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10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Next Real Estate Agent

The real estate market is crazy competitive, so you want your buying process to be in the hands of someone experienced. If you are in the process of finding a real estate agent, here are ten questions you can ask before hiring.

  1. Do you work with both buyers and sellers? Most agents usually specialize in either buying, a buyer’s agent, or selling, a listing agent. You want to be teamed up with a buyer’s agent, ideally with a ratio of 7 to 3 buyer to seller. 
  2. How does your commission work? Typically the commission comes from the seller, but it’s still good to have an idea of how your agent’s compensation works.
  3. Will we be working with you individually or with a team? While some agents ride solo, many are part of a team, and this does have its advantages, one being that if your agent is tied up someone else can step in for urgent issues. 
  4. Have you helped buyers find properties in this price range? A price range can impact how a property is marketed, how an agent considers it, and how the agent treats you in turn. If they are used to looking at high-value properties they may not give as much attention to a lower budget. On the flip side, if you have a high budget you want to work with an agent who is experienced with handling high-value sales. 
  5. Have you helped buyers find property in this part of town? Make sure that your agent has a grasp on the area that you are buying in so that you know whether you truly are getting the best deal. 
  6. How many clients do you have right now? You want a real estate agent who has good business but isn’t too busy to give you the attention and care you need in the buying process.
  7. Are you part time or full time? Not all real estate agents are full time. While a part time real estate agent could be part time with ample time to work on your case, it could also signal that their responsibilities, and time, is split between other jobs. Make sure your agent has ample time to work with you. 
  8. How long does it typically take buyers to close? While there can be some leeway in the amount of time it takes to close, you don’t want an agent who drags their feet–if they do you can expect to feel frustrated. A good rule of thumb is 14 to 60 days from contract to closing. 
  9. How many homes did you help your buyers close last year? There is a difference between just working with clients and working with clients successfully. This answer will be telling. 
  10. How do you help buyers compete in the market? The market is wildly competitive right now, so you need to trust your agent to help you get the deal done. Talk to your agent about how they will make your offer stand out.

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