Questions to Ask When Selecting a Buyer’s Rep
Before buying a home, it’s best to spend time carefully selecting a buyer’s agent to represent your interests in this all-important transaction. But how do you choose one?
Interviews are one of the best ways to decide whether an agent has the knowledge and skills to meet your needs, while also determining whether you share a good personal rapport. After all, buying a home is a very unique, significant and potentially challenging experience. You want the best person working on your team!
The following questions cover many of the most important topics you’ll want to discuss:
Experience and Credentials
How long have you been a buyer’s agent? Are you an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)? If so, for how many years? What other real estate designations or certifications do you hold?
Can you share the names and contact details for three past buyer-clients who can provide references?
What are your areas of specialized knowledge? Which types of housing or neighborhoods do you know best?
Please explain what representation choices I have as a buyer. What is meant by fiduciary duties? Do you practice dual representation?
Please explain how you will assist me at each stage of the transaction. Do you have a written buyer representation agreement that details our obligations to each other?
How will you be compensated? If I hire you as my buyer’s agent will I be subjected to any additional costs in my transaction?
Do you have full access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? Will you try to find suitable properties
beyond the MLS?
Will you handle all aspects of my transaction, or will I be working with assistants? Who will be explaining the various forms, agreements and steps required to reach closing?
Will you counsel me on a negotiating strategy and appropriate contingencies? How will you package my offer to the seller? Will you personally present my offer?
Will you provide guidance on affordability, mortgage options and how to choose a lender? Why should I consider becoming pre-qualified or pre-approved on a mortgage?
Can you give me referrals to providers of other services related to my transaction, including home inspectors, surveyors, movers, etc.?
By covering each of these questions, you’ll develop an excellent understanding of how well an agent explains various aspects of the purchase process—helping you feel more comfortable about working together to reach your home ownership goals.