Top 10 Questions To Ask When You Work With A Real Estate Agent
Buying a home is a major investment and not something to enter into lightly. When you work with a real estate agent, they will guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Your agent will have your best interest in mind. They will know what pitfalls to look out for and work to find the home of your dreams that is within your budget. If you are new to the home-buying process, you will likely have many questions for your real estate agent. Let’s look at the top ten questions you should ask when you work with a real estate agent.
1. Can You Explain The Home Buying Process From Start To Finish?
Don’t be shy or afraid to ask questions. Your real estate agent loves when you ask questions because they get to share their knowledge and expertise with you. They understand that there is a lot of information and steps in the home-buying process, so they are well prepared to explain the process to you from start to finish. Make sure you take notes and ask questions to clarify anything that confuses you.
Some examples of things you will discuss would be:
How do home showings work?
How do offers work?
What happens during the home inspection?
What happens when the seller accepts my offer?
What is the closing process like?
What is the timeline for all of this to happen from start to finish?
2. What Is Your Availability?
Confirm with your agent that they will be available to show you houses during the hours that you are available. Most open houses happen on weekends, so you will want to confirm that they can go with you on weekends. Or, if weekday evenings are the only time you can tour homes that are not doing an open house, it’s important to know if your agent will be available for some evening showings.
3. What Is The Best Way To Contact You?
Your real estate agent should be available to you and respond to you within a reasonable amount of time. Ask your agent if they have specific hours to respond to calls, texts, and emails, so you can expect to reach them during those hours. Most real estate agents prefer to communicate through text messaging, but let your agent know if that doesn’t work for you.
You should also let your agent know the best time and preferred way to reach you, especially for urgent matters. The real estate market is very competitive, and your agent may need to contact you and get a quick response, so you don’t miss out on losing a home.
4. Do You See Any Red Flags For This House?
Once your real estate agent finds some houses within your budget, it’s time to tour the homes. Your agent will have a professional opinion and has a trained eye for details. As you find a property that interests you, be open to feedback from your agent on the home’s condition. Be sure to ask your agent if they see any major red flags or have any concerns about the property that you may not have noticed.
5. Can I See A CMA For This House?
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an estimate of a home’s value based on recently sold and similar properties in the area of the home you are considering for purchase. It helps to determine the value of the home. It also helps determine if the home you are looking at is reasonably priced for the market.
6. What Offer Should I Make?
When you are ready to make an offer, your real estate agent will be there to give you advice. This is especially important because an offer that is too low may not even get looked at by the seller. If negotiation is possible, you don’t want to offer too high and risk overpaying. Ask your agent what offer would be a good starting point if you can negotiate. Also, ask what offer they feel would guarantee the property if your heart is truly set on that home.
7. What Concessions Should I Ask For In This Offer?
A concession with an offer is a request that the seller pays for something to lighten the financial burden on the buyer. For example, the home inspection may turn up some items that you can ask the seller to fix or pay for a home warranty for a year. If the seller is eager to close, they may be more willing to meet the buyer’s requests.
8. Should I Offer Earnest Money?
Earnest money is a good-faith deposit you put down when you enter into a contract to buy a home. It tells the seller you are serious about purchasing the home. It’s not always necessary and can be an extra expense you don’t need. Ask your agent if they feel it’s needed. Also, ask how much they feel you should put down if they advise you to move forward with earnest money.
9. What Happens If The Home Inspection Finds Something?
Ask your agent how they will handle any problems that may arise during the home inspection. Be prepared that you may fall in love with a home and find out that there are issues with the property that you did not expect to find. Keep in mind that the seller can often work something out to do repairs. Or you can use concessions to resolve any issues that the inspection may find.
10. How Much Are The Closing Costs?
This is a common question that people ask real estate agents. Closing costs are the expenses involved when you buy a house that is not included in the property price. Closing costs may include attorney fees, title fees, and lender costs. It helps to know upfront how much money you will need to set aside for the closing, so you do not have a big shock when you close on the home.
Your Real Estate Agent Is A Continued Resource
When you complete the transaction and purchase your home, does that mean your relationship with your real estate agent has to end? Not at all! Your agent may become a resource that you use again to purchase additional properties. You may also wish to recommend your agent to others. Good real estate agents are always very knowledgeable and active in their communities, so chances are you will be in touch again!
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