Real estate agents are varied and have multiple levels of experience and motive. Finding a good real estate agent before you purchase a home is worth shopping for.
It will take time to find a home that you like, and you should be as determined to find a great real estate agent that you like and trust to keep your best interests at heart. A professional real estate agent or REALTOR® should not have a problem answering some of the following questions, and it will give you peace of mind. Communication and understanding should be a strong foundation of your relationship with your agent.
- Is your real estate agent new, experienced in the field, full time or just part time?
- Have they provided you a list of references with contact information?
Asking for references of past clients helps to get a good understanding of personal reviews, take the time to actually speak to some of them.
Contact people who have been home buyers working with this Realtor or company. Even if the references did not purchase a home, they will have very useful information about their experience with the Realtor.
If it is just a part time position for the Realtor, you may find it difficult to schedule meetings or viewings at times which are convenient to you. If they have a team, or assistants involved, get a list of anyone that you would likely be in contact with.
Determine the mode and frequency of contact whether via e-mail or phone. If you lack communication, you may miss important home viewing opportunities.
- Does the agent have an informational and easy to access website for communication and reference?
It can save valuable time reviewing properties before you actually go to the location.
- Does the Realtor represent you, or the seller?
This makes a huge difference when it comes to making a decision on the price. If they have a personal connection with the seller, they may not have your best interests in mind. Ask for a list of fees in writing, so that there are no surprises in the total cost.
When buying demand to work with a buyer’s agent (buyer broker), no exceptions!
- Will the agent show all available properties from other companies’ listings, or just their own?
Buying opportunities could be missed, and it would be costly to have more than one Realtor.
These are just basic guidelines, but if you are not afraid to ask, it will make a much less stressful buying experience. Well constructed research builds the strong foundation of a future home.
Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-coast.