Enlisting the service of a real estate agent is an important step when buying a new home, as he or she will have the expertise to have your best interests in mind to help you make the right decisions. Realtors can also assist you when renting a home. Before you contact a real estate agency in your quest for a new home, there are several important questions you should bear in mind. While questions about the agent's experience are obvious, don't neglect to inquire about other details that may otherwise be left unquestioned. It's a good idea to make a checklist and keep it handy, and here are some of the pertinent questions you should include:
1. Who is Responsible for Your Realtor Fees?
If this is your first time dealing with a real estate company, you might be unfamiliar with the process in which the real estate agents are paid. In most cases, real estate agents are paid after a sale of a home has been closed. And most frequently, the Realtor fees are paid by the seller of the home. There may be exceptions to this general rule, however, so you will need to verify this with the agent. That said, as long as the seller is paying all Realtor fees, it makes sense for you to use these services when considering the purchase of a new home.
If you are renting a home with your Realtor's assistance, the situation may become more complicated. In some cases, the renter may have to pay a commission fee to the Realtor. However, more frequently, the landlord or owner of the rental property will pay Realtor fees after a rental has been established. Again, situations will vary, so you'll need to discuss this upfront with your real estate agent.
2. Must the Prospective Buyer Be Pre-Approved Before Looking at Homes?
If you have never mortgaged or financed a home before, you may feel the need to ask this question. More often than not, your real estate agent will inform you that you must be pre-approved or pre-qualified before you can be shown homes that are for sale. This will give you a clear picture of the range of homes in your price range that will meet your financing capabilities. Showing a house to a person that has been pre-approved saves valuable time fore both the Realtor and the buyer.
3. Can You Recommend a Reliable Mortgage Company, Home Inspector and Insurance Company?
Most real estate agents will offer their recommendations for professionals whose services you may need. If you don't know where to begin in choosing the right mortgage lenders, inspectors and insurance companies, it's a good idea to ask for referrals. In most cases, the real estate agent will provide you with a list of trusted agencies you can work with.
4. What Can You Tell Me About The Neighborhood (Of a Home That Is Being Shown)?
When being shown a home for your consideration, an important detail not to overlook is the neighborhood in which it is located. The real estate agent will have important information to share, so go ahead and ask. Inquire about schools, shopping, churches and synagogues, local amenities and more. When buying a home, your real estate agent may also help you decide upon an ideal neighborhood that suits your needs .
5. Do You Have a Website or Blog for Clients to Utilize?
When dealing with a real estate agent, it can be very helpful to view the Realtor's website (as well as a personal blog). In addition to learning about the Realtor's policies and services, you may gain insight into the targeted area and neighborhood, and read about other clients and their experiences. Notice if there is a testimonial page. Reading these reviews can give you insight, as these clients offer their honest, unbiased options. Sometimes, you will find client testimonial videos which may give you a deeper perception.