you work as a real estate agent full-time or part-time?
The very first question that you should ask any real estate advisor is whether he/she works full-time or part-time. If they work as an agent only part-time, it is not a good sign. You want someone who is available throughout the day to help you.
2. What traits set you apart from your competitors?
Since the real estate market is rapidly growing, you will find all types of agents. They would differ in personalities, expertise, and work ethics. So, it is important to ask your agent his/her forte and then decide whether you will be comfortable working with him/her or not.
3. How many deals have you successfully signed?
This is one of the most crucial questions to ask. It will help you analyze the level of experience the person has in the real estate business. In fact, it is better than asking about their years of service. Many realtors have been working for more than a decade and hardly have signed ten successful deals in total.
4. Do you work in a team? If yes, who is on it?
It is important to ask who your real estate agent works with. If your agent tries to pressurize you in consulting his recommended mortgage lender, then you must take it as a huge red flag. There is no harm in the recommendation but as a client, you must never feel obligated to follow up.
5. Is getting a pre-approval necessary for you before you begin searching for homes?
Nobody has ever found a home they love within a day or even a week. It can take months before you finally find a home that you like. However, most buyers make the mistake of consulting a mortgage lender at the last minute. By the time the loan is approved, the house is sold out.
So, if your real estate agent has a compulsion of seeing some kind of pre-approval, it is a good thing.
6. Can you share the contact details and reviews from your previous clients?
Reviews and ratings of your real estate agent will play an integral role in the decision of hiring him or her. Many reviews that you see on websites are either forged or paid. Hence, it is important that you personally speak with the past clients of your real estate advisor and hear their experience personally.
7. Will you negotiate with the seller or buyer on my behalf?
This is a smart question to ask your real estate agent. It does not matter whether your agent is representing you as a buyer or a seller, he/she must be willing to negotiate on your behalf with the other party.
A real estate agent knows the art of negotiating and hence, should be able to exhibit those skills when the time comes.
8. Do you have a Competitive Advantage? If yes, what is it?
It is important that you inquire about your real estate agent’s competitive advantages. If he cannot provide any competitive advantage to you, find another person. There are too many scam artists out there simply ready to say anything to get you to hire them.
If you are hiring a realtor because he/she is your relative or friend, this is not an advantage. In fact, it is a huge disadvantage; you will feel obligated to act on their advice even if you do not agree.
9. Will you be present during the home inspection?
If the answer to this question is no, you must not even bother interviewing this agent further. Go look for another realtor. If your agent cannot be present during the home inspection, he is not performing his job at all.
10. What if I am unsatisfied with your services? Will I get a payback?
Your real estate agent must not get you to sign any long-term deals with them. They should be flexible enough to let you go somewhere else if you are ever unhappy with his/her services.