Are you a buyer ready to start your home search? Interviewing agents to represent you should be your very first step! Although it might be easier to choose your best friends brother who’s been licensed for a week, I would encourage you to do your homework 🙂 Purchasing a home is the biggest investment you will ever make! Wouldn’t you want the “best in class” to represent you? Take the time to interview a few agents, ask about their real estate experience, find out what areas they specialize in. Real estate agents are not created equal, therefore, they do not represent you in the same way. If you’re not sure where to start, below are some questions to help guide you through the interview process.
7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Buyer’s Agent:
1. Do you work on a team or as a solo agent?
Working with a team vs a solo agent will warrant a completely different experience. A solo agent will be doing the job of a listing agent, buying agent, marketing assistant, administrative assistant, salesperson, so on and so forth. While a team has a group of professionals that each specializes in their individual role. This ensures a high level of customer service and a smooth transaction.
2. How much experience do you have in the areas I am considering?
Evaluating neighborhoods and communities with your real estate agent is an important step in the home buying process. An experienced real estate agent will help you get a realistic feel of each area and provide you with additional options on areas you may not have considered.
3. What is your negotiation style and experience in this market?
The DC area real estate market is very competitive so negotiation skills will be key. Your agent should be a savvy business person in order to negotiate the best terms and price for you. Make sure they have the experience winning in a competitive market or multiple offer situation. This is not something the real estate licensing course teaches.
4. What are the pitfalls in a real estate contract that I need to pay attention to?
There are many contingencies that go along with a real estate contract. Contingencies are conditions of the contract. You want to make sure your agent can explain to you what each contingency means. These contingencies are put in place to protect you as the buyer, but if they are not met, you could risk losing your deposit and more!
5. Have you ever won a bidding war?
In this competitive market, the more experienced agents typically win the bidding wars. Have the agent outline their strategies and tactics on how they’ve won bidding wars and still protected their clients’ interests.
6. Do you have experience helping a client purchasing the type of property I would like to buy?
It’s important to know that purchasing a condo, townhome or single family home is a different process for each. Make sure your real estate agent has expertise in purchasing the type of property you are interested in. Purchasing a condo may require you to pay a condo association fee that could drastically change your affordability. You want your real estate agent to have knowledge of the process for each transaction to be able to best advise you.
7. Can you refer me to home service professionals?
An experienced real estate agent should have a list of vendors that can help service your home. Our list of vendors includes high end, mid level, and affordable work depending on our client’s budget and needs.
Everyone’s situation is different; you may be a first time homebuyer, a buyer that needs to sell their home before they can buy, or a buyer that is ready to downgrade and retire. Whatever the case, you will want a realtor that has enough experience to help you through the obstacles that a real estate transaction may require. If you are looking for an agent to help you with your home buying needs, we’d love to be considered! Remember, a buyer’s agent is free to the buyer! 🙂