You’ve been putting funds aside for a down payment and are ready to buy your first house, and now it’s time to choose a REALTOR®. As a first-time homebuyer, you want to work with a REALTOR® who is trustworthy and will look out for your best interests. Purchasing a home is likely to be the largest investment you will make, so choosing a real estate agent you can trust to get the job done well and with your best interests in mind is critical.
Before you sign on the dotted line with a real estate agent, here are 10 Questions First Time Homebuyers Should Ask a Realtor:
- Are you licensed and have you been in real estate for a long time? Decide if you prefer the advice of a young, upbeat REALTOR® or a knowledgeable, experienced agent. A licensed and designated real estate agent will be a member of a brokerage and association and will agree to follow its code of conduct.
- Do you have any testimonials? What was the outcome of their prior listings? What was their prior client’s experience like? Is the REALTOR® a proven performer with a proven track record? They should also be aware of their average list to sales price ratio, which demonstrates strong negotiation abilities.
- What services do you provide? What services do you provide/cover in terms of preparing a house for sale? A REALTOR® should be able to talk confidently about their work and the services they can provide. They may be able to connect you to house inspectors, contractors, or designers if they know other individuals in the field; they may even include certain services in their package.
- Are you familiar with the area? Your REALTOR® should be knowledgeable about the region in which you are buying or selling, and should be able to confidently answer your and potential buyers’ inquiries.
- Is it possible for me to check the documents before signing them? A competent REALTOR® will provide all relevant paperwork with you ahead of time, go through them with you to verify you understand them, and answer any concerns you may have.
- What is your fee structure? Some real estate brokers charge more than others, and the price may occasionally be worked out. What distinguishes them from the competition?
- How fast do you return phone calls and emails? When working with a variety of experts, from attorneys to photographers to inspectors, good communication skills and availability are essential.
- Do you have a sales plan in place? Your REALTOR® should have a strategy and be able to explain how it differs from that of other real estate agents. Their marketing strategy should be tailored to your requirements and give you confidence that they will be able to reach a wide audience in order to sell your house swiftly and for the best possible price.
- Do you provide a guarantee? Will the REALTOR® allow you to cancel the contract if you are dissatisfied with the service? What are your alternatives if they are unable to sell your home? Some real estate brokers will even offer to purchase your property!
- What more do I need to know that I haven’t previously inquired about? You will be better equipped to make an informed decision if you ask more questions.
Because the proper REALTOR® may save you time, money, and worry, it’s critical to pick an agent that shares your fundamental beliefs. You should interview and study at least three or four agents to have a solid understanding of who is a good fit, and you should not feel obligated to employ a REALTOR® who is a family member or friend.