When hiring a Realtor to help you find that perfect Waterloo Region home you want someone you get along with and trust they are doing their very best for you! Therefore there is nothing wrong with interviewing several different Realtors until you find the right one for you.
To get the most out of these meetings however it helps if you know just what you should be asking. Here are a few questions to ask when you are meeting with an agent to see if they might be a fit for you and your homebuying plans.
Are you full-time or part-time?
You might think that most agents are full time but there are a lot that have another job and ‘do Real Estate’ on the side. You should give serious consideration to opting to hire a full-time agent as they usually have more experience, see more properties and understand the market better. They will also have the time to be there when you need them and will be able to be more flexible about working around your busy schedule as well.
How much are the Realtor fees?
Typically both sides of the commission are paid for by the seller, so as a buyer you should not have to pay any fees for using a Realtor. These fees are decided upon beforehand in the listing contract between the seller and their agent. However, some agents do charge extra fees for certain buyer services so you will want to ask about them and if there are additional paid services on offer you will know what you are getting for your money (and can decide whether it’s worth it)
What is offered in your service package?
Each agent will offer different things in their service package. Some will pay for professional photography, professional measurements, professional cleaning, staging, online video tours, showing service, etc. There are full-service agents/teams and there are also agents or companies that will charge less and just list your home on the MLS. There are a wide variety of options out there so make sure you understand exactly what each agent you interview is offering.
Do you work on your own or as part of a team?
Working with an agent who is part of a team or has support staff can be a huge benefit. It means there is always someone to help you with any little question or concern along the way! Also, you have more people working for you to help find you your next home.
How should I search for a new home?
There are many different websites you can use to help you find properties. Most agents will help you get set up on a personalized search so you only get homes in your criteria. This helps cut out having to look through old listings and listings that may not fit all your needs.
How will you be helping me find a new home?
Your agent will be asking you questions to help determine what kind of house will fit your needs best. The should ask you about the essentials like bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, style of home you’d prefer, etc. Then they should talk to you a little bit about your lifestyle. Do you like to go out for dinner a lot, do you like to bike in the park? What things do you enjoy doing in your spare time? These questions will help them find you not only a great house but in a neighborhood that you will love and maybe didn’t even think about!
How much business do you do per year?
You should ask your agent how much volume they do each year. This will help you gauge if they know enough about the market to really help you. If they do a lot of business they will have a better idea of the market and could have some “pocket” listings as well!
How much of your business is repeat business or referral based?
This question can help you determine if people enjoyed their experience with that agent. If they get a lot of repeat business and referrals from past clients their clients are obviously enjoying the service they provided them and are willing to ‘stick their neck out’ and recommend them. If they are not, maybe its the opposite.