When choosing a Realtor take your time, make sure it is the right fit. As a buyer, your agent is paid by the seller. The seller pays their listing agent, and that agent splits that commission with the buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent has your best interest in mind, they have a fiduciary duty to protect you during your purchases. They will help you find a property, write an offer, negotiate on your behalf and then guide you through the rest of the transaction. You will spend a lot of time with your agent, be communicating on an almost daily basis, and trusting them to help guide you through one of the biggest purchases you will ever make!
Some questions to ask your prospective REALTOR ®, these will help give you valuable information as you move forward with an agent.
- Is this your full time job? During the course of a transaction, time is of the essence. When things are happening, we need to move quickly and be flexible with our time commitments. It is important that your agent is able to be there for you and the transaction when you need them.
- How many sales have you handled in the area I’m looking in?
Local knowledge is important. Property values, local information, connections to local contractors and services are all items that will help you move through the transaction.
3. How many sales have you handled for the type of property I’m looking for? Single Family, Investment Property, Farms & Ranches, Land, Condos, Townhomes, Manufactured Homes
Everybody has to start somewhere, so if you agent has not handled the kind of purchase then ask them what kind of support they have, a strong broker giving them advice is invaluable. Each type of property has specific items that you agent needs to have on their radar. Rural properties are associated with Septics, Wells… important amenities that require knowledge.
4. What education/experience/background do you have that will benefit me and my purchase?
This is a little like question number 1, how committed is your agent to their profession?
5. Who else will be working with me?
Have an idea how your agent will be working with you throughout the transaction. A lot of one on one, or will you be working with an assistant, or a team member.
6. Are there any complaints that have been filed against you?
While uncomfortable, this is a good question. It’s important to know your agent’s history.
7. This Market is very hot, how quickly will you be able to show me a home, and what are your strategies for a successful offer?
Make sure your agent has time for you and your needs. Price is not the only factor in a good offer, be sure your agent knows how to make your stand out.
8. What Happens if I don’t want to work with you anymore?
I think it’s important to have this conversation. I ask my clients to sign a buyer broker agreement, a document that establishes them as my client, after we have met at least once. Sometimes agents and clients aren’t a good fit and that is ok.