You’ve decided you’re ready to buy a home, congratulations! The first step to your home search is to find a real estate agent partner to guide you through the process. You ask yourself, “great, where do I start?” Start by interviewing real estate agents to find an agent you like. Find an agent you believe you can trust with the process and sale. Here are some good questions to ask your prospective REALTOR®:
1. Experience: How Long Have You Been an Agent?
It is important to have an agent who has experience, but experience in real estate can be a tricky question. Someone could have a real estate license for a decade and only sell a few homes a year. You can also have an agent who is newly licensed selling 20, 30, 40+ homes a year. Which REALTOR® should you choose? Hire a REALTOR® who has transactional experience. Don’t be afraid to ask experienced based questions. Ask questions like: how many transactions did you close last year? What percentage of those transactions were Buyers or Sellers? You want to know the agent representing you represents Buyers. There are different skills to help buyers buy versus sellers sell. The bottom line is you want a REALTOR you know, like, and trust to represent you in buying your new home.
2. Availability: Will you work around my schedule? How Soon Can You Show Me New Listings?
Life can be a little crazy! You need an agent with a flexible showing schedule to ensure you are able to view the favorite homes on your list. Additionally, great homes come on the market and sell fast, sometimes in only a few days. You need a real estate agent who is responsive to your needs and the speed of the market. The agent should be able to arrange showings on popular listings the same day. The agent should also have a flexible schedule that allows showings on nights and weekends.
3. Vendors: Do you have a recommended vendor list?
There are a lot of moving parts to a real estate transaction. Often buyers need to make decisions fast about who to use for professional services. Your REALTOR® should have a recommended vendor list available. These vendors will have done good work for the agent before. This will save you tons of time versus combing through Google trying to find a good inspector, surveyor, fence company, etc.
4. References: Do you have previous clients who I can interview?
Do your homework on any REALTOR® you interview. Google them. Find their personal website. Check their Zillow reviews, social media sites, and Google My Business Pages. Read what their past clients have to say about them. Ask the REALTOR® for names of past clients who you can speak with about their experience. You want to find out ahead of time if this is someone who other clients have gotten to know, like, and trust. Don’t be afraid to ask! You are going to spend a lot of time with your REALTOR® and trusting them to help you buy your new home. Do your homework!
5. Communication: How and How Often Will You Communicate with Me?
Communication throughout the home buying process is essential to a smooth transaction. The more the client and agent communicate the smoother the process will be. Let your agent know in the beginning your preferred method of communication. Do you prefer a call? Text? Email? A Facebook message? Your agent should be sending you emails once per day with new listings. Also, find out from your agent if they have a weekly check-in day for their under-contract clients. This will be helpful in making sure your transaction stays on track and closes on time.
If you are looking for a home in Jacksonville, NC and surrounding areas, call top real estate agent, Kelli Salter, and ask her these five questions. Kelli will answer these questions, any other questions, provide references, and be your guide in your home buying journey.