In this day and age of the internet, it is very easy to think that you don't need a Buyer Agent to help you with your home search! After all, it is really easy to search for a house on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com! It is easy to then call the listing Realtor and ask to see the house, or visit it during an open house! It is easy to decide what price to offer by looking at something called a Zestimate! So why would you need a Buyer Agent to help you with your search?
Buying a home is a process! The hard part of buying a home today is not finding the home - it is sometimes getting the transaction closed! A good Buyer Agent will help you do that!
So what does a Buyer Agent do? A good Buyer Agent will ---
Help you find the right property/home
Submit & negotiate offers on your behalf
Refer you to reliable professionals
Overcome any obstacles that may come up during the time from contract to closing
And tell you the truth about the house, the area, the neighborhood
So if you are ready to make a move, and you want to make sure you have a good Buyer Agent to help, you may want to consider interviewing the agent! Here is my recommended list of questions to ask!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SELLING REAL ESTATE?
The more years of experience a Realtor has means that they have probably encountered lots of different situations over the years! Being a new agent doesn't mean that they will do a bad job (after all, we were all new once), but an experienced Realtor will potentially know how to handle situations that can arise!
ARE YOU FULL TIME OR PART TIME?
A Realtor who is part time may not always be available to answer questions or respond to other agents and to you in a timely manner! With the way our real estate market in Richmond has been, this can potentially be the difference between getting an offer accepted or having your offer rejected!
HOW KNOWLEDGEABLE ARE YOU ABOUT THE AREA?
Your Buyer Agent should know the area you are looking in so that they can advise you about the house, potential resale in the future, pricing, etc!
DO YOU TYPICALLY WORK IN MY PRICE RANGE?
There are big differences in homes built for the million dollar homebuyer and the first time homebuyer!
HOW WILL YOU HELP ME FIND MY HOME?
All of us work in many different ways - so knowing just what your Buyer Agent will do to help you with your home search will help you decide if this is the Buyer Agent for you!
DO YOU HAVE A TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS - AND DO I HAVE TO USE THEM?
A good Buyer Agent can refer you to reliable professionals to help you with everything you will need to get your contract to closing! This includes inspectors, insurance professionals, lenders, contractors, etc! Requiring you to use the Realtor's recommended professionals should be a red flag!
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BUYER AGENTS IN RICHMOND?
There are a lot of Realtors in Richmond! You want to know what will make one Buyer Agent different from all the others in the area!
DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIGNATIONS - IF SO, WHAT AND WHY?
I have a lot of different designations - and to many buyers, this looks like a meaningless alphabet soup! But I have found that these designations help you keep up with the changes that have happened to the real estate industry over the years! It helps me be a better Realtor for you!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DUAL AGENCY?
Dual agency occurs when you have the same Realtor handling both the buyer AND seller on the same transaction! This can potentially cause a conflict! If the Buyer Agent you are considering using does practice dual agency, ask them how they will represent you in this type of transaction!
WILL YOU SHOW ME ALL THE PROPERTIES FOR SALE?
A good Buyer Agent will always show you the properties for sale that meet your criteria!
DO I LIKE YOU?
After everything is all said and done, if you are good with the answers that the Realtor gave you to the questions above, then the final one should be - do I like you and trust you? Because you will be spending a lot of time together while looking for your next home!
Hopefully, this list of questions will help you as you narrow down your search for a good Buyer Agent to help you! But you will probably have a lot more questions to ask - don't hesitate to ask questions! A good Buyer Agent will be happy to answer any questions you may have!
Feel free to let me know how I can help!