The boom in the real estate industry across the U.S. has resulted in the emergence of countless number of real estate players in the market. Buying/selling a property is a life-changing decision and you definitely want a competent realtor to help you through this complex process. A capable real estate agent acts as a liaison between two parties. His/her rich experience, local knowledge, and negotiation skills can go a long way in saving your precious time, effort, and money.
Every realtor is different, which is why it’s important to get acquainted with their skills, knowledge, and expertise in the field before you involve them in your property decision. You can always talk to friends, neighbors, and acquaintances for recommendations on a few able realtors; however, it is wise to interview realtors yourself before you make the final choice. Here are eight questions you must ask every potential real estate agent before doing business with him/her.
1. How Experienced Are You in the Field of Real Estate?
Experience counts. Though most real estate agents will be energetic and cautious about meeting your requirements, having a certain amount of prior experience helps in overcoming common challenges encountered in this field. However, spending countless years in this field doesn’t translate into expertise. Asking this question will help you understand the realtor’s professional background, his/her certifications, as well as the number of years spent on the job.
2. Is Real Estate Your Full-Time/Part-Time Assignment?
If your prospective realtor is engaged in an occupation other than dealing in real estate, it may get difficult for you to reach him/her during emergencies and schedule meetings pertaining to buying/selling your property. A part-time agent will be available to work on your project only after his/her full-time work hours. If you want someone to assist you in making a wise decision, it helps to choose an agent who is specialized in this field and is working full-time for your cause. Asking this question before you sign the contract will give you clarity on the amount of time the realtor will dedicate to your work depending on his/her availability.
3. Which Neighborhoods Have You Worked In?
Every realtor has a definite amount of experience of working in a particular location depending on the number of deals he/she has cracked. Asking this question will help you understand which neighborhood the realtor is more familiar with. For instance, if you want to sell your business property located in Stapleton, opting for realtor from a Stapleton commercial real estate agency will fetch you faster and better deals in comparison to an agent who is based in another part of the city.
4. Do You Have Support Staff or Do You Work on Your Own?
If the prospective realtor works with support staff, you should be clear on who will manage your project so that you can coordinate with the same person from the beginning until the end. On the other hand, if the realtor is working independently, you should ensure that your interests do not suffer as only one person will manage multiple tasks at the same time. Check if your prospective realtor is using technological aids to work efficiently. Mobile applications with electronic signatures, social media marketing, and email marketing help in making the process of buying/selling property faster.
5. Are You Licensed by the National Association of Realtors?
Only an agent who is a member of The National Association of Realtors is allowed to use the title ‘Realtor.’ When awarded with this title, the agent agrees to abide by the organization’s Code of Ethics and to undergo ongoing education in the field. Receiving a realtor’s license requires a series of stringent testing, education, and a decent understanding of the real-estate business. Asking this question will help you understand the realtor’s membership status. Moreover, this license will also help you check for any lawsuits or complaints filed against him/her. In most states in the U.S., the license number can be entered online to check whether or not the realtor is in good standing.
6. How Many Clients Are You Currently Representing?
Realtors who have numerous clients are typically thought to be more experienced in handling multiple cases effectively and enjoy a sound reputation in the market. However, apart from checking the clientele count, make sure you ask about the number of deals closed successfully. This will be an accurate indicator of his/her efficiency.
7. Once You Acquire This Contract, How Often Will You Communicate with Me?
Ideally, a realtor is expected to keep you posted about the latest updates pertaining to your property on a regular basis. He/she must inform you of the latest deals (if you are a buyer) and of prospective customers (if you are a seller). Depending on when you need advice, you should be able to easily reach the agent via a phone call or an email.
8. Can I Contact Your References?
This is the best way to measure the confidence of your realtor in handling your property matter. If the real estate agent has had a long history of managing deals successfully, he/she will have a list of satisfied clients. Ask for names and contact details of at least two recent patrons. When you contact these clients, enquire about their experience when dealing with the realtor and the support offered by him/her during the entire selling/buying process.
The community of realtors is a mixed bag with, each one having a different level of experience and skill sets. Choosing an expert realtor can be tricky. It is, therefore, better to ask him/her plenty of questions before you decide to do business to avoid trouble later on and to reassure yourself. The above questions will help you find a responsible realtor who will seamlessly lead you through your property investment decisions.