Whether this is your first or fifth time purchasing a home, it never hurts to ask questions. After all, an investment this large warrants a certain amount of research and consideration. To aid you in the process, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of five questions to ask a real estate agent prior to making an offer on a home.
- Are you an Agent, Realtor, or Broker?
Once you find a real estate agent you’d like to work with, it may be helpful ask if they are an agent, Realtor®, or broker. The title of Realtor® is held by approximately 1.3 million licensed real estate agents throughout the U.S. who are members of the National Association Of Realtors® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Requirements for brokers vary from state to state, but generally speaking they must have a substantial amount of sales experience and additional training in order to qualify. An agent must work under a broker, but brokers have the ability to represent buyers and sellers on their own and may hire real estate agents to work for them.
- Will I have to pay a fee for your services?
In most cases, buyers are not required to pay realtor fees. These fees are typically paid by the seller as a percentage of the sale price of the home. However, it is best to make sure this is the case before an agent takes you out to show you properties. If there is a buyer’s fee and you still wish to work with this agent, find out if you would still have to pay them if you found a home on your own without the agent’s help.
- How does the home’s market value compare with the asking price?
In order to make a smart offer on a home, you must have the agent prepare a comparative market analysis of the area’s recently sold homes and those currently available. These ‘comps’ will give you a better idea of what others have paid for similar homes as well as how long those homes sat on the market before being sold.
- Are there any foreclosures in the area?
This is an important question when considering a home’s market value vs. its asking price. This is because foreclosures and short sales can temporarily cause nearby property values to drop.
- Are there any major reasons why I shouldn’t buy this home?
If you find a home you think you want to buy, you will most likely hire a home inspector to performan engineer’s inspection and prepare a report on the condition of the home. But prior to making that investment, it’s a good idea to ask the real estate agent if they know of any major problems or issues with the home, such as leaks, cracks in the foundation, defunct pools, etc.
If you’re in the market to purchase a home, having the right mortgage professional is equally as important. The loan experts at Cliffco Mortgage Bankers will guide you every step of the way, making the loan process simple and stress free. Call (516) 408-7300 or fill out the form here to get started.