Getting a new house or apartment to live in can be an exciting experience. You’re moving into a new living space that you’ll be living in for months or years to come. But for a first-timer, it can also be daunting, as you are doing something you haven’t done before. This is especially true when working with a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of their trade.
That’s where we come in. We’ve listed below some of the most important questions to ask when selling a house (or buying one) so you don’t have to. These questions to ask the real estate agent cover both the buying and selling of property. So instead of worrying about what to say next, you can pull this article up for these questions to ask when choosing a realtor to buy a home.
Before working with the agent
1. “May I see your real estate license?”
The first question is an obvious but essential question. If they’ve proved their authenticity beforehand, you don’t really need to ask this, but if you haven’t yet, this is one of the most vital questions to ask a realtor when buying a house. There are many real estate scammers out there, and you don’t want to fall victim to one of them right off the bat.
2.“How many clients are you working with at the moment?”
This may seem too personal of a question, but don’t be afraid to ask this. Real estate agents that don’t have clients at all may be a bad sign, whereas those with too many may not be able to dedicate their services to you as well as others. It’s one of those questions to ask when choosing a realtor to buy a home beforehand.
3. “May I ask about the specifics regarding your commission?”
This is one of the most important questions to ask a realtor when buying a house. The last thing you’d want to worry about is your real estate agent’s compensation. As with other industries, real estate agencies vary in terms of their compensation, so be sure to ask before doing business with them.
4.“Have you sold homes in this area before?”
Experience is a vital trait in real estate agents. You don’t want to have your property sold by someone who undervalues it, for example. If possible, try finding an agent who’s worked with properties in the area, so you know they have the knowledge to better work with you.
When buying properties
1.“Could you explain the entire process behind buying a house?”
Here’s one of those questions to ask the real estate agent right away. Real estate agents know the home buying process like the back of their hands. However, you probably don’t. You ask this question not only to see whether or not the agent is legitimate but to also be better informed on what you should expect. Don’t be afraid to go into the specifics of home buying, such as offers. They’re more than willing to help.
2.“When are you available?”
Remember, real estate agents are just as human as you are. Other than working with other clients, they need personal time for themselves. Be sure to ask beforehand when they’re best available for an appointment or house tour. This will also allow you to change your own schedule accordingly.
3.“Why is the previous homeowner selling their house?” (if applicable)
There are plenty of stories where someone buys a house, only to find it infested with rats, ridden with termites, or have a serious ventilation problem. These things aren’t always noticed in a house tour, so you want to ask why the homeowner decided to sell their property. Professional real estate agents will tell you upfront the pros and cons of the property, so this is one of those questions to ask the real estate agent that you don’t want to forget to ask.
4.“Can my (insert equipment here) fit here?”
Depending on your hobbies or professions, you may have specialized equipment that can take up quite a bit of space. Be sure to ask beforehand whether or not the property will be able to fit your equipment in it. This may not be an issue for larger properties, but if you’re on a budget, you’ll need to confirm beforehand.
5.“What are the landlord’s policies/rules?”
Depending on where you live, you may have to abide by certain rules or policies set by the apartment and its landlord. These can range from issues regarding noise, pets, or even garbage disposal. Ask your real estate agent or the landlord themselves to confirm whether or not a certain thing is allowed.
6.“How much of an offer would guarantee the property?”
Just like with most products, real estate properties have varying demands. This is especially true for properties that are found in key locations, such as prestigious neighborhoods or convenient places in the city. There’s a good chance that you’re not the only one looking to purchase the property you’re currently interested in.
If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to ask your agent which offer guarantees the property. They won’t just spout out some exorbitant amount – they’ll give you a high, but a safe, estimate, which will allow you to figure out how much you’re willing to pay for it. If the property’s really worth every penny, you may want to sink in some extra cash to guarantee the property for yourself.
When selling properties
1. At what price would this property sell?
Even without having your property appraised, your real estate agent may have the capability of estimating the price beforehand. They’ll be able to give you a rough estimate based on their knowledge of properties in the area as well as their own intuition. Of course, this varies from agent to agent, but you’ll get a better guess from agents with experience, especially with those who have worked in the area or have sold properties of a similar price range. Knowing beforehand will allow you to plan accordingly, so if you can trust your real estate agent’s intuition, feel free and ask away.
2. How much would properties in this neighborhood typically sell for?
Sometimes, your property may sell for more or less than the average property in the area. Ask your real estate agent the typical price a property would go for in the area and compare it with the estimated price of your own property. If needed, ask what makes your property sell for more.
3. Have you sold homes that cost as much as this property?
This is one of the most important questions to ask when selling a house, especially if you’re selling an expensive property. You want to know if you can trust your real estate agent in handling your property. Now, don’t get me wrong – even if they say they don’t have the experience, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work with them. It’s just good to know if your property’s in the right hands, especially if the property is worth a lot.
4. How should I prepare my property for future showings?
Ask your real estate agent what you need to make your property as presentable as possible. You may have already decided on cleaning it, but the agent may know a few extra tips that will make your property even more appealing during showings.
Whether you’re purchasing your first apartment or selling your old house, a real estate agent can really streamline the process for you. By asking the right questions before and after deciding to work with an agent, you’ll be well on your way to either making some good money or settling in your next home. As long as you aren’t afraid to ask your real estate agent, you’re already halfway there.