Realtors can save you time, money, and a lot of stress when buying a home. With a network in the local housing industry and the tools to find out a lot of information at once, a real estate agent is an invaluable source for home buyers – particularly for first-time home buyers who will inevitably have a lot of questions about the process.
TLC recently published a list of top ten questions to ask a realtor before agreeing to work with him or her to sell your home.
1. Can I contact your references?
References are important in an industry that requires networking in order to get the best deals and be informed of the best properties.
2. Can I have a CMA for the area?
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a report that will show you what homes that are similar to yours have been listed for (and have sold for) in your area.
3. Is this area growing or declining?
Knowing if prices are rising or falling will give you an understanding of how difficult or easy it might be to make a considerable profit on your sale.
4. Do you work solo or with a team?
There are benefits and drawbacks to working with more than one agent when trying to sell your home. It’s always good to know on the front end how many people will be handling your calls, answering your questions, meeting with your potential buyers, etc.
5. How many clients are you currently representing?
This is important because you’ll know how much individual attention you and your home will receive.
6. How will you market my home?
Find out if the agent uses current marketing tools and trends, such as social networking, to market his or her listed homes.
7. How do your realtor fees work?
It is important to understand all potentially hidden costs on the front end to avoid any hassle or confusion later in the deal, after you have already signed paperwork and contracts.
8. What experience do you have?
Experience is crucial in the real estate industry. While you may have to pay less for inexperienced realtors, you should always consider whether paying less is worth his or her potential inability to sell your home due to lack of experience.
9. How will you keep me informed?
The communication process is important: how will he or she keep you informed of who is looking at your home and when?
10. What are the drawbacks to my home?
Again, this helps when attempting to form a realistic expectation of how easily it will be to sell your home – as well as how much you can reasonably expect to make from the sale.