You could search for your next home all by yourself. But why? With an experienced sales professional at your side, finding the perfect home is easier, faster, and a lot more fun. Did you know it's free? Many buyers think they get a better price if they use the listing agent. This is untrue, since commissions are set for both sides at the time of the listing and usually are not re-negotiated.
A great agent can offer valuable advice and coach you through the entire home-buying process. Yet many buyers still spend endless hours poring through classified ads, driving all over town, and viewing dozens of unsuitable properties – simply because they haven't connected with a licensed real estate agent. In today’s information world, having an experienced agent working to decode and guide you through the chaos is invaluable.
Chemistry is important. So are professional credentials. Above all, you'll want an experienced agent who has the resources of a leading real estate firm behind him or her – a firm such as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
Before you commit to working with one agent, be sure to ask plenty of questions. A good agent will welcome your questions to better understand your goals to help strategically search the properties that best fit your needs and lifestyle. Some typical questions to ask a potential agent:
How will you help me find a home?
Buying a home takes more than visiting open houses and making appointments to see homes for sale. Your agent should not only be up to date on the latest social media and marketing practices, but also belong to a strong network of fellow professionals, local organizations, and civic groups. Memberships in Rotary, Toastmasters, and similar associations can lead to knowledge about homes that meet your criteria.
How well do you know the area(s) that interest(s) me?
An agent who knows the area or neighborhood you are interested in is extremely beneficial to you. While licensed agents are allowed to represent buyers and sellers anywhere in their state, it helps to select one who is familiar with your desired region.
How do I know you will provide me with personalized attention?
Even the busiest agents can provide great service because they know how to keep the process moving for their clients. They have put in place procedures and partnered with other professionals to keep you informed every step of the way.
Will you personally handle all aspects of my transaction or delegate some tasks to an administrative assistant?
If you choose to work with a busy agent, a knowledgeable assistant can be very helpful when you have questions or need immediate attention. Every agent has a unique structure for his or her business; find one that best suits you.
Can you provide a list of clients you have helped purchase homes in the past 12 months?
Contact some clients who have worked with the agent and ask them about their experiences. The list should contain addresses, property types, names of sellers or buyers, sale dates, and prices. Ask the agent for testimonials from satisfied customers.
What is your negotiating strategy and how will it help me maximize opportunities?
Negotiating contracts is one of the most important aspects of buying the right home. Having a plan and understanding market conditions will prepare you prepare for the negotiating process.