There are many questions to ask a real estate agent. These questions could be about their job, when buying a house or even renting a house in a place like Lagos. These questions will elicit answers which will make you more informed about real estate and all it entails. It will also help you make more informed decisions about your real estate needs. There are different questions, however, the questions below are ideal questions to ask a realtor when buying, when selling a house, renting a house or property and it can also help you to create a checklist for buying your first home.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
Experience they say is the best teacher. Though knowledge plus experience is the ultimate real estate combo, the most experienced real estate agent might not be the best choice. How long a real estate agent has been in business is a valid and key question to ask. Their experience level will build the confidence you have in them to provide you with quality services. This will also help you in determining whether or not they have knowledge of the business and they are on good grounds when it comes to real estate.
Do you have a property for me?
A real estate agent is not the one for you if he/she does not have a property for you. There is a property for everyone, however, no agent can have all, some have wider varieties than others. A property for you is the property that fulfils your purpose, budget, personality, future etc. This question will save you the hours of meetings and searches that may possibly be in vain.
What properties have you sold recently?
You need a real estate agent who knows how to get a deal, keep it and close it. if an active real estate agent has not closed a deal in years then that agent is what the industry calls a ‘has been’. They were once at the top of their game, now they are rusty. Asking this question will help you determine whether they are still fresh in the industry, and how well they can perform for you. It is also a determining factor as to how soon you can get or let out a property of your own. Time is money and for someone who needs to quick money, a realtor who hasn’t had business in a while is not the one for you.
Can you provide your references?
With the help of documentation, there will always be references. Everybody has references, be it from a previous employment, project etc. If you are not convinced by the agent it is key to ask an agent for references, especially if he/she is a rookie. The reference could also be a relative. If an agent is well known or experienced, the mention of their name will elicit reviews from other parties or online. Also, they might feel insulted at the request for references. References on the other hand just help you to corroborate and agents claims or person with facts.
What separates you from your competition?
A real estate agent must market his/her brand and services because you are a prospect. You want someone who stands out, a service meets your standards of quality. You choose a product or service because of its uniqueness; therefore, this question should be asked. You need to know why you should choose a particular agent, you need to know what makes them different from their competitors. This will help you to elicit an answer which will determine whether they have anything special to offer and if they are worth doing business with.
Is your commission negotiable?
Commission is the slap of disappointment you get when you really thought you did an excellent job. Most times, the commission is never part of the client’s budget because a lot of people are not aware. At the same time, fixed commissions chase clients away from their dream deal when it doesn’t suit their budget. Always ask your real estate agent if his commissions are negotiable, because a fixed one may not work for you. It would also save you time or determine your options and choice.
How accessible are you?
It can be nerve-racking dealing with a person or company that is not easily accessible. It is important to be able to access your real estate agent at proper times and in any situation. Asking an agent how accessible they are is not off the topic, it is very valid because nobody wants a realtor whom you only hear from once a month. This will slow down the communication process and transactions and is just borderline frustrating.
What challenges do you face with clients?
Every job has its challenges. What makes a person is how they manage these challenges. Not every real estate agent-client relationship is a smooth one, in fact, most of them are rocky, however, they get the job done either way. Asking about the challenges a real estate agent faces with clients and how they are dealt with is a valid question because it reveals the competence of a realtor. It will also take you into the mind of that realtor which will allow you to weigh the possible outcomes of certain scenarios. Should in case this happens, this is what this real estate agent will do.
Is there any other thing I need to know?
A lot of people tend to withhold information. Some information is confidential, and others are for public knowledge. However, withholding key information which has the tendency to influence someone’s perception of choice is a practice based on moral values. A lot of real estate agents may not tell you everything you need to know, because the less informed you are, the more powerful their actions can be. Also, there might be things you may have forgotten to ask, therefore, when you think you are done with your inquiry, simply ask if there is any other thing you need to know? This will urge the real estate agent to tell you more key information you don’t know.