While some choose to house hunt or list their home on their own, most people turn to the expert advice of local real estate agents – experience and expertise in the market make their services invaluable.
The job of a real estate agent is to expedite the home buying and selling process, matching the right folks with the right home every time. But the relationship between the buyer or seller and agent is just as important as the number of houses they closed the previous year.
Is this the right agent for you? We\’ve got a few questions for you to bring up before they get to work:
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
Though experience may not necessarily translate to skill, a real estate agent learns more about what buyers and sellers want while on the job than they can in the classroom.
A freshly minted agent can certainly be motivated and work hard to please, but someone with years of experience under their belt has the knowledge and skill to face the unexpected, answer questions on the fly and anticipate their client’s needs.
- What neighbourhoods and properties do you handle?
A real estate agent who can offer unique insight into the challenges and restrictions of the neighbourhood you\’re interested in is invaluable. Is the neighbourhood experiencing gentrification, or has it been on the decline? In addition, it\’s important to note what market a real estate agent specializes in. If you are looking for a detached home but the agent has focused mainly on the condo market, they will not be able to offer the same insight as an agent who has focused on single-family homes.
- Can you share your references?
You expect your agent to offer a glowing view of themselves and their work philosophy, so as you would in any other formal interview situation. Ask if the agent can provide information for you to reach out to their previous clients. Satisfied or not, these clients can provide valuable information into what it\’s like to work with them on a daily basis.
- Will we be working directly with you or with a team?
Though most people consider real estate agents loan wolves, real estate teams are fairly common. There are both positive and negatives aspects to working with a real estate team – one of the major drawbacks to working with a team being you may not always be working with the individual you hired. On the other hand, a team can offer more attention and personalized service, especially if there are people who can take care of the little things for your agent, allowing them the time they need to focus on you and your needs.
If your agent is part of a team, ask who focuses on what, and if you will be in contact with one or all members of the team. If your agent is solo, ask about their current workload, as well as if this is their only job or a part-time gig. It\’s important to know in advance how much time they will be able to devote to you, and whether they will be available when you need to reach them.
- How will you keep me up to date on the progress?
Good communication is key in a real estate relationship, and you should know up front how your real estate agent plans on keeping you up-to-date. What is their preferred method of communication, and how often do they send updates? You may have your own preferences, but your agent may or may not be able to accommodate them.
From determining value to staging and viewings, the processes of buying or selling a home are stressful. Buying or selling, Cheryl Devenney is passionate about helping you find your dream home. Contact her today!