Finding the right real estate agent is paramount to a successful and smooth transaction when buying or selling a property. The agent’s expertise, professionalism, and rapport can significantly impact the outcome of the real estate venture. To ensure you make the best choice, you must arm yourself with essential questions to ask potential agents and be vigilant about recognising red flags that might indicate a less-than-reliable professional. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key questions to pose during the selection process and shed light on the warning signs that can help you avoid potential pitfalls. By understanding how to choose the right real estate agent, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the property market confidently and secure the services of a trustworthy and capable partner to achieve your real estate goals.
Ask your realtor questions about their previous experience, references, expertise on the neighbourhood you are interested in, and the fees associated with their services. Regarding red flags, you should be mindful of how much they charge for their commission, the sales prices, communication and negotiation skills, and their expertise in the area in question.
Ask questions about their:
One of the first issues you should address and one of the first questions you should ask is related to the prospective realtor’s experience with the type of property you are selling/buying. If the real estate agent has no previous experience working with residential property, it poses a potential risk for you regarding your satisfaction as the buyer/seller. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work with somebody with no experience – you should give them a shot if they have proper training, qualifications and perhaps some experience in real estate-related businesses such as local property management in Orange, NSW, or any other area of your interest.
Another crucial thing to ask a potential realtor is about their references. It is important to invest time and find out about their past clients. You can start with their social media accounts or their website. You can check testimonials and see what other people say about working with them there.
Expertise in the neighbourhood you are interested in
What’s also important is their expertise in the area you are interested in (or where the property you are selling is located). Knowledge about the local market and demand is of crucial importance. You can check that by asking them about important things for you, such as schools, hospitals, shops, banks and other nearby things. Remember to assess the location’s accessibility, traffic conditions, and noise levels. A prime location is crucial if you intend to safeguard your investment for the long term.
Real estate fees
Finally, you should also find out the fees for their services. You shouldn’t enter a relationship with a real estate agent before you know all the fees and costs. Typically, buyers don’t pay commissions. However, this is not always the case. All the costs should be disclosed upfront.
Red flags to avoid:
Charges a low commission
Besides the questions to ask a potential real estate agent, certain red flags tell you to avoid a particular realtor. The first red flag is low commission. Most real estate agents charge a commission between 5-7%. It is often split between the buying and selling agents. When a realtor offers you a substantially lower commission, under 5%, be careful, as selling or buying a home can take much longer. Agents are working for a 2.5% commission, which is not motivating.
Recommends the highest sales price
Although aiming for the highest possible price for your home is natural, setting an excessively high initial price can lead to a lengthier selling process, potentially resulting in a lower final price. When a property remains on the market for an extended period, prospective buyers may become wary and question any potential issues with the house, viewing the listing date as a negative signal. Our professional recommendation is to research the sold prices of comparable homes in the area and their time on the market before determining your asking price. A reliable realtor will assist you in this process, ensuring you make an informed decision about pricing your home.
Poor communication and negotiation skills
An alarming red flag is, indeed, poor communication and negotiation skills. These are fundamental for every successful realtor. Closing a real estate deal with these skills is almost only possible. You can observe how they talk and their references to check this.
No expertise or experience (in the area)
Expertise in the local area is vital. That is how you find the best deal – by working with someone who knows the area well.
You should take time and find a reliable agent to work with – it is the key to your overall satisfaction with the whole buying/selling process.