Depending on where you live, there are typically ample amounts of real estate agents to choose and plenty of information available on how to hire them. But, finding the right one can be extremely challenging. Professional real estate agents should have the necessary skills and experience to help you find exactly what you are looking for. To ensure you are hiring the best real estate agent for your needs, here are 4 questions you should ask before hiring someone to help you find a home.
Can You Provide a List of Comparable Homes?
When planning to buy a home, you most likely have a neighborhood and a budget in mind, so it is essential that the real estate agent be prepared to get listings from agencies other than their own. If you have a house in mind, the agent should also provide the market prices of other homes in the neighborhood in order to demonstrate whether the house you are considering is overpriced or if it will be a good investment. Working with an agent that eager to ensure you are looking at homes that are priced appropriately will save you time and lessen the stress of overpaying.
Do You Work Full Time?
This is not to say that a part-time real estate agent couldn't find you an appropriate home, however, choosing someone who works full-time in the real estate industry will generally get you the best results. Full-time agents are usually in a better position to provide accurate recommendations and tips, because they have more experience and a deeper understanding of the real estate industry. A full-time agent will also likely spend more time scouting for homes that meet your needs. They will often search through more listings or show you more houses in order to ensure you find a home and that they sell a property quickly.
What's Your Commission?
The amount of commission varies from state-to-state, but the average is between 5-7 percent and it is split between the selling and buying agents. It is essential that you ask about the commission rates before you begin your search for a new home. Knowing the commission beforehand will ensure that all parties understand the agreement. It is also important to ask if the real estate agent can recommend a lender and if they can assist you with this process if necessary.
Are You Experienced in The Area?
When you are interested in buying property in a specific area or neighborhood, it is essential that you choose a real estate agent that is an expert at selling homes in that area. This is especially important if you are considering buying a home in a different city or state that you are not familiar with. The real estate agent should be familiar with the area, know about the school system and the vicinity of shopping centers. Someone who is familiar with the area will also know which houses have be on the market the longest, the shortest and why they have been sitting or why they sold quickly.
Even the potential real estate agent meets these qualities, it is still important to arrange a face-to-face meeting with them in order to get a full picture of their skills and expertise. Most professional real estate agents are more than happy to speak with a potential customer to answer these questions as well as any other questions you may regarding their services.