One of our Realtors has provided us with the top 10 questions you should ask your REATLOR® when looking to buy property. It's important to make sure you are dealing with an agent who knows what they are talking about when you are making such a large purchase!
10. Are you familiar with the area?
Your real estate agent should know basic information about the neighborhood, surrounding neighborhoods, closest shopping options and what school system the property is in (a plus would be school ratings). They should also have knowledge of the safety/crime rate in the given area.
9. Ask for comps of particular area of interest
The value of any given property is often determined by similar homes in the same neighborhood. See what these houses were sold for in the last 12 months to make sure your budget matches up.
8. Ask about growth and decline of area.
Is this area booming? If so, the value of the home you want to buy might increase sooner rather than later. Or, are people moving out of the area due to economical decline or crime? Your REATLOR® should be able to help you with these questions, but make sure and do your own research, too.
7. Do you work as individual or on a team?
Many Realtors have teammates or assistants. These people might be tasked with doing some research on your property search or communicating with you via phone or email – so it’s just good to know on the front end if you will be dealing with anyone other than the main realtor you initially contacted.
6. Have you sold properties in this particular area?
If your REATLOR® has had transactions in this area in the past, they might be more familiar with the surrounding area, covenants, or other relevant issues to the neighborhood.
5. What is your marketing plan?
If you’re hiring a realtor to list your property, how will they plan to get the word out? Print ads? Online ads? Social media marketing?
4. What is your commission?
Generally, 6% is the total commission on a real estate transaction, split between seller’s agent and buyer’s agent. This could be negotiated down if the REATLOR® is willing to reduce their commission by 1% to make the sale happen, but that is usually a last resort.
3. How long have you been in real estate?
Your REATLOR® may have gotten licensed or started selling real estate full-time 4 or 5 years ago but may have been working in real estate in the area over the past 19 or 20 years in another outlet - so they are much more qualified than someone who just graduated from college or recently relocated to the area. Knowing some background about the area is important!
2. How will we communicate?
Does your REATLOR® call, text or email as their main form of communication? Does that work for you, or do you prefer a different kind of communication? Make sure you’re on the same page about this issue, because you will be communicating with each other often!
1. What do I need to do to sell my home?
Your REATLOR® should provide you with suggestions such as, but not limited to: clean up lawn/flower beds, declutter counter space, take down personal photos, get your home deep cleaned, repair or repaint some walls/baseboards or other make other minor aesthetic changes to make the property more appealing to potential buyers.