When buying a home, who you choose to work with matters more than you think. Finding the right agent can make or break your entire experience, so it’s important to interview a few candidates before settling on “the one.” Not sure where to start? Here are a few must-ask questions to consider before you pick your buyer’s agent.
How long have you been an agent?
Unless you mesh well with a newer agent, it’s usually better to go with someone who has at least a few years of experience under their belt. They’ll have the knowledge you need to navigate the ins and outs of the entire buying process.
Are you a full-time or a part-time agent?
When you’re buying a home, would you rather work with someone who puts in part-time or full-time effort? It’s best to go with a full-time agent that can devote more attention to you and your specific needs.
What experience do you have in my preferred areas?
If you already know where you want to move, consider collaborating with a real estate pro that has plenty of experience in your target areas. They’ll have the inside scoop on the most popular neighborhoods, price trends, and all the other details you need to know before you buy.
How many clients are you working with right now?
It may seem tempting to use a popular agent—they must be the best if they have a lot of clients, right? This might be true, but you also want to make sure they have the time to take on another buyer. The last thing you want is an agent that has a hard time scheduling showings or returning your calls.
How can I get in touch with you?
Communication is key in the world of real estate, and every agent has a different way of connecting with clients. Be upfront about which method works best for you, and confirm that your agent is willing to reach out in a way that you’re comfortable with.
What’s your availability?
Even if an agent is able to take you on as a client and is willing to communicate, they might have a lot of other things going on in their personal and professional lives. Make sure they’re honest with you about their availability…and that their schedule mashes with your expectations. If they will be out of town, do they have someone experienced to cover for them?
What are the conditions of your contract?
Some buyer’s agents require you to sign a contract before you start touring homes and in Virginia, a written brokerage agreement is the Law. However, you shouldn’t agree to anything without reading all the terms and conditions, and if you have any concerns, bring them up during the interview.
Why it Matters:
Purchasing a home or investment property is a significant and complex financial transaction, especially in today’s real estate market. So, choosing someone to guide you through this process is an important decision. Virginia Agency law requires that all real estate licensees enter into written brokerage relationship agreements with their clients. The intent of this requirement is to ensure that Buyer and Seller are aware of the types of representation available to them and the terms upon which the representation will be rendered.
When you engage a Realtor as your standard agent, you have a professional advocate working on your behalf. Your Realtor can offer you the benefit of solid business experience and training. Realtors have access to timely market information, can negotiate solely on your behalf, reduce your stress and save you money.
Who pays the Brokerage Fee?
Traditionally, the seller pays the Brokerage Fee, but it’s still crucial to familiarize yourself with your agents policies and know when this norm may not apply.
Can you connect me with other professionals?
You’ll work with more than just a real estate agent when you buy a home. If you’re looking for a good home inspector, lender, real estate attorney, repairman, or cleaner, having an agent with a broad professional network is a major plus.
Can you provide any references?
A great agent should have plenty of references, and they’ll probably be happy to share them with you. You can also do your research for testimonials online. You want to choose someone that comes highly recommended and has plenty of 5-star reviews!
Looking for a Top-Notch Agent?
If you’re looking for the right real estate agent to suit your needs, we’d love to offer you our expertise! Feel free to give us a call to learn more about the tools we offer our buyers—we’re always here to lend a helping hand or answer any lingering questions.