So you’re thinking about selling or buying a piece of real estate? Great! Well, maybe it’ll be great. It all depends on how good your agent is, and also a little bit on luck and timing. Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll want to ask your real estate agent, before you take the big leap and put in your offer.
1. Are you a full-time agent?
In certain circumstances, you might be willing to deal with a part-time agent, but it’s always helpful to find someone who does real estate and real estate only. Questions and issues can arise at any point (and any time of day or night), and you’re going to want someone you can reach at a moment’s notice, when the transaction starts to near its completion.
2. How many transactions have you done in the past 12 months?
This is information you can look up, so double-check their answer. Again, you’re looking for a seasoned professional, and if they’re just getting started, you’re going to want to make sure you meet (and trust) their guiding broker. Every agent has a broker (sometimes they are the same person, but not in the case of a new agent), and the intent is that there will be an extra level of oversight and accountability in the transaction.
3. How’s the school district here?
Even if you don’t have children, school districts matter for resale purposes and home values. Regardless of what the agent says, double-check that opinion up against sites that list school data and ask a lot of parents in that district and others. Many quality property listing sites will have that type of data shown on the same page as the real estate listing, which is helpful (and also the sign of a quality agency).
4. What improvements do you think will increase the odds of selling my home?
This is a question sellers often don’t ask, and agents often don’t mention. For agents, there are many reasons that improvements won’t be recommended. Improvements take time, often don’t result in an increased value to the property, and neither of those factors are appealing to commission-based real estate agents. But if you’re seller, you ‘ll want to ask this. If you’re a buyer, you’ll also want to ask it regarding any property you might want to buy.
Whether you’re buying or selling, there’s a chance you’ll be able to save money by doing these repairs yourself. Perhaps you understand how to fix appliances and machinery, and if your agent tells you that an aging or broken appliance affects the transaction. In that instance, you could find the washers and gaskets you need from a reputable parts supplier that specializes in such things, make the repairs yourself, and have an increased probability of selling your property for top dollar (or acquiring another at a discounted cost).