10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Buyer's Agent
December 4, 2017 | Jacqueline Hedlund
Choosing an agent to represent you as a buyer is crucial to your home buying experience, and you should plan to speak with a handful of agents that interest you. Doing research about them online first can save you time, and their online resources should be robust and helpful. Once you sit down with the few that make pique your interest, it's a good idea to have a few questions ready. Below, we've listed some suggestions to help you make the right decision.

  1. "How long have you been in residential real estate in our area?" If they have not been in the local real estate for a few years, they have not been involved in the cyclical market that has defined our market to date. Along with this, ask how many transactions they average per year. One agent could have been in business 10 years and have only closed 30 transactions, while another agent could have been in business 5 years, yet closed 500+ transactions. Experience is relative to the amount of business the agent does.
  2. "What is your procedure for assisting a buyer from beginning to closing?" Make sure that the agent has a precise presentation for you that explains exactly how they work and how they represent only you and your best interests.
  3. "What is your experience with financing alternatives, and what might they be in my situation?" Each buyer's situation is different. We can literally put you in a much better financial situation with the same monthly payments simply by adjusting the financing. You might have many alternatives. Don't depend solely on the lender. Your agent should lead the way.
  4. "How do you determine my qualifications and when?" You would be shocked at how rare it is for an agent to complete your qualifications right away. Even so, it is important to have this done early in the process. This way, you are ready to make a strong offer at a moment's notice, increasing your chances of not only finding, but buying the home of your dreams.
  5. "How do you provide me with information on new homes for sale?" Your agent should have a system that automatically updates you when new homes meeting your criteria come on the market.
  6. "What is your negotiating philosophy, and how do you apply it to me?" This is important. Pay close attention to how they answer and consider how many transactions the agent does per year. The more transactions the agent closes, the more experience they have in negotiating just about every situation that could come up.
  7. "How do you find the best value for me? How do you make sure it is a good value?" This is important because the agent should have some immediate and concise answers as to how they accomplish this for you. They should have systems in place and be able to explain them to you.
  8. "How do you protect me from the extensive costs that lenders, title companies, inspectors and others charge a home purchaser?" The typical answer is that these charges are just normal. Make sure that the agent has relationships with companies that can offer you good service and some discounts. Also, make sure that the agent has an immediate knowledge of what typical costs are.
  9. "Can you sell us a new, resale or foreclosed home?" Most agents will answer affirmatively, but you should follow up with questions about specific builders and areas.
  10. "Can you provide me with testimonials or past client contact information?" This is a great way to hear other people's opinion about their experience with this agent. It may not be possible to obtain the contact information for these people because of privacy reasons, but many agents encourage clients to leave feedback on their website or social media so you should be able to read a handful of responses.

There are many more questions to ask, this is just a sampling. Do you have a specific question you would like answered? Let us know by clicking here!
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