10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Are you looking to purchase your dream house or planning to sell your property? You will want to find the best real estate agent to reduce the burden of the home buying or selling process and make the most out of your transaction.
It is crucial to work with a reliable professional who can walk and support you every step of the way and ensure that the transaction goes smoothly while protecting your interest and investment. Without the help of a licensed real estate agent, all the paperwork and legwork will eventually catch up on you over time.
For best results, experts recommend interviewing at least three realtors before choosing the one you want to work with. Knowing what to ask a real estate agent helps increase your likelihood of success. Here are the top 10 questions to ask a realtor when buying or selling to help you decide the best one for you.
- What is your schedule and availability?
Working with a part-time real estate agent can present potential problems. Hiring a full-time professional ensures that you have someone available throughout the transaction process to address urgent matters whenever necessary.
- How many years have you been working as a real estate agent?
To make the most of your transaction, choose an expert who knows the ins and outs of the business. The experience and knowledge of the real estate agent enable them to anticipate and find quick solutions to potential problems that may arise along the way. Highly experienced agents use tried and tested negotiation strategies and establish relationships with other professionals in the real estate business.
- What is your experience in the neighbourhoods I’m interested in?
When buying a house, you probably have the ideal neighbourhood or community in mind. For instance, if you are planning to purchase a new home in Oshawa, Clarington, Ajax, or Whitby, hire a local real estate agent who is knowledgeable about these areas and can provide you with helpful information, such as the changing trends, local establishments and services, and quality of nearby schools.
Also, a good agent will consider your lifestyle and future plans before recommending other neighbourhoods you might not have considered.
- Do you cater to both buyers and sellers?
Some real estate agents work as buyer specialists or seller specialists. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may want to work with a real estate agent who specializes in home buying. On the other hand, a listing agent specializes in selling homes quickly and efficiently. While it is great to work with a specialist, an agent who practices both home buying and selling can offer you helpful insights on either process. A reliable real estate agent’s ideal buyer-to-seller client ratio should be at least 7 to 3 or higher.
- How long does it typically take buyers you’ve worked with to find and purchase a home?
Finding and purchasing a house takes time, and can take about 30 to 60 days. You have to ask your agent how long it would take them before they can find a home or a buyer for you. Be wary if the agent claims that the home buying process takes 6 months to a year.
- Are you equipped to handle my unique situation?
Whether you are a first-time home buyer, seller, or long-term investor, you want to hire an agent who is knowledgeable in your area. You may inevitably encounter potential issues along the way, so you need someone who can effectively handle unique scenarios. Never trust someone who tells you not to worry because they have dealt with it before. Ask the agent specifically about the unique issues they have encountered and how they were able to handle and resolve the issue.
- How will you negotiate on my behalf?
Whether you are a home buyer or a seller, choosing the right real estate agent who knows how to negotiate on your behalf is essential. The agent’s negotiating skills are vital to making the most of your investment. During your meeting, chances are they have already started negotiating with you.
In addition to strong negotiating skills, the real estate agent should show professionalism and a win-win attitude. If they are only negotiating to earn money and not considering their client, then they are only doing a favour for themselves. A win-win situation is unique for every buyer and seller. Some agents are more likely to give because they think about the best interest of their clients, while some are more likely to be takers. During the interview, be alert, read between the lines, and analyze the situation to determine if they are right for you.
- Will you attend the home inspection?
Find another realtor if the real estate agent does not attend the home inspection. Having a real estate agent by your side can help you communicate better with the inspector. Since buying a home is a major investment, knowing every detail about the property is crucial.
- How will you keep in contact with me during the buying process, and how often?
As a client, your means of communication must align with your agent’s. Will they stay in touch with you via phone, text, or email during the buying and selling process? For instance, if your agent prefers sending emails while you prefer phone calls, it can cause a gap in communication.
Additionally, you need to know the frequency of communication. Navigating the home buying or selling process requires you to regularly communicate with your agent.
- Do you have contact information from previous clients?
No one can give you more accurate information about the quality of a real estate agent’s customer service than their previous clients. Ask the agent to provide you with the contact information of at least 3 previous clients. Give them a call to hear what they have to say.
If you are looking for a professional real estate agent in Oshawa, Clarington, Ajax, or Whitby, call JamesJenn Real Estate at (647) 500-0441 to make your home buying or selling journey a little less stressful.