Thursday, December 5, 2019 / by Connie Tracy
During the home-buying process, you will collaborate with and speak with your real estate agent more than any other party involved. This person will be your right hand, support system, and, in some cases, your eyes and ears. Most importantly, they will be the expert throughout the home search or home selling process. Find an agent that fits your needs and they'll work for you to find the ideal home at the price point you can afford.
Not every agent is the same. Take a look at their history of homes sold in the past 6 months to a year. If they have just a few, then you know that this not their number one priority. They may work another job, which may not be in the best interest for you.
There are typically two agents involved in a transaction. The agents are the buyer's agent who represents the buyer and buyer only. There is also the seller's agent who represents the seller and their property. Both agents work on a commission averaging 3% for each agent. This cost is paid by the sellers of the property. Agents are paid only when you close on a home.
These agents should provide the highest quality customer service. They should communicate often and keep their clients posted on updates and properties. As many agents depend upon referrals from buyers and sellers for future business. Remember that having the right agent is an investment into the future home and financial wealth by choosing the right home.
Additionally, you want your agent to EDUCATE, ADVOCATE, and NEGOTIATE for you!
Here are some tips to use while interviewing real estate agents for purchasing and selling homes:
Finding a Quality Agent:
You have found a lender. Lenders interact with tons of agents over the years and can usually point buyers in the right direction towards professional agents that provide the BEST customer service and efficient documentation to the lender. TRUST your lender's opinion, especially if the lender is local.
Friends and Family:
Know any friends and family that have recently sold or purchased a home? ASK them for suggestions! They will probably give you the BEST review of an agent and the experience they had with them... whether it was good or bad.
Check out Reviews:
How do buy online? We look at reviews! I know you are looking at Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia to name a few. Check out the brokerage and agents reviews. This speaks VOLUMES!
Drive the Area:
See any agent's signs in the area you are looking or live in? It is likely that agent is an expert in that neighborhood. Reach out and learn more about why so many neighbors turn to them for real estate sales.
Here are some interview questions to help you narrow down your prospects:
How long have you been in Real Estate?
Experience can be a benefit. Agents have probably seen a lot of crazy situations. Not one transaction is alike. What is important is how they handled any problems that arose.
Any crazy transactions?
Reality is that home buying and selling does not always go as planned. Ask the agent about these situations to determine how they handled the pressure and how did they resolve any problems that came about.
Ask how many of their transactions closed on time. If there is a large number that didn't close on time, this could be a RED FLAG. Perhaps you may want to move on.
Is the Commission Price Negotiable?
If their commission is over the typical 3%, ask them why they feel their services are greater than other agents. A lower percentage can be a good thing but also a true headache. An agent may not be as experienced or may attempt to force a quicker closing on a home that the buyer is not 100% in love with to receive the commission faster. EEK!
Know the intentions of the agent. Are they upfront with a buyer/seller even if it isn't what they want to hear? Is the agent looking out for the buyer's or seller's best interest? Buyers and sellers should trust their gut and choose the agent that is going to EDUCATE, ADVOCATE, and NEGOTIATE!