It is no secret that the Real Estate Market for buyers has started to feel more like you are in the Hunger Games where you are Katniss and your Real Estate Agent is like your Haymitch (hopefully without the drinking problem).
You must go into the home hunting process prepared to beat out the other tribunes (buyers). The Realtor that you have on this journey must be able to guide you and have the knowledge and skill to help you succeed. You will most likely need to get help from a Loan Officer, which is like a donation from your sponsor, such as your pre-approval letter.
So let’s bring this to where your Haymitch comes in. Do you think Katniss and Peeta would have succeeded in that first Hunger Games if it wasn’t for the help of Haymitch? Your Real Estate Agent can make or break your success when it comes to getting the home of your dreams, especially when the seller has multiple offers being presented to them. You need an agent that connects with your personality because you could be spending a lot of weekends with this person. You also need someone that understands your wants and needs in a home, neighborhood, and price range. So let’s get down to the reason you came to this post!
Here are the 5 main questions everyone should ask when interviewing people to fill the position of “My real estate agent”. (And if you are not interviewing agents, you should)
1). How many clients have you helped in buying or selling homes in the last 12 months? You want to make sure you choose an agent that is actively working their business. There are plenty of agents out there that just do it on the side while their focus is elsewhere and asking how much business they have done is a great way to weed out the hobby agents vs the career agents. If their number is fewer than 10 or they are a newer agent, ask if they have a mentor they work with. New does not mean bad, especially if they have a great mentor working with them.
2). What is your availability like? You want to make sure that your agents availability matches your own. If you are only available nights or weekends but your agent is not, than this would not be a good partnership.
3). How familiar are you with the neighborhood I am interested in? This question can be very telling when asked. You will get to see how prepared your potential agent is, do they do their research and homework regarding the local market, are they familiar with what homes are going for in your desired area? If an agent is not prepared with facts and figures for you, it is a sign that they are not the best person to help you in this Hunger Gamesish market. Preparedness is key! Homes are being listed and offers accepted quickly, sometimes within hours. Your agent needs to be prepared!
This next one is for the VA Buyers.
4.) Have you ever worked with VA Buyers before? Are you familiar with the VA Requirements in place in regards to the home with the VA Home Loan. For anyone wanting to use the VA Home Loan for your purchase, you need to make sure you have an agent that understands the process and all the reasons why VA Buyers are great for sellers to work with. You want an agent that is going to go to bat for you!
And Last but certainly not least we come to number five!
5.) This one is not really a question for you to ask them, but something for you to ask yourself. Through this interview process, how did the conversation flow? In other words, did you vibe? This arrangement is like entering into a relationship and it needs to be a good fit for both of you. Not only do you need to like them, but they really should also consider if they like you too because they are putting in their time, energy, and effort into this too.
Now that you are armed with the information you need to start your home buying journey, it’s time to schedule those interviews and, of course, contact your lender.