Whether you’re buying a home or selling one, it’s a big (and expensive) deal! That’s why we always recommend working with a real estate agent: Your very own expert who knows the ropes and has your back each step of the way.
But in the midst of trying to buy or sell a home, don’t feel pressured or rushed to work with a particular real estate agent without asking questions and making sure you’re a good fit.
Here are some questions to ask your real estate agent before signing on:
1. Are you on Homesnap?
Make sure your agent is on Homesnap (of course!) so you can keep all your communication within the app. From there, they can see your favorite listings and you can message back and forth about properties. The buying and selling processes both demand ongoing communication, so this is a great way to make sure it will go smoothly.
2. What’s your preferred communication style?
You’ll be doing a lot of back and forth with your agent. Depending on your job, availability, and personal preferences, you might prefer an agent who uses in-app messaging or texting to someone who wants to call on the phone (and vice versa).
3. Is real estate your full-time job, or a side gig?
There’s nothing bad about working with a part-time agent, but you want to know their availability upfront so you can make sure it syncs with yours. Let them know which days and times you’ll want to tour properties so they can give you a heads up about potential conflicts.
4. Do you have a back-up in place for when you’re booked or a conflict of interest arises?
Say your agent is heading out of town for a wedding during prime real estate season. Who will take care of you?
What if you’re in a competitive market and want to move quickly on an offer, but your agent is out of town?
Find out whether they have a partner or colleagues who can cover if needed.
5. What can you tell me about the market in this area? How about my neighborhood? How about in my price range?
Pay attention to whether the agent seems to have a deep familiarity with the latest selling prices in your target area or in the neighborhood where you’re selling.
Can they speak to recent trends and list off tips for quick sales or winning bids? Can they quickly get a sense for the value of your home by looking at nearby properties?
Most agents have some specialized knowledge of particular areas, so you’ll want to find one who knows your area well.
6. What are your marketing strategies?
If you’re selling, ask them how they plan to market your house. Your agent should run online campaigns for your home on the same top networks that Homesnap helps agents advertise on: Google, Facebook, Waze and Instagram.
Don’t be afraid to questions, like — will they use digital ads and send you reports? Will they send direct mail? If you’re serious about selling, you want to make sure your agent knows the best ways to get your home in front of potential buyers.
7. How many clients are you working with right now – buying and selling?
If your agent is really busy, that could be a good sign – maybe they’re getting a ton of referrals or have through-the-roof reviews. See if they have a specialty (e.g. most of their clients are sellers) and if they seem to be juggling a lot of clients, ask how they handle balancing time between them.
8. What do your stats look like?
If your agent is signed into Homesnap Pro, they can pull up their stats right away so you can get a clear look at their recent sales and listings. You can see charts and graphs that show their activity, and they should even be able to show you how they stack up to other agents in the area.
9. What have your last listings or sales been like?
Ask them about their last listing or sale — how did it go?
If it was a listing, did they get asking price? Why or why not? If it was a sale, how long did it take for the buyer to find a home – and how many bids? Was it over the sales price or under?
Listen for their insights about how to succeed in your particular market conditions.
10. Do I feel completely comfortable with you?
Okay, obviously this is a question you can only ask yourself. But in the end, it’s the most important. Whether you’re selling or buying a home, a lot of money is going to change hands – and most people encounter at least one moment of confusion or anxiety along the way.
You want to make sure you have complete faith your agent’s judgment and strategy, so it’s worth finding someone you trust.