10 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent When Buying a House

Buying a home is a big decision. Here are 10 questions to ask a real estate agent when you're buying a home to ensure you're satisfied with your choice.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
buying a home
, you need to ask certain your real estate agent certain questions to be sure you're choosing the right home for you. They're professionals who know what they're doing, so use them to understand the ins and outs of your potential houses.
Buying a home is easier with a
good real estate agent
versus buying a home all by yourself.
A real estate agent or realtor knows all the ins and outs of the buying process, can help you narrow down the kind of home you want, and can help you complete the complicated process when you decide to buy.
But not all realtors are the same, and a negative experience with an agent can waste time and money. So, how do you determine whether to work with an agent or not? By asking them some simple questions.
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What to ask a real estate agent

Before you even hire a realtor, you need to ask them a few things. This helps you find the best realtor for your needs and ensures that the realtor has the time to help you find the best home.

1. How long have you been a real estate agent?

Like many jobs, the longer an agent is in the realty business, the more experienced they become. And this means they’ll avoid mistakes that some first-time real estate agents might make.
This doesn't mean that a younger real estate agent won't be a skilled professional, but experienced real estate agents may have wiser insights.

2. How much is your fee?

Real estate agents charge a fee. This fee is usually paid for by the sellers, or builder in the case of a new-home construction, and happens on or soon after closing.
You also need to ask if you need to sign a contract to guarantee them compensation if, for some reason, you decide to go with another agent] for your home purchase in the future or
in the middle of a sale

3. Do you have any references?

It's always a good idea to ask a potential realtor for references. Providing references shouldn’t be a problem for an agent confident in their ability to find you a home. If a real estate agent refuses to give you references, it's probably a sign that they're not a good agent.
Once they provide you with their references, make sure to call and talk to them to see how their experience with the agent went.

4. How familiar are you with the area where I want to buy?

Ask how familiar the agent is with the area you want to buy in. The best agents will know a lot about the area you're interested in, including property values and real estate trends.

5. How will the home-buying process work?

As a buyer, it's important that you understand the home-buying process from beginning to end. An experienced realtor should be able to help you manage your expectations, as well as know what not to do in the time leading up to a home purchase.

What to ask a real estate agent while buying a home

Now that you've hired an agent, you should be able to call on them to help you with a variety of questions about buying your home. Below are some good questions to ask your real estate agent as a part of the home-buying process.

1. Would you buy this home?

Make sure to ask your agent how they feel about a home you want to buy. Any reservations they have offers insight into why a property might not be the right fit for you.
Maybe it has something to do with the neighborhood, the seller, or the home itself. Regardless, you need to know so you can make an informed decision.

2. What is the home’s sales history?

Before making an offer on a home, ask your realtor about the home’s sales history. If the sellers have struggled to sell the home in the past, you could maybe get it for a lower price than what they are currently asking.

3. What contingencies should I ask for?

Before signing any offer, make sure the contract has the contingencies you want in it to protect your interests.
Popular contingencies include the final sale pending getting approved for a mortgage, the home passing a
home inspection
, and the appraisal of the home at least being what the seller says is the value of the home.

4. Is there anything going on in the neighborhood that will affect home prices?

A good real estate agent will "be in the know" about what is going on in the communities where they work. Federal law does say that agents can’t discuss neighborhood demographics, but they can discuss housing trends and other economic factors, including whether housing prices are currently rising or falling.

5. Do you have any recommendations for a mortgage lender?

A final question you can ask is if the realtor has any recommendations when it comes to lenders and other professionals. This includes
home inspectors who can perform the inspection you need
as a part of buying a home.
Ultimately, your real estate agent’s job is to make the home-buying process as smooth as possible for you. A good agent will also have your best interest at heart and should try to find you the best deal and answer any questions you have during the entire process.
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