Finding a Real Estate Agent
Keep these questions in mind as you look for the best person to guide you in your home search.
When you’re ready to start viewing houses, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent you trust. This person is a licensed professional who helps you search for properties, organize viewings, negotiate with the sellers when you’re ready to buy, and arrange contracts after a deal is made.
To make your house search as smooth as possible, consider interviewing several agents to ensure you connect with someone who understands your needs and is motivated to help you find your home.
Some questions to ask your potential agent:
- How long have you worked in real estate?
You likely want a seasoned professional. If the person has less experience, find out if they work with a mentor or receive guidance from team members.
- Which cities/neighborhoods do you specialize in?
Make sure the person has knowledge of your preferred neighborhoods or can act as your city tour guide to introduce you to neighborhoods.
- What’s your availability?
You’ll want an agent whose availability is flexible, especially if you are buying in a hot market and will need to act quickly to secure your home.
- How many clients are you working with at the moment?
A busy agent indicates a successful agent, but if they are managing dozens of clients, you may not be given the personalized service you expect.
- How do you prefer to stay in touch?
Good communication is key to a successful partnership, so discuss your expectations and preferences with your potential agent.
- Do you have references?
Agents should be able to provide contact information for their previous buyers, and these references can give you helpful insight and advice.
- What do you charge?
Buyers usually do not have to pay fees to the agent; the seller generally pays the real estate agent fees, which are around 6% of the home’s sale price.
- What else should I know?
See how patient and helpful the potential agent is. Do they take the time to discuss the process with you and make you feel comfortable?
Ask your lender for a recommendation. Lenders work with many local real estate professionals and can offer suggestions and guidance to help you connect with the right agent for your needs.
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