10 Questions to Ask Your Payson Realtor When Buying a House

April 23, 2020

When it comes time to actually hire a Payson realtor, I find that buyers, unfortunately, are not doing their due diligence. They're not doing their homework, they're not putting these agents through the vetting process to avoid potential problems down the line. This article is going to cover the top 10 questions that you should ask your buyer's agent to hopefully have a smooth process and avoid any pitfalls down the line.

What this article covers:

How long have they been in the business?

There's no right answer here, but there is a wrong answer. 20 years of experience is great but probably not necessary. However, you probably don't want your agent to tell you that they got their license two months ago. You want to make sure your agent has the experience and is capable of doing what you want to do. That is to purchase a house and go through all the contingencies and to make sure everything goes smoothly. This means you likely don't want to be your agent's first transaction. You want to make sure your agent has experience. Experience is key. You want to make sure your agent has been around the block a couple of times. Pun intended.

Why did they get into real estate?

You're going to be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent. You want to get to know them on a personal basis. This question will uncover your realtor's motivation to get up every morning and to serve you as a client. Most agent-client relationships breakdown over lack of communication or miscommunication. So when it comes to negotiating or showings or communication in general, you want to understand where they're coming from and how they think as a person. This question is going to tell you more about who your agent is as a person which will help communication significantly down the line.

How many clients do they have?

You want to make sure your agent has enough time to dedicate to you and your search. However, you also want to make sure that you are not your agents only clients. Consider that if the deal starts going sideways, and you want to back out of the deal, well that agent only has one shot at a commission that month, right? If that agent only has one client, they may try to save the deal. Even if the client wants to back out of it, right? That agent needs to put food on their table for them and their family. So maybe being the only client isn't the best thing in the world. Now, what happens when your agent says that they have 50 other clients? Is this a bad thing? That agent is probably pretty successful, which means they likely have systems and processes in place to help facilitate a smooth transaction. However, you never want your agent's schedule to get in the way of a showing or to delay putting an offer in. I think when it comes down to it, you'd rather your agent have a few too many clients, then being the only one.

Will you be working with them or their team?

The team model is becoming more popular. Be sure you know what type of relationship you're signing up for. The way it works is that usually there's a showing agent who handles all the showings. There's an administrator who handles all the paperwork. And then there's the lead buyer's agent that kind of oversees everything and helps out with the negotiating at the end. I think both is fine team or individual. Just make sure you know which one you're signing up for, so that there are no strange agents that you've never heard of, or you never met showing your houses.

What area do they primarily do business in?

You want to confirm that your agent knows the area that you're looking in. You want your agent to confirm that they're comfortable and have frequently done business in that area. Now your agent doesn't need to know every single block of the area you're looking in. They probably should but that's another story. You just want to make sure that your agent is extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in the target market that you're looking at.

What sets them apart from other Payson real estate agents?

Real talk, it's 2020, and the real estate industry is under attack because it is very difficult to tell the difference between two real estate agents. Sometimes it's very difficult to see the value that a real estate agent brings to the table. Ask your agent, what they do differently, what sets them apart from other agents, they should have an immediate answer. I'll give you three immediate answers. Number one, I'm here in Payson, Arizona. That's my marketplace Number two. I was raised in the area. I was practically born in my marketplace. My family moved here when I was 7. Not many people can say that. This is my town. Number three, I'm a digital age realtor. What does that mean? I live and breathe the internet and technology. I don't even know any other Payson agent that advertises online. Ask your agent. What they do differently. Your agent should be chomping at the bit to tell you what they do differently than other agents.

How do their fees work?

When you're purchasing real estate usually that buyer's agent commission is already worked into the sales price and is set by the seller and the seller broker. So there's no extra out of pocket expense for you as the buyer. Sometimes there is an administrative fee, also known as a desk fee that your buyer's agent will charge and pass on to you. If they bring this up see if you can ask them to waive the fee. You're purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property. They can waive a couple of hundred dollars worth of fees. You're entering into a contract, you want to be sure that you fully understand how the fees work with your real estate agent.

What do they feel is the best strategy moving forward?

After you've had an in-depth conversation with your agent, they should have a good idea of how to best proceed to find the type of property you're looking for. Hopefully, it's more than just putting you on an automated email search, you already get all the updates, the automated search is faster, it is faster, I will give it that. But hopefully, there's something in addition to that. See how creative your agent is. Things to look for are, they recommend going to open houses, maybe they're going to send out direct mail, maybe they're going to go door-knocking, I wouldn't set the expectation that your real estate agent is going to go out there and door knock for you. It all depends on the type of property you're looking for. But after an in-depth conversation, you got to have some sort of plan. You need to have a plan moving forward, and hopefully, it's something more than just the automated search.

How will they communicate?

Most agent-client relationships break down over a lack of communication. All types of relationships break down over communication. So you have to be on the same page with your agent on how communication will take place. Maybe your agent prefers weekly phone calls on Sunday evening. Maybe you prefer short, quick text messages throughout the week because it's 2020 and who makes phone calls anymore? You don't want to have a challenge communicating. If one party loves to email and you love to text, there might be issues there. So, get on the same page, figure out what mode of communication works best so that everyone's expectations are met.

What questions do they have for you?

This might be the most important question of them all. It's like if you were to go to a job interview, and at the end of the interview, the interviewer asks you the job applicant what questions do you have for them. You don't respond that you have no questions and everything sounds good. That just makes you look disinterested and ignorant. It makes you look like you don't care. Like you're not prepared. Your agent should be all over this. How long have you been looking? What have you seen that you like? Have you put any offers on any properties? Any question is better than no question. The last thing you want is for your agent to say, okay, sounds good. Let's set you up on an automated mailer and set it and forget it.

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