Buying a home is an emotional process, and a real estate agent can look at homes with “new eyes,” those who are used to finding, comparing, and listing homes day in and day out. However, finding the right property is still the beginning of the process. Once you find it on your own, or with the help of a real estate agent, then what do you do?
Having found a property at Conifer, Colorado does not mean that you have a deal in hand. To secure it, you would need to have a winning offer to help you negotiate a fair price. Just remember that buyers always want to buy for less, but sellers always want to sell for more. A good knowledgeable broker would know how to lock you in to a price that will make you happy.
Due to the high value that the real estate agent brings to the buyer, and because the buyer does not pay for the services of the agent, it is always advisable to have a good real estate agent in the buyer’s team.
How to choose the right person for the job?
Here are some questions and tips to consider when choosing your real estate agent.
How many active clients, buyers and sellers, is the agent working with?
This is a key point when hiring an agent. Many people find an experienced agent with many listings and buying clients, which can be a double edged sword. Be clear about your needs when hiring this type of agent. Time is only one, so make sure the agent has enough time for you.
What type of communication should you expect from the agent and what is the availability of the agent?
Many agents work in real estate as a part-time job. Would he/she be available to bid at any time, or if you have a last minute closing issue? You need someone who works full time in real estate and is available 24 hours.
Is the agent working directly with you or is there someone else on the team handling your transaction?
Many agents work in teams. Even when it can be a good thing, make sure the person you’re hiring is the one with you through the entire process. Unfortunately, it has happened that customers are frustrated by losing track of the person responsible for their transactions within a team.
What services does the agent offer besides finding a property and negotiating the offer?
It is already clear that a minimum of negotiation skills and handling of paperwork is essential in a real estate agent. But to be on your best side, make a list of anything else you need from your agent and don’t forget to ask for it. Are you familiar with the ins and outs of the inspection, mortgage, and title paperwork? If not, check to see if the agent you’re hiring knows how to help you navigate these waters.
Will the agent show you all the properties available for sale?
There are several factors that affect an agent’s willingness to show you a certain property on the market: driving distance to the property, time availability, and commission to be paid are the main deterrents. But you, as a client, deserve an agent willing to show you the right properties despite your personal handicaps. Customer satisfaction and not money should be the main goal of a good real estate agent.
Can the agent provide at least three references from previous clients?
Be sure to look for the agent’s previous client references before you even interview her. And take the time to contact a few to get a first impression of what previous clients really think about the agent. Believe it or not, that message or phone call to past clients will save you a headache.
Even though these are key questions for a quick assessment of your future agent, the following questions address the agent experience. So feel free to ask him the following:
Can you explain each point of the “Purchase and Sale Contract” agreement to me?
Along with the mortgage documents, the purchase and sale contract is a key document for the buyer. Your agent should know that contract by heart and be able to walk you through the main points and explain which ones to watch out for.
Are you aware of the diversity of financing programs?
Even when a real estate agent is not your financing expert, they should have a good background in mortgages to provide you with the best guidance. Did you know that some real estate agents are also certified mortgage originators? The more knowledge your agent has, the better you are covered.
Do you know the reasons for the different types of property inspections?
The home inspection is a crucial part of the buying process. What the inspector finds and says during and after the inspection will be critical to the final sale, so the agent must be familiar with the inspection process and be able to answer the customer’s questions appropriately.
Could you explain the final closing document to me?
The truth is that most buyers do not understand credit, debit and proration on the final statement. When choosing an agent, try to find someone capable and willing to explain those numbers to you.