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10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor

Interviewing Cedar City Realtor
Purchasing a home is the most important, and expensive, decision of many people’s lives. There is a great deal of doubt and uncertainty that goes along with such a huge decision. To help curb those uneasy feelings, it’s a good idea to find a real estate agent that you trust. Whether you already have a few agents in mind, or you haven’t even considered professional help yet, it is a good idea to approach the decision in the most prepared manner possible.

There are many people who are available to hire as a real estate agent. However, it is important to remember that agents are not ‘one size fits all.’ You will want to pick someone based on your needs and preferences, rather than someone else’s experience with that person. Once you get closer to choosing your agent, you will want to do a good amount of research on them. You will then want to interview each realtor. If you aren’t sure what you should be asking, the following list of ten questions you should ask your realtor will help you to make the most of the interviewing process.

1. Is this your full-time job?

There are many realtors who use real estate as a side job. Whether you are comfortable with a realtor that is only working for you part-time is up to you. There are many part-time agents that will be able to give you the care and attention of a full-time agent. Keep in mind, though, that since they do have a “day job,” they may be unavailable to you at certain times and may have priorities that take precedence over your needs.

2. Will I be working directly with you or will your assistant handle my needs?

The distribution of work among a realtor and assistants is something that happens quite often. Many times, the assistant will handle the administrative work and keep a line of communication open between you and your realtor. There are instances where a realtor may hand you off to a qualified assistant, or trainee, who will essentially take over your account. If you want to be sure that you are only working with your realtor, be sure to make that clear. However, you should still expect that some paperwork or other less sensitive items will be handled by an assistant, especially if your agent is heavily booked.

3. Which communities and areas are you familiar with?

Location, location, location. This word is repeated constantly in the real estate world. Many people start their home buying journey with only their desired area in mind. If you are focused on living in a certain neighborhood, choose an agent that is familiar with that area. Not only will this mean they will be knowledgeable about the houses currently on the market, they will also have knowledge of past sales. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes time to make offers on properties in the area because you will be sure you are paying a fair and comparable price to others in the neighborhood.

4. Can you provide me with a few references?

Realtors will often ask their past clients if they would be willing to be contacted by potential clients. It is recommended that you speak to at least three former clients to get a good idea of the overall satisfaction you can expect. Keep in mind that a realtor isn’t going to have you contact someone that was unhappy with their performance, so it is important to ask the references certain questions, as well.

Some of these questions should include:

  • Do you know the realtor outside of a professional relationship?
  • What is the one thing you would have done differently throughout the process?
  • Did you feel understood and respected throughout the whole process?
  • How often did you talk to the realtor? Were you ever unable to contact them?
  • Would you use this realtor again?

If the references you contact answer your questions in a satisfactory way, that is a great indication that you and your realtor will have a positive relationship. If you feel uneasy about the references, or it seems like their answers were not genuine, you may want to keep searching for a realtor.

5. What will you charge me?

Talking about money, especially when you’re the one doling it out, is never enjoyable. Don’t let the fear of an awkward conversation prevent you from asking this important question. Since the fees charged will vary based on every agent, this may be a deciding factor when you choose an agent. Most realtor’s fees are negotiable. Generally, you will be charged between 3% to 6%, but fees can fluctuate greatly. If you are unhappy with the amount they tell you, see if you can negotiate within your comfort zone. If they won’t budge, it may be time to look at different realtors.

6. Do you work with more buyers or sellers?

Obviously, if you are looking to sell, you will want someone who is familiar with the selling process. You will want an agent experienced in buying when purchasing. However, if an agent has only sold or only bought, they may not be an ideal choice. You will want a realtor who knows how both sides of the deal work. This broader knowledge will be valuable when it’s time to make a deal.

7. How many clients do you currently have?

When looking for a realtor, many people think that choosing one who does not have many clients is a good idea. They assume that they will be able to provide them with the most attention since they do not have many other clients to worry about. While it’s understandable why some people come to this conclusion, it is inaccurate. When you walk into an unfamiliar restaurant and you are the only diner, don’t you feel a little uneasy? This same mentality can be applied to realtors. While you don’t want to choose a realtor with more clients than he or she can handle, you want to make sure there are other people who trust their skills and expertise.

8. How will we communicate and keep in touch?

This is an important aspect of the buying and selling process that is often overlooked. You need a realtor who is easy to get ahold of in a variety of ways. For example, if your realtor can only be reached by phone, during office hours, but those office hours align with your working hours, you will never be able to contact each other. If a realtor with flexible hours who will answer calls, texts, and emails in a timely manner is important to you, be sure to ask this question before hiring.

9. What education, experience, and expertise to you have?

Just as you need a resume when applying for a job, so should your realtor. It is important that they have taken the courses necessary to be a qualified realtor. Just as important as their education is their overall experience and expertise. You want a realtor with real experience in buying and selling homes. You may also look for a realtor who has expertise in buying or selling certain types of home you are dealing with, such as multi-family homes or other residences which fall outside of the standard single-family dwelling.

10. What else should I know about you and this process?

If your realtor has experience with many clients, this should be an easy question to answer. Undoubtedly, they have had many great questions from clients that they feel would be advantageous for you to know. Whether the information they give you is about them, their company, or the home buying or selling process, it should be useful and pertinent to your needs.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a realtor is that you are the one who will be having the services provided. You have every right to ask as many questions as possible so that you will feel comfortable in your hiring decision. You should never feel as though you are inconveniencing prospective realtors. This feeling leads to choosing an agent hastily, which will surely end in disappointment. By carefully choosing your realtor and asking these ten important questions, you are setting yourself up to have a wonderful real estate experience.

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