Things to Consider when using a Real Estate Agent to Buy a Home
- Does the real estate agent have good negotiating skills?
- Will the agent look for the quickest/easiest solution or will they strive
- to get the best deal for you, even if that means extra effort?
- Ask the agent if they will let you contact the last three or four homebuyers that the agent represented
- What will the real estate agent do for you? What sets them apart from their competitors?
- The agent needs to understand what you want and be able to represent you well to the other parties involved in the transaction
- Look for skills related to communication, negotiation, personal commitment and their access to resources
A good agent is usually a good communicator
Basic questions to ask
- How will you search for my new home?
- Will I be competing against your other clients (buyers)?
- How do you handle multiple offers?
- Do you present offers yourself?
- How will you protect my interests?
- How often will you (the agent) be in contact with me?
- Ask them for several references for both personally and their company. Ensure they have a good reputation.
- Looking for a Condominium or a home in an HOA? Ask them how familiar they are with how Condos/HOAs operate. Do they know the right questions to ask? Do they know how to read & understand the association financial statements, governing documents, rules, etc? If not, do they have the right professionals to help them, such as Condo & HOA Smart?
- Will the real estate agent help you find other professionals? Many agents will have a list of professionals you can consult with, lenders, inspectors, title insurers, HOA inspectors, etc.
- Is the agent affiliated with any of the professionals they recommend? If so, it may mean that the real estate agent gets a commission from the professionals. Determine if you are paying extra for the service in order for the agent to be compensated. You need to obtain reassurance that the professional is competitive, independent of the other parties and capable.
- Ask For a guarantee. Many agents will accommodate that request if you ask. Some agents guarantee buyers that if either of them decide that the relationship is not working out or their personalities clash, they will be released from the agreement, and they can do likewise. That way you’re not stuck to a business arrangement if the agent is too pushy, argumentative or stubborn.
- The term of a buyer’s agent agreement is negotiable. Although many agents might request a 90-day commitment at minimum, you are free to ask for a 24-hour, seven-day or 30-day term; it’s whatever you can negotiate.
- Request a Non-Exclusive Agreement. These agreements provide compensation to the agent if you decide to switch agents midstream and buy a home introduced to you by the first agent. It protects the agent by establishing procuring cause. You are still free to pursue any other homes with another agent.
- What professional courses & professional designations has the agent completed? Additional education indicates that they have taken more just the minimum courses needed to maintain a real estate license. This could reveal their passion and knowledge of the industry. Most successful agents devote time and money to their continuing education. The more the agent knows about the laws and practices in your real estate transaction, the better.
ABR: Accredited Buyer Representative: Courses for real estate agents who represent buyers as a buyer’s agent. Unlike exclusive buyer’sagents who never represent sellers, an agent who has earned this designation may elect to work as a listing agent or a buyer’s agent.
ACRE: Accredited Consultant in Real Estate: The class teaches agents how to use a consulting approach versus a sales approach.
ACR: Accredited Seller Representative: The class is designed to improve a listing agent’s professionalism and refine the definition of service to sellers.
AHWD: At Home With Diversity : The class is designed to increase agent awareness and sensitivity to people of different cultures.
CRE: Counselor of Real Estate: The Counselors of Real Estate offer membership in its organization by invitation only. To be eligible, an agent must have at least 10 years in the business with related counseling experience and be recognized for excellence.
CRS: Certified Residential Specialist: The Council of Residential Specialists says agents who hold a CRS designation earn four times more than average agents. Emphasis is on education to better represent residential clients.
E-PRO: Certified Internet Professional: The class teaches agents to navigate the Internet and incorporate digital devices into the workplace.
GRI: Graduate Realtor Institute: Agents who desire a GRI designation must complete a minimum of 90 to 95 hours of coursework pertaining to the state that licenses them, and pass the exams. The classes cover law, practice, finance, taxes, exchanges and more.
QSC: Quality Service Certification: The classes teach emphasis is on accountability, superior service and professionalism.
SRES: Senior Real Estate Specialist: The SRES designation is for agents who work with buyers and sellers over the age of 55. Agents can be any age.
Always seek an accredited real estate agent.Share