Ask Your Real Estate Agent These Questions

A real estate agent devotes her entire workday to listing, reviewing, buying and selling property. It’s not uncommon for a real estate agent to buy and sell homes in only one city or region. This is where real estate agents earn their chops. Their local or regional focus helps to make them market specialist.

They know what’s selling, where the best sells are and at what price. It could take you months, maybe years, to learn what an experienced real estate pro knows. Whether you’re buying or selling your house, a real estate agent knows how to negotiate mortgage deals with lenders, other agents and house owners who are working toward direct sells.

You deserve the right answers from your real estate agent

Yet, all real estate agents are not equally experienced, knowledgeable or fully devoted to their clients. Set yourself up for a profitable house buying or house selling experience. Ask your real estate agent these important questions.

How long have you been working full-time as areal estate agent? Top real estate agents, are fully invested in their career. Buying and selling homes isn’t a side gig for them. Since markets shift, the more experience agents have, the more likely they are to spot changing trends.In addition to finding out how experienced a real estate agent is, make sure that your agent is in good standing with state licensing agencies.

What types of properties do you generally buy or sell? A real estate agent who mainly buys or sells land properties or commercial properties may not secure the best house deal for you.

About how much do you think I can get for my house in the current market? Answers to this question can reveal how honest a real estate agent is. It can also let you know if you’ll get more for your house if you wait a few months to sell or to buy.

Regarding advertising and marketing, what do you do to get the word out about houses you are selling? If you’re in the market to buy a house, ask your real estate agent how they research available houses. You want a real estate agent who researches houses in databases, online and in person. You also want an agent who has great personal and business contacts that allow him to know about available houses as soon as they hit the market. Furthermore, agents who work for established realtor agencies may have access to larger databases and more research resources.

How many clients are you currently working for? Good real estate agents are in demand.Just make sure that your real estate agent has the bandwidth to offer you the support that you need.

What are your fees and what’s included in your fees? Top real estate agents may have 20 or more clients under contract. This volume could give you more negotiating room when it comes to setting a fee. It could also make an agent hard to reach,which is why you should ask the next question. Find out if services like home staging and open house are included in the fees.

How often will you be in touch? You need to know when to expect to hear from your real estate agent. Also, find out if your agent will contact you in-person, via the telephone, during digital face time or via email.

Tips for Home Sellers to Prepare for a Homebuyer’s Inspection

For home sellers, accepting a homebuyer’s offer represents one of many steps you’ll need to complete to finalize your home sale. In fact, accepting a homebuyer’s proposal provides no guarantees, and a homebuyer likely will conduct a home inspection that may determine whether he or she moves forward with a home purchase.

Ultimately, a home inspection may make or break your home sale. But if you spend some time preparing for a home inspection, you can improve your chances of accelerating the home selling process.

Here are three tips to help home sellers get ready for a home inspection.

1. Clean Up Your Home’s Interior and Exterior

A home inspector will investigate every nook and cranny of your house. As such, you’ll want to ensure your residence dazzles when a home inspector visits, as any flaw could damage your chances of finalizing your home sale.

Conduct an extensive clean-up of your house’s interior and exterior – you’ll be happy you did. With a neat, tidy home, you’ll be able to improve your chances of making a positive impression on a home inspector.

Plus, evaluating your residence before a home inspection ensures you can identify and address any minor flaws before the evaluation. That way, you’ll be able to eliminate any problems and improve your chances of a fast, seamless home inspection that won’t jeopardize your home sale.

2. Ensure All Areas of Your Home Are Easily Accessible

A home inspector will want to examine your hot water heater, your home’s siding and more, so you’ll want to make every area of your home easily accessible to a home inspector to guarantee he or she can perform the assessment properly.

Although a home inspector may uncover a variety of problems with your residence, the assessment represents a valuable learning opportunity for both you and the homebuyer. Thus, if all areas of your home are easily accessible, you may be able to make the most of this opportunity, learn about hidden problems with your residence and work to resolve these issues accordingly.

3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent

Let’s face it – a home inspection can be stressful, particularly for home sellers who want to finalize a home sale as soon as possible. Luckily, your real estate agent can help you minimize stress and ensure you know exactly what to expect before, during and after a home inspection.

Your real estate agent can answer any of your home inspection questions and ensure you are fully prepared for the assessment. In addition, your real estate agent will collaborate with you and the homebuyer. And if problems are discovered during a home inspection, your real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

When it comes to a home inspection, there is no need to worry. If you use the aforementioned tips to prepare for a home inspection, you’ll be able to improve your chances of speeding up the home selling process.

Four House Buying Regrets You can Avoid

There are a lot of ways a real estate agent can help you find the best home for your needs. However, the final decision always rests squarely on your shoulders.

The challenge for many home buyers — especially first-timers — is to keep everything in perspective and avoid sacrificing features that are especially important to you.

Developing a carefully thought-out priority list, consisting of both necessities and “wish list” items, is an essential starting point for getting what you want in a new home. Even though house hunting can potentially wear you down, it’s important to hang in there and stay true to your priorities.

While everyone has different expectations, lifestyle needs, and personal requirements, some things are bound to create issues down the road.

  • Being too close to neighbors: Depending on your need for privacy, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you don’t want your life to feel like a reality show (with your neighbors being the audience), then it would probably pay to maintain a comfortable distance between houses. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. For example, if you’re in the market for a home in an urban environment or a townhouse setting, then close proximity “comes with the territory”. If living in suburbia is your objective, though, it’s often feasible and desirable to keep some breathing room between neighbors.
  • Basement laundry: Having to go up and down an extra flight of stairs every time you do your laundry is not the worst thing in the world, but it can make laundry day more of a hassle. The inconvenience of a basement laundry is multiplied if you have to do several loads of laundry every week. To make that chore even more unpleasant, unfinished basements are often dank, musty smelling, and not much to look at! Regardless of the condition of the basement, though, having a first-floor laundry does make life a lot easier!
  • A tiny yard: A spacious yard is not a feature all house hunters require, but if you have dogs, kids, and the occasional backyard barbecue, then you’d probably find a good-sized yard to be more satisfying. On the other hand, if your short-term plan includes moving in a few years, then yard size might not be a major issue.
  • Being too far from conveniences: Do you have your heart set on a rural setting for your next home? If so, you may have to sacrifice being close to shopping, entertainment, friends, and work. It is a potential trade-off that you and your family will need to consider carefully. Reaching a consensus on what you must have versus what you’d like to have in a home will hopefully help ensure a decision you’ll all be satisfied with.

There are literally dozens of other potential priorities to consider when searching for a new home, so it’s wise to create a comprehensive list of the features, advantages, and amenities that are really important to you. Your real estate agent can work with you to pinpoint your house hunting requirements and help you find the house of your dreams… or at least a close facsimile!