Choosing a buyer’s agent to represent you in the single largest purchase you’ll ever make is important. Below is a list of top questions to ask a buyers agents to help you understand how a buyers agent will represent you and protect your interests.
It sounds simple enough finding a REALTOR® to help you choose the place where you’re going to live for the next five, seven, 30 years. The first real estate agent you meet might seem friendly enough, but don’t rush. Ask yourself if they will be a good fit to work with you?
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A good question that allows the agent to express their services, priorities, and benefits in your home shopping experience.
Will they actively search for your perfect home? Will they evaluate it before inviting you? Will they negotiate purchasing terms? Understand what services they will be providing you and don’t be afraid to ask them to provide you with additional services.
Most agents can work across a wide variety of prices, but if they typically help home buyers purchase $2 million homes or more and you have a strict budget at $400,000 home, then they might not make you a top priority. Similarly, if you want to purchase a luxury condo but they typically work with single family homes, they might not know the market or have the right connections to buy your dream home.
Agents keep diverse hours. They need to meet the schedule of their clients (who are often working during the day) while also prioritizing the schedules of associated partners & vendors (who meet during the day). This may mean they catch up on phone conversations and emails in the early morning or late evening. Be sure you two are on the same page when it comes to their availability.
This comes down to personal preference. However, if you prefer to communicate over email in a timely manner but they prefer to call or are not responsive, then they will not be a good fit. All of our partner agents are tech savvy and will respond to your requests in a timely manner.
While an agent with a big book of business is usually a compliment to the agent it may also mean you’re not their top priority. What would happen if two (or more) of their clients want the same home? How will the agent prioritize interests?
Knowing who you will be working with is important and if additional people will be working with you, you ought to understand their role in the transaction.
Buyers agents are usually compensated when the home you’re purchasing closes escrow. Confirm this and ask them to confirm other expenses that will result in the home purchasing process – this is crucial if you are an out-of-state buyer where real estate laws vary from state to state.
Do you have a network of recommended vendors? Inspectors, Lenders, Etc…
While most states require signed agreements in real estate transactions you may want to confirm when you’re contractually obligated to stay with your buyer representative.
What does this agent offer that you may not find with other agents? Do they specialize in first-time homebuyers? Are they familiar with a specific community/town?
Most agents get paid when you buy a house, giving them an incentive to close the deal, even if you have doubts. Even if you have complaints after you purchase your home, it may be too late to do anything. Ask your agent if she’s willing to guarantee your satisfaction, and what recourse you’ll have for a bad experience.