When planning to buy or sell a home, hiring a local realtor is ideal. This is especially true if you don’t have much experience with the buying or selling process. Although it seems like a simple task to find a home and complete a purchase, there’s much more involved than an exchange of money.
It takes time and knowledge of the housing market to find a house that meets all your needs and for a price within your budget. It also takes this same type of experience to list a house for sale on the market and get it sold quickly for an ideal price. There are also many other steps you must take before closing on a deal and lots of paperwork to read, understand, and sign.
This is where a realtor comes into play. With the experience and knowledge of the best real estate agent, you can buy or sell your home with ease. Before hiring a realtor, however, there are a few factors to consider to ensure they’re qualified.
Continue reading below to learn several questions to ask a realtor before hiring them!
Are You Familiar With This Location?
Hiring a local realtor is essential because you need someone who’s familiar with the area where you’re buying or selling. Ask the realtor how long they’ve helped clients buy or sell homes in your neighborhood. Then, have them provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA).
A CMA is a list of homes recently sold in the area and homes currently on the market in the area. A CMA is the best way to compare your home to other similar homes nearby when selling. This is a great starting place when selling a home and a good realtor should be able to provide you with this information and other information about the housing market in your location.
Can I See Your References?
A reputable realtor should have a list of references for clients to contact. Ask the realtor to provide you with a few references for you to contact. References are the best people to tell you what it’s like working with the realtor on a daily basis.
Make sure the realtor can provide you with references and then contact each one. Prepare a list of questions to ask about the realtor and the overall experience working with them. For example, was the realtor easy to get a hold of?
Were all of the clients happy with the work the realtor provided? Would they recommend this realtor to you? Don’t forget to confirm that the references you call were indeed clients and not simply friends or family members.
Is This Area Declining or Growing?
Once you have a neighborhood in mind, you need to know if that neighborhood is on the decline or has the potential to grow. Any home that a realtor shows you should be in a neighborhood with potential for growth. Realtors know about the housing market in several neighborhoods and should be able to provide you with this information.
Keep in mind that in just a few years, a highly sought-after neighborhood can turn into a foreclosed town while a less-than-ideal neighborhood can transform into a prosperous residential area. The local realtor you hire should have information about all neighborhoods in your area and should be able to lead you in the right direction.
Do You Work Alone or With a Team?
It’s important to know exactly who you’ll be working with. Some realtors work in teams while others work alone such as Lasvegashomesbyleslie.com. There are realtors who work in pairs and others who work with several realtors all under one company name.
There are a few pros and cons of both, so it’s best to understand each option to determine which one is the best for you. For example, when working with a team of realtors, you might not always be speaking or working with the realtor you initially hired.
There might be other realtors on the team taking your calls and answering your questions. However, working with a team of realtors could mean more time given to you and your home buying or selling experience. If the realtor does work with a team, then it’s essential to understand what specific jobs your realtor has for that team.
If you hire a realtor that works alone, then you’ll want to ask questions about their workload. How many clients does the realtor currently have? How much of their time will they be able to dedicate to you?
Decide what option’s best for you by understanding the pros and cons of each.
How Many Clients Do You Have?
No matter who you’re working with, remember to always ask how many clients they’re already working with. Although this is most important when hiring a realtor that works alone (as stated above), it’s also important to ask a realtor that’s part of a team as well. You should know how many clients they’re working with to help you determine how much of their time you’ll have.
If the realtor has many other clients, then it’s important to understand your time will be shared with these other clients. Before hiring them, try to contact them a few times. Set up an interview and a time to meet with them.
How easy are they to get ahold of? Were they able to fit you into their schedule? Do keep in mind that a reputable realtor will have other clients they’re working with.
What’s important is that they’re not stretched too thin and unable to give you the time and attention you need as well.
What Ways Will You Market My Home?
Now you’ll want to ask the realtor how they’ll market your home for you. There are some things you can do to market your own home, so what can the realtor offer that you can’t? for example, placing a “For Sale” sign in the yard is simple enough for any seller to do.
What resources does the realtor have to get your house sold quickly? What various platforms will they use? Will they post your house on a multiple listing service?
Will they incorporate social media and print flyers or ads in the local newspaper? Speak with them about all the different ways they plan to market your house that you might not be able to do alone.
What Are Your Realtor Fees?
Keep in mind that all realtors charge their own fees, although it’s generally around 6 percent of the final selling price. If you’re selling a house, then you might want to consider negotiating this commission rate. How negotiable the realtor is might depend on the market. If houses are selling quickly, then the realtor might be willing to negotiate.
Otherwise, the realtor might not have room to do so. There are a few other factors you’ll want to go over with the realtor as well, such as the cancellation policy. You never know when you might no longer need a realtor or decide to hold off on the process for now.
How Will You Communicate With Me?
When working with a realtor, communication is essential. Ask the realtor how they plan on keeping in contact with you. You should have several forms of contact to reach your realtor (email, cell phone, etc…).
Then, ask the realtor what updates you can expect them to give you. If selling a house, then the realtor should inform you of each potential buyer interested in the house. If buying a house, then the realtor should inform you of each detail during the buying process (paperwork, repairs, inspection, etc…).
Do You Have a List of Recommended Vendors?
When buying or selling a house, you’ll need to get in touch with a few different people. Knowing who to trust is often challenging. A reputable realtor will have connections with several different vendors.
For example, you’ll most likely need to deal with lenders, contractors, inspectors, and other vendors. Does the realtor have a list of recommended vendors for you to work with? A strong network is beneficial when selecting your realtor.
Can a Local Realtor Be Beneficial to You?
Do you believe a local realtor would be beneficial to you? If you’re currently in the process of buying or selling a house, then a realtor can help greatly! They’ll be there to guide you through the current housing market and the entire buying or selling process.
Before you hire a realtor near you, be sure to read through each one of these questions listed above. Ask your realtor all of the above questions to determine if they’re the right fit for you!
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