There are certain questions all homebuyers should ask when interviewing agents to help them find their next home. In this article, we’ll walk you through what you need to know to get the best deal.
How To Find a Buying Agent You Can Trust
Looking to purchase your dream home? Here are the top three ways to find the best buyer’s agent:
Word of Mouth
If you are relocating within the same area (perhaps to downsize), then you simply need to ask family and friends for their recommendations. Did they recently move and use a Realtor they absolutely adored? Or can their new neighbors not stop raving about the woman who found them their home?
Put the feelers out in your immediate community and keep your ear to the ground. Who knows, some watercooler talk or a post on social media could find you the home of your dreams.
If you are not moving to an area that you have connections in (or if those in your inner-circle have different budgets than you do) another really good way to find a real estate agent that is great for you is to utilize online reviews.
Most top agents now have established online presences. So, if you look on Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, etc. any good buying agent or real estate brokerage firm should have at the very least a FEW reviews.
Another great way to find the best person to help you buy a home is to work with Clever. The team at Clever can find you the best agents in your area to help you buy your home. Clever’s agents come with the best reviews and, most importantly, the best results.
What does a buying agent do for you?
A buying agent is responsible for listening to your needs and finding you the perfect home. They should make you feel comfortable and supported, especially if this is your first time buying a home.
And the best part? The seller of the home pays both the sellers and buyers agent. So go ahead. Pick the best one!
If you are selling your home and looking for an agent, click here.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Buying Agent
In order to find a gem, here is what you should be asking before you hire anyone:
1. Are you fully licensed?
You don’t want to be working with someone who does this as a hobby. You want to work with someone who is a full-time Realtor and licensed by the National Association of Realtors.
2. What is your experience in the neighborhoods I’m interested in?
You want to work with an agent who really knows the area in which you are buying. A good agent will know if a home’s list price is accurate, as well as the general price range for homes in the area.
3. Do you typically work in my price range?
A good agent should be comfortable working in a variety of price ranges. However, partnering with an agent who sells homes in the millions might not be the best idea if you are interested in homes around $250K. This is simply because the agent’s connections and expertise will not be for the type of home you are hoping to secure.
4. How will you keep me informed?
The answer to this question is all about what you prefer.
You might be the kind of person that wants to talk on the phone with their agent every day. Or, you might be the kind of buyer that’s fine with a text every once and while. This is one of the most important questions to ask when interviewing agents simply because matching communication styles is essential.
5. Have you ever owned property yourself?
For the same reason that many parents prefer a pediatrician that also has children, you will want to work with a Realtor who has been in your shoes. If an agent has never owned property of their own, you might want to second-guess working with them, or at least ensure they explain the reasoning behind their choice.
6. Can you tell me about your negotiation style and experience?
You want to get the best deal when you are buying a house.
Because of this, you want to make sure that your potential buyer’s agent is a good negotiator. So, to make sure of this, ask about any additional courses they’ve taken in negotiation. You can also ask about examples of tough deals they’ve put through.
7. What is your approach to winning a bidding war?
Let’s say you find the perfect house, but a few others buyers think it’s perfect as well. It’s a good idea to suss out how a potential Realtor might react to this situation before you commit to working with them. And no, the only way to win isn’t heaps of money. Sometimes it’s attitude and connections.
8. Can I talk to some of your past clients?
You can usually find out what a Realtor’s former clients think about them from their online presence. However, how your potential agent answers this question can tell you a lot about them. Even if you don’t end up calling their references, pay attention to how they speak about former clients.
9. What kinds of partnerships do you have with home service professionals?
You’ll probably need to have the contacts of a good real estate lawyer, a good home inspector, a good appraiser, and more. When picking a buyer’s agent, it can significantly decrease the amount of stress you are under if they already have connections in the industry and you do not have to seek these people out yourself. (However, if they have an "agreement" with these people wherein they are paid to recommend them, steer clear: That's illegal!)
10. Why should I pick you?
Let them sell themselves! Most agents will have a pitch. Take note of what they deem important to highlight during their answer and see if it lines up with your own goals.
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