Whether it is your first real estate transaction or you are an occasional investor, having the right kind of real estate agent is indeed very vital. An expert agent knows the market from inside-out, has great connections with professionals of the industry and has tremendous negotiation skills. In fact, with a real estate agent, your whole buying and selling process becomes a lot smoother and easier.
However, with thousands of agents working in your city, choosing one can be a challenging task. But, don’t let the search process intimidate you. Speak to the people around you who recently bought or sold a property in your area with the help of an agent and discuss the kind of experiences they had. You can also search online for the local real estate agents and look into the kind of feedback they get from their clients.
Once, you shortlist a few agents, call them and ask the following questions to get more clarity –
Q1: How long you have been operating in the real estate industry?
This question may sound quite obvious to you, but there are still many people who don’t bother about the experience of an agent in the industry. They would hire some cousin’s friend’s uncle because they know them or probably because they charge less commission from them and blatantly ignore that experience and long presence in the industry also matters.
No, this doesn’t mean that you should not rely on a new entrant but someone who has experience of at least few years would surely have better insights into every little detail of the industry.
Q2: How many clients do you cater to?
Well, asking this question may seem quite blunt. But, if you want to ensure that a real estate agent takes out enough time for strategizing your sale or purchase, then you have to see the size of the current client base he/she caters to.
After all, no one wants to feel ignored while their agent is dealing with all other clients.
Q3: What all areas and neighborhoods can you help me with?
You cannot expect one agent to cover an entire state. A real estate agent tries to cover as much territory as possible while maintaining all the relevant information of local markets.
So, if you are the buyer and want to invest in a property located in a specific location, then you have to find someone who understands your preferences of neighborhoods and gets you through.
Q4: How much do you charge?
Most of the real estate agents work on a commission basis. This commission is paid whenever any transaction happens. Some agents have a fixed rate of commission while others are open for negotiations. They can charge anything from 1% to 4% commission to represent one side of the transaction. A listed agent charges around 3.5% commission from the seller and another 3.5% from the buyer, totaling up to 7% in total.
However, if you are contacting the top agents of your city, they are likely to charge you more.