Working with a realtor to buy or sell a home is always a good idea. Not every realtor is the right fit for your needs, though. If you are seeking help, make sure to ask about the following seven factors.
Who Will You Work With?
The first question you need to ask has to do with the delegation of responsibility in the office. Will you actually work with the named agent, or will he or she pass your file off to a junior employee? This is something you need to know before signing any kind of contract.
Are Your Part-Time or Full-Time?
It’s a good idea to figure out how serious your agent is about selling your home. It’s almost always better to work with someone who does this as a primary means of income. While you can certainly get help from a part-time agent, full-time agents are more likely to be there when it’s important.
You also need to know if the agent is working with other clients. There’s a fine line that needs to be walked here – too many, and the agent won’t work with you. Too few, though, and there’s likely something wrong with that agent’s business model.
You should always ask your realtor if he or she is licensed. This is an easy one to check on up yourself, too – your state has a Department of Real Estate that handles licenses and that makes that information available to the public.
If you are selling a home, you need to know the other listings the agent has and how long those listings have been on the market. Most good realtors keep records going back at least six months and should be happy to show them to you.
Ask About the Competition
One of the key factors to ask about is the local competition. If your realtor can’t give you a straight answer as to why he or she is better, you might not be in the best hands.
What’s Your Rate?
Finally, you’ll want to know what percentage your agent will charge you when buying or selling a home. Average commission in the United States is usually around six percent, with some agents falling a little higher or lower. Make sure your agent is willing to give you a straight answer about his or her commission.
This list of questions might seem long, but all of the questions are necessary. The more you know, the more informed your choice will be. If you are willing to ask the tough questions and insist upon straight answers, you should be able to find a great realtor with whom you can work.