Thursday, October 25, 2018 / by Joe Corbisiero
So you are dreaming about buying a new house, but maybe you're nervous. I wanted to give you a way to qualify your Realtor by giving you several questions you you can ask them to see if they know what they are doing. If they can intelligently answer them, you'll know if you found the right representation. If not, you'll know you’re dealing with a rookie!
I want to share with you 8 questions to ask a Realtor when buying a new house, but first…Congratulations!
You’ve decided to buy a new home, and hopefully you’ve done yourself a favor & decided to work with a Realtor®. Asking the right questions and sharing concerns is not only a job for you, but it is also our responsibility as professionals to know exactly what you are looking for. Lets face it, the only reason you are thinking about working with a Realtor is because when you find a good one, they will help ensure your making a wise financial investment.
The 8 questions to ask a Realtor when buying a house
How Do I Determine My Budget?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a Realtor when buying a new house. A good Realtor will take the time to sit down with you and walk you through all aspects of homeownership and what it costs. A Realtor who diverts this question and tells you to consult with your lender and get back to him/her, may not have your best interests in mind.
One of the ways to figure out what your budget is, is to work the numbers backwards. How much do you want to allocate to your total monthly housing expense? Based on that number you can reverse engineer a price that works best for you. You might want to check out this article to get a better idea.
My lender pre-approved me for X amount, is that what I should spend?
If you already have a pre-approval from your lender, share it with your agent and make sure that your search price fits inline with where you want to spend on a monthly basis. A good Realtor will point out all costs of homeownership including the annual tax bill and home owner association dues if applicable.
Factoring all costs of homeownership is truly how you reach your comfort level in budget. For example, the higher the property tax bill, the less you are likely to be approved for in loan amount and vice versa.
How does the sell and buying at the same time process look like?
One of the best questions to ask a Realtor when buying and selling a house at the same time is how it works. You will know you hired the right agent once they walk you through in detail how this works. The truth is that there are several ways this can be done, but a good agent who has your best interest in mind will walk you through a couple different strategies.
In most cases, people do not have the money to buy a property and they need to sell their existing home to have the cash to make the down payment. Knowing exactly how the client proposes to arrange the down payment makes it easier for me as your Realtor® to fulfill the demands of the client. You can learn more about this topic on the article below.
What kind of time frame should I expect?
The answer to this question will determine the timeline and set realistic expectations on when you can expect to close the deal. Using this as a question to ask your Realtor when buying will allow you to get a good idea of their strategy for finding what you want. A good Realtor will have a plan because the last thing they will want to do is allow you to become frustrated with the process.
In the end, you may say that you are no longer interested in seeing any more properties, and will has start the purchase process from the beginning elsewhere – when that was totally avoidable. Time is the most precious resource we have, and I aim to make best use of it.
What areas should I live in?
This is one of the important questions to ask a Realtor when buying because it will force your agent to help you eliminate areas you right off the bat. Realtors can’t tell you where to live, but they can certainly walk you through some exercises to help you better decide. A good Realtor will help establish your wants vs. needs list. Going shopping for a new home is just a process of elimination at the end of the day.
We always ask the client the areas in which they are interested to buy a property. If you cannot pin point one single area, we may ask you to come up with 3-4 areas of your liking for us to search properties to fit your needs. Newer Realtors® often make the mistake of showing properties all over the city only that may “look nice,” to be told in the end that they are interested in one or the other areas. If the client has a leaning towards a particular neighborhood, a goof Realtor® will have the knowledge to be able to concentrate upon a small area in your city or town, and be able to tell you all about it.
What do I get for the money?
I love using this as one of the top questions to ask a Realtor when buying a house because it forces them to share their expertise. You will be able to tell if your agent knows their stuff or not just by their answers. If you do not want to feel discouraged by the looking at the wrong homes, have and idea of the square footage and also the number of bathrooms that you want in your new home.
Do you have testimonials?
In this business, experience matters. What other people say about your product or service is more powerful than anything you can say about it.
Is there anything else I should be looking for?
You may have requirements pertaining to parking while some others demand properties very close to public transportation. If you’re in a condo building you may want a swimming pool or you may want a doorman. We will always ask the client if they have any special requirements in mind before starting on a site seeing spree. This will help us focusing on properties that are just right for the you.
One of the best ways to find a good Realtor is to make sure you ask them the right questions. By no means is this an exhaustive list, and there’s a good chance that the answers to these questions will cause other questions to be asked by both you and your Realtor®. Just be prepared to have a conversation, because we sure love to talk – especially about real estate!
thinking about buying? Know someone thinking of buying?? I’d love to put my plan to work for you. Let’s talk about it!