Questions to Ask Your Buyer’s Agent
Working with a Real Living Sales Professional means more than having an expert on your side. Your Sales Professional is your partner and sounding board, protecting your interests, making the process as convenient as possible and leading the way to your eventual home purchase.
As you think about what you want in a new home, visit properties and make major decisions, your Real Living Sales Professional will be with you every step of the way. With so much at stake, it's important to choose a Sales Professional you feel comfortable with – one who will help you make this experience as easy as possible.
Before you commit to hiring a Sales Professional, we urge you to interview several and ask important questions, such as:
How will you help me narrow my choices?
You want someone who understands what you want – whether that's starting with a broad or narrow view of the market. Listen to how the agent speaks about options and decide if his or her approach is one you like. Know what’s important to you: The community, the home itself, features, local schools? Your Real Living Sales Professional should explain all your options and help you separate good ones from less-than-optimal ones.
What advice can you offer that's unique to my situation?
Let your Real Living Sales Professional know whether you are settling into a family homestead or expecting to transfer in two years? Your unique circumstances will form much of the conversation. Get a sense for how the agent can counsel you on the specifics of your circumstances. If you have a special need – maybe you’re a first-time homebuyer, or you just want to look in a specific neighborhood – make sure to ask your agent what qualifies him or her to help you with that special need.
Why should I confine myself to working with only a single Sales Professional?
If you don't have an “exclusive agency agreement” with your buyer's agent, you're not legally obligated to work with just him or her. It will, however, benefit you to do so. Listen to the agent's philosophies on this point, and then decide what's right for you. Many buyers find that the most convenient and time efficient way to handle the home-buying process is to work with a single Real Living Sales Professional who has access to the entire market.
When did you last buy a house for yourself?
Buying a home challenges our minds and our emotions. You want your Real Living Sales Professional to understand what you’re going through. Can he or she stand in your shoes and appreciate the unique challenges of the process – from your viewpoint? When your agent last bought his or her house isn't the issue as much as whether the agent empathizes with you.
What happens when you're not available to me?
Whoever you choose should have a backup. If you visit a home or Open House without your agent, it could mean that he or she won’t legally be able to represent you in the eventual sale. (State laws differ.) Be sure to understand how your Real Living Sales Professional handles even brief periods of unavailability.