The process of shopping for a new house can be really exciting. It’s certainly a lot of fun to tour homes, to imagine what your life would be like in them, to dream big about what your next residence will look like.
But of course, buying a house, like selling your house, is a big decision with major implications—
financial implications, legal implications, and implications to your family’s day-to-day lifestyle. It’s not something to undertake lightly, and for that reason, most buyers choose to work with real estate agents.
Not all real estate agents are created equal, of course, and it’s important to find someone you feel real confidence in—someone you think you can work well with as you pursue a new place to dwell.
That means doing due diligence, potentially interviewing a handful of agents and determining the one whose personality and experience level best mesh with your goals.
In this post, we’ll share some of the key questions to ask as you interview potential agents. Just as a reminder, you can also claim your free SOLD.com report today. In it, you’ll find personalized guidance to help you get your place sold! Get help selling your house by claiming your free report now!
How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Here’s what we’d recommend you ask before hiring a buyer’s agent.
- What’s your experience in these local neighborhoods? You want to find an agent who’s familiar not just with your town, but with the specific communities you’re hoping to call home. For example, if you’re looking to buy a large luxury home in an expensive neighborhood, you probably don’t want an agent who specializes in starter homes or condos.
- How long have you been a licensed real estate agent? There’s nothing necessarily wrong with hiring a novice, but it’s perfectly within your rights to choose an agent who is seasoned, with many years helping people buy and sell.
- Do you have trustworthy professionals to whom you can refer me? Specifically, you want to find an agent who has good relationships with local mortgage lenders, title attorneys, home inspectors, and contractors.
- Do you do real estate part time, or is this your full-time job? A good agent should be accessible throughout the day, ready to field any inquiries or concerns. You shouldn’t have too much trouble getting their attention. As such, you really want someone who’s fully invested in helping buyers and sellers, not someone who’s doing it as a hobby.
- How many homes did you help people buy last year? Again, you want to get a feel for the real estate agent’s experience level and track record. If the number seems quite low, it may be because you’re talking to someone who’s more focused on being a seller’s agent (i.e. an agent whose job is to help you sell your home) than a buyer’s agent.
- How many homebuyers are you working with at any given time, on average? Here, you’re looking for balance. An agent who only works with one person at a time probably doesn’t have a great track record for sales. Meanwhile, an agent who works with 50 people at a time may not be able to provide you with much personal attention.
- Can you provide me with reviews or testimonials from previous clients? If the agent is worth their salt, they’ll likely have previous clients willing to sing their praises!
- How will we communicate? You should clarify what your expectations are upfront—how often do you expect to hear from the agent? And how will you communicate: Text? Email? Phone calls? Look for an agent who’s willing to accommodate your preferred communication style.
- How many houses do you show a typical client? Part of the agent’s job is to learn what you want and find five or 10 homes that meet the criteria. If an agent typically has to show 40 homes before the buyer picks one, it may be because the agent isn’t winnowing the field quite enough.
- Do you require buyers to sign any agreements up front? Some agents do and some don’t, but it’s always good to know up front.
Get the Help You Need to Buy (And Sell) a Home
With these questions, you can ensure an agent who will be a real asset to you in the house hunting process.
And if you need someone to help you sell your house, make sure you request your free SOLD.com today. We’ll give you the independent information you need to get your place sold.