2014 marked a very important year, both for Americans looking to buy a home and for the real estate and construction professionals who rely on that business. It was the first year since the collapse of the economy in 2008 when the real estate market was stable enough to give Americans the confidence to start buying. That’s why 33% of people who bought homes in 2014 were first-time homeowners. In 2015, the market is even stronger, with even more Americans deciding that it’s time to take the huge step of buying a home.
If you’re one of the many looking to buy a home this year, finding a good real estate agent can make all the difference. That’s often easier said than done, however, as the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials reports that there are more than 2 million active real estate agents in the United States. How can you sort out the bad from the good when choosing a real estate agent? You can start by asking the right questions.
Three Questions to Ask Real Estate Agents to Find the Very Best
- What Sort of Clientele Do You Usually Work With?
- Can You Provide Me with References?
- What Do You Typically Charge for Your Services?
As Forbes writes, one of the first things you should ask when choosing a real estate agent is what sort of clientele your prospective agent usually works with. The reason is simple enough: local real estate agents who typically work with clients like you are more likely to be able to offer you exactly what you need. If you’re looking for a home for your family, does it make more sense to choose an agent whose clientele is enterprise clients or families? The answer is obvious.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a real estate agent at their word. As BankRate.com details, choosing a real estate agent is just like hiring any other employee, so why shouldn’t you treat it as such? If you’re thinking of hiring an agent, ask them for the contact information of their last three to five clients. The best agents know that those clients will give them great reviews, and they’ll be more than happy to provide that information. On the flip side, bottom rung agents will be a bit hesitant to provide that info. Make sure you take this step to really get a full picture of who you’re working with.
As in any other industry, there is huge variation in pricing from agent to agent. That’s why About.com’s Home places so much emphasis on getting the details on each agent’s pricing ahead of time. The last thing you want to find out is that you have to pay a huge real estate fee on top of the price of your home at the last minute. Get this out of the way from the get-go, and avoid wasting both your time and that of any prospective agents.
Have you recently completed a home purchase? What are some tips you’d give to others wondering how to find good real estate agents? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!