Many potential homebuyers begin their journey by first looking through the real estate listings in either their local newspaper or through the internet. Once the homebuyer finds a home that they are interested in, the first thing they should do is to contact the real estate agent who is handling the listing. Once contact between the potential homeowner and realtor has been made, there are certain questions which should be asked prior to working together. This is to give the homebuyer a feel of their realtor’s personality, professionalism, way that he or she presents themselves, and other qualities. Real Estate agents should possess the same qualities as what the homebuyer is searching for. In order to get a feel for your real estate agent, it’s important to ask these specific questions below:
1. The first question, a homebuyer should ask their real estate agent is whether he works part time or full time. Also find out if he has other employment elsewhere. Realtors can most definitely sell a home on a part time basis; however there is more difficulty behind selling a home when you are working part time. There is also the problem of not being flexible enough to allow a client to view a property because of conflicting work schedules. Realtors who work on a part time basis may also have difficulties researching other homes that are on the market, just in case if the home you were interested in did not meet your high expectations.
2. Always ask your realtor for at least four names of homebuyers that they have recently worked with. When asking your agent for these names, make sure to get their phone numbers so you can speak with them about their experiences. If your realtor answers you with a “no”, then this should end the working relationship right then and there. Be careful of agents who cannot provide you with a minimum of at least five references who have purchased homes through them within the last year.
3. Ask your agent about their familiarity of the areas that you are interested in and how often you work in these neighborhoods. Buyers should have a real estate agent who knows his way around the neighborhoods that are high on their preference list. He or she should also know the surrounding neighborhoods where you may get a better deal on a new home. That is because they have the knowledge of home prices for those specific areas and if they have appreciated or depreciated in home value. This helps the buyer find the home of their dreams for a great cost or that have just come on the market.
4. Always ask your potential realtor if he or she uses the computer to assist them in finding properties. Agents that do not utilize the Multiple Listing Service on the internet, is not up to date with the latest information and technology.
5. Make sure whether or not your agent is insistent on signing a buyer/broker contract. For those of you who do not know what that is, a buyer/broker contract is an agreement between the homebuyer and agent which obligates the new homeowner to compensate the agent using their standard commission rates whether they assisted you in locating the property or not. If the agreement was signed by both parties, then ask your real estate agent if these commissions can be negotiated if the home was chosen by you through the direct owner. Also make sure that the broker’s contract is not beyond thirty calendar days.