Buying a new home is never an easy endeavor. It has many obstacles that no one can prepare you for. Home buying is not something you’re taught in school. It’s nothing something that is necessarily in a textbook. It takes educating yourself and asking the right questions to the right people. But, how do we know which ones are the right ones to ask? Here are some examples of a few:
How long have you been selling real estate?
This question should not be taken lightly. What you should be looking for is not just the numeric value of their tenure in real estate—but to obtain the full breadth of knowledge they obtain. You will unveil what made them start selling real estate, how experienced they are, and how passionate they are.
What is your average number of clients?
What this truly is asking is “do you or will you have time for me?” That is putting it bluntly. You don’t want to just be a statistic. You want to feel like you’re a part of their family. You are more than a number. You are their #1 priority—at least that’s what you need to feel and truly believe.
What area do you cover?
Some agents more than others, have proven success in certain areas around town. Once you figure out which neighborhood you’re looking to move to, do research on them and make sure they have a proven track record and solid recommendations in that area.
Do you have a recommended vendors list?
Any seasoned Realtor will happily (and easily, I might add) provide you with a list of recommended vendors. Over time, the agent should have fostered relationships with inspectors, title companies, real estate lawyers, etc. If the agent cannot provide this, you may not be working with a proven Realtor.
Would you be able to provide me with three professional references?
In addition to a vendor list (and possibly more importantly) you may want to request some references. Just like any employer does with hiring personnel—references are a huge part of the hiring process. It’s important to do your due diligence with hiring a Realtor. I’m not saying a full-fledged background check, but just a quick check to cover your bases to ensure you’re in the right hands. After all—they’re spearheading one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime.
What type of communication should I expect from you?
Honestly, this is a very important question. The Realtor will completely understand why you must know this. If your agent is not in constant communication with you, it’s not the end of the world. However, he/she should be keeping you abreast of any and all activity pertaining to your home purchase. In addition they should be readily available to answer all of your questions.
What questions do you have for me?
I guess there is no better way to segue from the previous question than to reiterate that not only must you ask your Realtor questions, but they should have a myriad of questions for you to determine the best way to fulfill your needs. “What types of factors are high priorities in your home search?” “What is your ideal price range?” “What amenities are essential?” The list goes on.