Are you starting the Home Buying process? Have you hired your Buyer’s Agent yet? If not, this article is for you! We discuss the 3 most important questions to ask before you hire an Agent.
In the initial stages of purchasing, clients typically look to the internet to find areas of interest and houses they like. Most people aren’t aware they can hire an Agent who will help guide them from the very start. However, finding a Realtor right away, and finding the right one, can really pay off! So let’s discuss how to find the right Buyer’s Agent for you.
The first question to start with is, “how many transactions did you complete in the last 12 months?”
This is a simple question to help you gauge their experience in the industry. Knowing the exposure of the professional helping you is crucial to your success.
Nationally, the average annual sales per agent is only five transactions! This is extremely low due to the number of agents in the industry, including part-time agents. With the transaction rate so low, these agents may be extremely motivated to close a sale and won’t always have your best interests in mind.
In Bozeman, roughly one in forty people is a licensed Real Estate Agent. There are plenty of licensed Real Estate Agents out there, but not all have real expertise or knowledge. These agents are hungry for business, and probably aren’t going to tell you anything negative about their exposure level without some coaxing.
On the other hand, some Realtors are on the opposite side of the spectrum, selling over 60+ homes per year. This can mean they get overbooked, aren't always available, and could be unable to give you the attention you deserve. Constantly bouncing between listings can result in a distracted Agent that won’t do you any good!
So, how can you tell when a Realtor is able to give the proper amount of time and keep your interests in mind? Well, there is no set amount of home sales that make a perfect Realtor, but many professionals would say between 20 to 50 homes per year is a good indication of a Buyer's Agent who is well experienced, yet still able to take on additional Buyers and serve them well.
The second question to ask your potential Buyer’s Agent is, “What areas and price ranges are you most familiar with?”
An Agent’s level of skill can vary drastically by price range. An Agent who specifically works in the luxury market most likely isn’t a good fit to help someone in the entry-level price range. They may not know how to structure offers based on the current competitiveness of that specific market. On the same note, a Realtor with all of their experience in the entry-level market could be totally flabbergasted working in the luxury market.
An experienced and educated agent will use their resources to create an offer to catch the attention of the seller and be within the buyer's level of comfort. The agent writing your offer can impact whether or not your offer gets accepted. If your agent is knowledgeable about the market within your areas of interest and price range, they will know how to properly structure the offer to have the greatest level of impact when received by the seller.
In any market, some locations will be more aggressive than others. Meaning if a house comes on the market in that area, you may only have one day to submit an offer. The same price range in another area not as competitive may not require as aggressive of an offer. In fact, you may be the only one making an offer on the house at all. Knowing local market demands is a key trait of a great buyer’s agent.
Finally, the last question we advise you ask your Buyer’s Agent before you hire them is, “What is your typical process when helping home buyers?”
Inexperienced Agents don’t always know what to prepare for and tend to be more reactive than proactive. If the Agent you are interviewing has a specific process for educating their Buyers, chances are they know what they’re doing.
A great Buyer's Agent will walk you through a series of questions and listen intently to your unique situation. They’re going to see which parts of the buying process you are familiar with and which parts you may need some education on.
In conclusion, don't just hire the first Realtor you meet. Do a little homework and find an Agent who best matches your criteria and needs. You won’t regret it!