Buying your home may just be the biggest purchase you make in a lifetime, so it’s important to make sure you have the right person on your team representing you. When you’re house hunting, it’s helpful to know what to ask a realtor when buying a home. There are questions you can ask that will give insight into the realtor’s experience and dedication to finding the perfect-fit home for your family.
How long will it take to get me into a home?
While part of the purchasing timeline depends on your own actions, you want to know that the real estate agent you choose will make your home purchase a priority. Part of the discussion of how long it takes to buy a home should also include asking your agent if he or she works full or part time as a real estate agent. According to the National Association of Realtors, 23% of realtors work on a part-time basis. If you’re on a strict deadline (needing to get into a new home because your current house has sold), or if you simply want to complete the process as quickly as possible, you’ll want to know how much time your agent can dedicate to your house hunt.
How will we communicate?
Your agent will likely have multiple buyers or sellers they are working with for other real estate needs. Ask the realtor how you will communicate and how often you can expect to hear from them. Because realtors are often out of the office, email may be the best way to stay in touch, or perhaps the agent has an office specialist who will stay in constant communication with you. You may inquire as to how many clients the agent is currently working with to get an idea of the time they will have available for you.
What are your realtor fees?
The seller in a real estate deal is typically responsible for the realtor commission fee, however, some companies may tack on an additional fee for the seller or buyer, so make sure you walk through the agreement with your agent until you fully understand what financial responsibilities you’ll be assuming. Also, request an “Estimated Buyer’s Cost” report from your broker, that way you’ll have a more precise look at exactly who pays for what.
In what area or neighborhood do you typically work?
As a homebuyer, it’s important to have an agent who is familiar with and experienced in the communities you have interest. Realtors who understand the market in your neighborhood choice will likely have a heads up before homes even make it to market and are familiar with fair market value of the homes so you get the best price possible.
Will you represent the buyer and seller?
Some real estate agents will only represent the buyer or the seller; some however, have potential to represent both. That’s not to imply hiring an agent who works for both sides is wrong, but it can be a potentially sticky situation if you discover halfway through the purchasing process that your agent is also obligated to have the best interest of the seller in mind. So, having this information up front, allows you to make the decision as to whether that’s an avenue you’d like to travel.