This is the HomeVisor blog and if you’ve been here before or you found the blog through the site, you know that we help find real estate agents to fit your needs. We make suggestions based on your criteria and then you have the choice of working with an agent we suggest or not – it’s totally up to you. 

After we make the suggestion though, how can you tell if the real estate agent is the right one? Well, that would be up to you, but we can help with that, too. There are questions you can ask to help you determine if the fit is right. 

If you're in the market for a real estate agent, whether you utilize our services or not, ask these questions to find the best fit:

• What's your experience? You’ll want to know how long they’ve been in the business, whether this is their full-time or part-time job, if they have experience in your neighborhood or if they have a specialty in the type of property you’re selling. Helping you sell or bouy a condo is very different from helping with a 10 acre lakefront estate. 

• Do you work alone? You’ll want to know if your agent handles all details solo or as part of a team, especially if you’ll be communicating wither other people. If there’s a team, ask about who else you may end up working with and in what capacity. Additionally, you’ll want to discover if they will be able to provide recommendations for mortgage providers, inspectors, repair contractors and the like, should they become necessary. 

• How many clients do you represent? This can help you determine how much attention you’ll receive from your agent. If he or she is spread too thin, you may end up working with the team more than you work with themyour actual agent. If he or she doesn’t have many clients at all, you may wonder how good they are at their job.

• How will you keep me updated? You want to make sure that you and your real estate agent have similar communication styles. Do you prefer texts and emails over phone conversations? How often will you be updated on listings and opens houses? Successful relationships depend on communication and you don’t want to miss out on that dream house or perfect sale because you missed something or it got lost in translation. 

• What's your strategy? If you’re selling a home, you’ll want to know what steps your real estate agent is taking to get your home noticed by potential buyers and negotiate a sale price. If you’re buying a home, you’ll want to know how your real estate agent is going to be able to help you search for new homes - and also negotiate a sale price. 

• Can I see your references? More often than not, there are reviews available for real estate agents in the form of Yelp, Facebook Pages and the like. If you can’t find such references or want to know more, ask your real estate agent to give you at least three references. When screening, ask the former clients about the reao real estate agent's personality, professionalism, accessibility, communication style and about their satisfaction with both the process and the results.

• How much do you charge? Agents typically charge a percentage of the final, agreed-upon total sale, usually averaging 2% to 4% on each side of the transaction (the buyer’s agent representing the buyer and the listing agent representing the seller).  Most real estate fees are negotiable, though, so don’t be afraid to ask. Before you agree to work with an agent, check the average commission costs for your area. Additionally, make sure you understand the agent's other fees and cancellation policies.

• What else should I ask? It would be hard to suggest questions for every possible person or what-if. You know your situation better than anyone and you know what you seek. Think of other important questions that might be pertinent to you. And wWhen the real estate agent gives answers to any of the questions you ask, use your judgment regarding their honesty and follow-up with references when you can.

It’s important to choose the real estate agent who is right for you. After all, he or she will be helping you to make what is likely to be one of the biggest transactions in your lifetime. Use this guide as a launching point for the questions you should ask potential real estate agents, whether we suggest them to you or if you find them on your own. Choose the real estate agent with whom you feel the most comfortable and who can best help you with your home sale or purchase. 

You’re busy, let us help you find a real estate agent to help you with your home purchase or sale. Contact us today to receive suggestions of honest and experienced agents in your local market.