Saturday, November 27, 2021 / by Karri Bedor
Questions to Ask a Realtor When looking for the Right One
Does it seem like everywhere you turn there are ads, billboards, Facebook posts, and TV commercials marketing the perfect realtor or team that will sell your house in a day or buy it back? Sounds tempting; I get it! Before you jump into advertised “promises”, make sure you know all the terms of the proposal. It may just be that after talking to the agent, it is a perfect fit, and that’s great! I caution all sellers and buyers to take time to get to know an agent before committing to what you think they have to offer.
I always advise people to be prepared in advance. If you are thinking about possibly buying or selling, go ahead and talk to a realtor. That being said, your first step is to connect with a lender. Many buyers and sellers don’t know lenders. Since a lender is an important player in the success of the transaction, I recommend asking the realtor names of lenders they know and trust. Since the lender and agent work closely together, it is beneficial if they have a positive working relationship. As an agent, I want to know that the lender my client is using is dependable, takes time to explain different loan programs specific to my clients’ needs, advocates for them, meets deadlines and is a good communicator.
As a seller, it is important to ask the agent if they use a professional photographer and if there is a charge for that service. I can’t tell you how important the photos of your home are when marketing it. This is how most people start their search, and you want a buyer’s first impression to stand out and bring buyers into your home.
Along with professional photography, you want to ask an agent how they assist you in preparing your home for the market. Most realtors will provide suggestions as they walk through your home, but do they go beyond that? Do they offer staging? Do they have a document they provide to inform you of specific things you can do so your home stands out among other homes? Will they help you prepare your home or are you expected to have it ready for the photographer and showings?
There are a lot of steps involved in both buying and selling. If seeing the big picture is important to you, ask the agent how they keep you in the loop regarding timelines and the entire process from start to close. Do they have checklists for you or information that is specific to your purchase or sale that you can refer to as needed?
As you go through this process, it is very important that you feel the realtor you select will be able to provide you with resources from lenders to good plumbers to inspectors to contractors to home warranties...and that’s just a few.
Both buyers and sellers will be looking over contracts and documents. It’s important to ask the realtor how she handles all the documents involved in a transaction. Is there a transaction coordinator? When is the verbiage of the contracts reviewed so buyers and sellers feel confident in understanding what they are signing?
You can also ask an agent to share with you statistics of the current market you are in and explain what this means to you as a buyer or seller.
Clearly, there are questions to be asked before you select a realtor that is right for you. The bottom line is that you feel comfortable communicating with your realtor and know exactly what they have to offer.