9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling a home is a significant life event, and it is crucial to have the proper guidance to make the best decisions. That’s why finding the right real estate agent is a critical part of each process. By asking these nine questions when searching for an agent, you’ll better understand their qualifications and how they can support you during the process.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
You’ll want to confirm the agent has the necessary experience to help you complete the transaction successfully. An agent with multiple years of experience should be able to guide you through buying or selling a home. However, don’t shy away from a new agent. If they’re a rookie in the field, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions about their training or if they’re part of a team with more experienced agents.
Can I see your real estate license?
You always want to make sure you’re working with a licensed professional. The agent shouldn’t have an issue showing you proof of their certification.
Are you a listing agent, buying agent, or both?
You’ll find agents specializing in either the sale or purchase of homes, which is great, as they can help you with thoughtful insight into your specific situation. However, don’t count out agents who work with both buyers and sellers, as they may provide in-depth knowledge of both sides of the transaction.
Have you worked in this area before?
Whether you’re looking to buy in a specific neighborhood or sell your home, having an agent who is knowledgeable about the area can help you make informed decisions. The types of homes that are in demand can be different from one community to the next. An agent with experience in your market will know how much homes are selling for, as well as additional information, like the safety of the community and any upcoming development plans.
Do you work in my price range?
Having an agent who understands the market you’re looking for or selling in can help lead to success. If an agent specializes in clients searching for luxury homes, they may not suit you if you have a more moderate budget. Additionally, the value of your home can drastically change the marketing involved in selling it.
What is your preferred method of communication?
Everyone has their own way they like to communicate, whether through email, texting, or phone call. It is essential for you and your agent to agree on the best way to communicate back and forth. You may want to ask how many clients they are currently working with to gauge how quickly they will be able to respond to your questions and concerns. If an agent uses a specific smartphone app to schedule showings or provide information, make sure they take time to help you install the app and they show you how to use it.
What’s your commission fee?
This is specifically for sellers, as commission comes out of the final sale price, typically around 6 percent, and is split between the listing and buying agents. However, you’ll want to confirm the cost and whether certain circumstances can change this. Learn more about the ins and outs of real estate commission here.
Can you provide references?
Since the agent will be working for you, look at this opportunity as a job interview and request references. An established agent should be able to provide a list of past clients who can offer insight into the agent’s strengths. If they’re a well-established agent, you may be able to check out their online reviews as references.
Do you have any questions for me?
Finding the right agent is the start of an important partnership. This question gives the agent a chance to show an interest in your goals and better understand your situation.
An agent’s resume may include several certifications that sound impressive, but it’s important to know what they mean. Check out this glossary of real estate certifications and designations to get a better idea of the expertise your agent brings to the table.