Here are the TOP TWO tips to choose the right buyer's agent for you:
- Research - Social proof is everywhere. Check out their reviews. Ask for references or video testimonials (those can't be faked like Zillow) Check out what their website looks like. Look them up on the social media. Do research BEFORE you start looking for a home. Why would you just call whoever is there on a web page when you are making possibly the biggest financial investment of your life? Just because an agent has a marketing budget to place themselves on Zillow and other websites means nothing in the quality of their service.
- Interview - Have a phone call or better yet, get face-to-face. Make sure this is someone you feel comfortable with and who you believe will place your needs first, ahead of their commission. Make sure they are genuine. Many agents are all about the commission and if that's true you'll be able to pick up on it. Inexperienced agents cost the same as experienced agents on the surface however an inexperienced agent can cost you thousands that you'll never even know about. (this has less to do with how long they've been a real estate agent and more to do with how many people they've assisted). Ask them how many buyers they represented last year and this year.
Here are some important questions to ask, but don't forget - trust your gut!
Litmus Test #1
In the state of North Carolina EVERY REAL ESTATE AGENT must go over and explain agency and how it works using the Working With Real Estate Agents brochure provided by the NC Real Estate Commission at “First Substantial Contact”. There are steep consequences for failing to do this and we are amazed by how many agents fail to do so. Many just wait until you find a house and write an offer to handle this and this is huge no-no! Ask yourself, if an agent is so sloppy with his/her career, how sloppy will they be with your transaction?
You should be asked to sign this but it is NOT a CONTRACT so it is ok.
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?
A: GREAT NEWS HERE! While some agents can ask for payment from you at closing or sometimes even up front, you will never pay us to represent you as buyers of a home. We get paid by the seller at a commission determined between them and the listing agent at the time they list the home. This is reason #1 to have your own buyer's agent working for you. We don't get paid until closing and we only get to closing if we find you a home you love and take care of you through the process. We've even represented dozens of folks over the years in purchasing For Sale By Owner listings and almost every time was paid by the seller. We are basically volunteers and only get paid for a job well done!
Can you share the names and contact details for past buyers who will highly recommend you?
A: When you see a lot of social proof available for an agent, this becomes less necessary. Video testimonials are the best!
How long have you been a real estate agent? More importantly, how many buyers did you help buy a home last year?
A: Exit Mountain Realty is here to stay! We've represented hundreds of buyers over the years and we love what we do! Also, we are skilled negotiators and our agents enjoy ongoing training in personality profiles and negotiating. Just because an agent has been doing this for decades does not mean they've been doing it right and a new agent could be a much better choice in some circumstances. ASK QUESTIONS.
Please explain what you do to help me at each stage of the transaction.
A: We at Exit Mountain Realty are there for you at EVERY step of the transaction. We search for homes that suit your needs while you are sleeping or with your family. We take you to see homes that have a high potential of being the one. We find THE ONE and write up the offer for you. (You can sign ALL paperwork electronically when you work with Exit Mountain Realty). Once the offer is accepted, we recommend attorneys and inspectors to help you. We communicate with the attorney daily. We will discuss your concerns about the inspection and advise you on repair requests. We work with your mortgage provider to make sure we stay on track for closing. We give you a list of providers to assist you if we need estimates or if you need work done after closing. We are with you at the closing to hand you the keys to your NEW HOME! We check in on you after closing and make sure we help you with anything you need. We call you a FRIEND.
Will you counsel me on a negotiating strategy and appropriate contingencies? How will you package my offer to the seller?
A: Yes. We help you determine the comparable sales, the market trends, and the neighborhood value so that YOU can make the best decision for YOU on a price to offer. When we write up an offer for you, we go the extra mile by presenting a cover letter expressing what you love about the home in an effort to connect with the seller. This isnt necessary on ALL offers and we will help you to determine if this would be beneficial and help you write the cover letter.
This is a HUGE decision in your life. Why just choose whoever responds to your request on Zillow? Take the time to do the research, get one-on-one, and ask questions until you feel that you have found an agent working for you who will represent you and your best interests at all times. We at Exit Mountain Realty believe in Relationships Before Sales and we prove it every day. We love helping first-time buyers and experienced buyers alike and promise to always place your best interest above all else!
We have agents who work as buyer's agents full-time. Their role on the team is to work with our buyers and make sure their needs are met.
How does the NC Contract protect me and please explain some of the key components of the contract like Earnest Money, Due Diligence Money and Due Diligence date?
A: It is EXTREMELY important that you and your agent have a good understanding of this. We are amazed at how many agents don’t. This can result in you losing a lot of money or making an offer so weak that it doesn't get accepted. For a clear understanding of this watch our video on Understanding Due Diligence Fees and Earnest Money.
Contact us today to schedule a FREE Buyer's Strategy Session to go over what you are looking for and to answer any questions you have.