Whether you are buying or selling a home, the real estate agent you pick has a huge impact on your overall experience. The right agent makes the whole process easier, and they can help you get the most favorable outcome possible during negotiations. Therefore, you need to take the time to shop around for agents and interview a few before selecting one. Here are some questions to ask when looking for a good Boise real estate agent.
What is your perception of the Boise real estate market?
Getting the agent to talk about the local real estate market can tell you a lot about their expertise and knowledge. A good agent should be able to pinpoint real estate trends and identify how the housing market differs in the smaller neighborhoods of Boise.
This knowledge is essential because it helps you figure out pricing. A good agent's knowledge of the neighborhood can help you get the biggest profit when selling your home or help you find promising areas when purchasing a home.
What are your qualifications?
Take some time to chat with the agent about their licenses and experiences. At the bare minimum, they need to be a licensed real estate agent who has at least been in the business for a few months. It is generally preferable to select someone with even more time in the industry.
Like most other fields, an experienced agent will be able to do a better job of handling various challenges throughout the transaction. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a Boise Realtor and a real estate agent. Typically, a Boise Realtor will be more experienced than a basic real estate agent, since you have to take extra tests to call yourself a Realtor.
How many clients do you typically work with at one time?
A lot of bigger real estate offices sound great in interviews, but then you start working with them and realize they never have any time for you. Avoid this problem by asking upfront about how many clients the agent can handle at a time. Ask who would actually be working with you on a day-to-day basis, and discuss how the agent manages scheduling conflicts.
Ideally, an agent will not have more than about 20 clients at a time, and some agents may just have around 5 to 10. They should have a clear plan for organizing all their clients needs, and they should have a reasonably experienced subordinate (or team) who can step in to help if the office is particularly busy.
How will you help me find listings besides just giving me an MLS list?
If you are looking to buy a home, you need to talk with the agent about how they help you find potential properties. Some lazier agents may just give you an MLS link to all properties in the area, which really is not enough.
Instead, you need to look for an agent who will take the time to hunt down homes that specifically match your criteria. An agent who can give access to pre-market listings and call your attention to certain homes will make it easier for you to manage the search.
Do you provide marketing besides putting my home on the MLS?
When selling your home, the marketing involved in the home is one of the most important aspects. Placing your home on the MLS list is the bare minimum. In modern times, many people hunt for homes through social media and real estate websites. Therefore, the agent should be able to help you create listings for all these marketing opportunities.
Furthermore, they should be willing to assist you with taking photos of the home and staging it for showings. This is one of the most important factors in selling a home now, since first impressions online matter so much. You need a tech savvy agent who is comfortable handling all these details.
(At Real Estate with Tazz we pride ourselves on going above and beyond our clients’ expectations by providing many additional services as a standard part of our list service. To see a full list of what makes us different, please visit https://realestatewithtazz.com/selling-process)
What sorts of commissions and fees do you charge?
For most real estate agents, the rule of thumb is that you pay nothing upfront. Usually you just agree to give the agent a certain percentage of the closing price when you are selling a home. As a buyer, you typically do not have to pay the agent anything. Their fee is included in the commission from the seller.
Don’t be fooled by agents who simply quote you their fee as a percentage. Ask what that includes and doesn’t include. You will sometimes find that Agent A is charging 3% and Agent B is charging 4% so you figure Agent A is the better choice. What you don’t realize is that Agent B actually includes a lot of additional expenses in her 4% that Agent A is charging separately for. When you do the math, Agent B may actually be less expensive.
Going ahead and talking about commissions upfront will ensure you do not face any unexpected surprises. A good agent will always be open, honest, and transparent about how much you can expect to pay them.
Do you provide additional services beyond basic real estate duties?
At the very least, a real estate agent should help you find buyers or help you find homes for sale, and they should also help with negotiating and finalizing contracts. However, good agents usually go above and beyond.
Some typical benefits they should also provide will include helping buyers secure a mortgage, helping a seller fix up the property before showings, and coordinating things like appraisals and inspections.
Ultimately, getting the right agent is also a matter of personal preference. Of course you want someone who is experienced, educated, and professional, but you should also remember you will be spending a lot of time with this person. Selecting an agent who you feel comfortable talking to can make the whole experience go a lot more smoothly.
If you are looking for a new home to purchase or looking to sell your current home, I would love to chat with you to see if we are a good fit. To schedule a call or meeting, click here.