Ask  a real estate agent Questions like these before you sign a contract.

What are the current interest rates?
They should know what the rates are any given week if not day.
What is the difference between FHA & Conventional loans?
hat is the difference between FHA & Conventional loans? FHA is Ginnie Mae, Conventional is Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. FHA has two types of mortgage insurance where as Conventional loans require Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI to be tied to tour low equity loan or high to loan value mortgage. Basically if they can recite something reasonably educational and new to you, put them on the short list.
How long have you been licensed and worked full-time?
Longer is better and of course a full-time agent who has demonstrated competence accented by a personality you like is the smartest choice.
What percentage of your business is working with buyers?
An agent that solely works with buyers could be good but certainly doesn’t indicate their competence. If an agent works with buyers half the time and has great people skills complimented by a strong ability to see clues that give you an advantage when negotiating the contract; put him/her on the short list.
How familiar are you with the area where I want to purchase?
This question should be asked when your looking in a specific area where an agent that specializes in that distinct area might have some pocket listings.
Do you have references from other buyers who have used your services?
Its uncommon for a client to take the time to write a letter of recommendation so when an agent or broker has one take heed, there is a good chance this agent will provide excellent service and worthwhile advice.
What is the Code of Ethics?
REALTORS are the only licensed agents in any state that police themselves and give the general public a forum to complain about poor service or incompetency that results in fines and other disciplinary actions.
Do you think foreclosures, short-sales, bank-owned properties (REO) or for-sale-by-owner properties would be appropriate for my home search?
Yes but each has there challenges so having an agent talk about these topics before signing an agreement is wise.
How often will you supply me with properties that meet my criteria?
Today, via email, we have automated delivery of potential homes. The agents answer to this question should be one that instills confidence that you won’t miss out on a good one — but this is a two way street if you expect your agent to be available on a moments notice you should be too.
Will you point out all the negative aspects of each property as well as all the positive aspects?
This is where experience pays off, the answer is subjective but just asking it will reveal much about the agents intent.
Please tell me how you represent buyers to help them get the best price and terms.
This answer can be short or long but what you’re looking for is someone who is creative, forthright and collaborative not collusive.
How would your rate your knowledge of mortgage loans and qualifying for them?
You’re looking for an agent who understands the differences in lending institutions, for example, what is the difference between a broker, corespondent, mortgage lender, chartered bank and servicer.
Do you have a list of trusted services providers, e.g., lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents?
Ideally we all do but know that this network may not live up to your expectations, sometimes professionals in real estate are so busy looking for new business they forget to take care of their current business. Bottomline, ask the agent “what do you like about John Doe the Loan Officer?”
How do you get paid?
Ideally we all do but know that this network may not live up to your expectations, sometimes professionals in real estate are so busy looking for new business they forget to take care of their current business. Bottomline, ask the agent “what do you like about John Doe the Loan Officer?”
What is the duration of agreements that you require I sign?
All too often we see contracts that last one year. Don’t sign this unless you know this agent is awesome! Negotiate an initial term of 1-2 months and take the agent on a test drive. If you don’t like him/her then you’re free to move on sooner than later.
What if I see a For-Sale-By-Owner house I want to buy?
The answer should be that he’ll negotiate the commission with them and if its a really good deal just add his commission on top the asking price. Chances are its overpriced and this is where your agent earns his fee.
How would you represent me as a buyer client for properties listed with your firm?
The same way they should for all properties, with zealous regard for your best interests.
Limited Agency: What is it and how might that affect your ability to negotiate on my behalf for those properties?
This is a slippery slope but what you’re looking for is neutrality and a believable answer or tone.
How do you keep your negotiating skills sharp?
A good answer might be because they are full-time or that they regularly attend classes to develop and hone their skills.
Have you ever filed a complaint against an agent?
A yes answer to this is a good clue that their honest and ethical and striving to police the industry.
What's the last sales book or negotiation book you read?
It should be one that respects the customer or client like “Question Based Selling.”

Facebook Comments