When you’re looking for a Buyer’s Agent to help you buy a home in Austin, it can be an overwhelming task. Finding someone who is experienced, knows the market and who will be an overall good fit is a process. Here are 10 questions to ask your Austin buyers agent.
#1: How do you locate houses? Do you use multiple sources or rely on MLS?
While the MLS is probably the most likely location source, a diligent Agent is open to all sources. Our team of agents monitors all resources – Craiglist, yard signs, social media, online listings, builders and word of mouth – and encourage you to do the same. Diligently pursuing your Austin home search will help you find the right house for you at this time in your life.
#2: How much notice do you need if I want to look at a home?
This gives you an idea of how busy they are professionally and personally. In a fast moving marketplace, like Austin, responsiveness can be critical. Our team of 3 experienced buyer’s agents works as a true team and we all get to know our clients. With 3 agents for the price of one, we can accommodate our clients schedules and respond quickly. We’ve found response time can be critical, especially in a fast moving market like Austin.
#3: How many clients are you actively working with?
Keep in mind that different agents have different capacities, but too many clients may be an indication that you will not get the attention you deserve. An Agent with a hyper-saturated client-base may NOT be a good match for you. We actively work with no more than 5 buyers at a time to ensure each client gets the specialized attention they need.
#4: Do you personally work with us, or do you hand us off to your assistant?
Some agent delegate buyer clients to other, junior members of their team. This may not be in your best interests since a junior agent or assistant might not be suitably experienced, knowledgeable or proficient as you would like. Our team of agents work as a genuine team and work with you through the whole process. When you choose us, you won’t get our assistants, you’ll get all of us – 3 experienced agents for the price of 1!.
#5: How long have you been an active REALTOR?
This question will give you a sense of their level of experience in the residential real estate market. There has never been a good substitute for being in the arena. Our team has a combined 58+ years of experience in all types of real estate markets, so there isn’t too much we haven’t seen.
#6: What specialized training have you received to prepare you as a Buyer’s Agent?
Real Estate agents can take specific courses in buyer representation earning them the designation of ABR- Accredited Buyer Representative; this designation is conveyed through the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council- a division of the National Association of Realtors. In my experience, holding a specific designation is a sign of professional accomplishment. Every member of our team holds this designation.
#7: Would you represent me if I decide to buy a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO)?
Some agents are bound by their company policies NOT to engage in the sale/purchase of a FSBO; other agents may simply refuse because they may not get paid. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how their policy might affect you (the Buyer). Our team is happy to represent you in any type of residential real estate transaction.
#8: When I find a home that I want to buy, what role will you play in the negotiating and contract process?
An Agent is hired to actively promote and protect your best interests; a salesperson is an order taker. Which approach do you prefer?
Our team of buyer’s agents will walk you through the contract process and negotiate the offer as aggressively as you will allow. We go through each page of the contract and make sure you understand what you’re signing before you are obligated to buy.
#9: Will you sign a Buyer Representation Agreement stipulating you will represent me exclusively and not act as an intermediary or dual agent?
Some real estate companies prohibit their agents from signing exclusive Buyer Representation Agreements, usually because the company wants to “double-end” (represent both the buyer and the seller) and collect both sides of the commission. Exclusive Buyer Representation gives the buyer assurance the agent is legally and ethically bound to represent the buyer’s best interests only, not the sellers. Our team only signs Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreements with all of our clients and is something we feel very strongly about. We want our clients to know we will represent them only. Just as you wouldn’t want the same lawyer working for the party that is suing you, why would you want your Realtor to represent the seller as well?
#10: Will you kick back some of your commission after closing?
This is completely illegal and unethical. If an Agent agrees to consider such illegality, and then RUN … run far, far away! Consider this — If the Agent is willing to do something illegal just to get your business, what kinds other deceitful things will they do that you may never know about?
Find a Buyer’s Agent You are Comfortable With
These questions were designed to help you uncover the right person to represent your interests. When you’re interviewing an Austin Realtor to be your buyer’s agent, the bottom line is to find one that you are confident in and comfortable working with. An Agent who is knowledgeable of market shifts and willing to advise you how to use the market to your advantage can save you thousands of dollars and make the process stress free.
Looking for an Austin Buyer’s Agent?
Having sold over $200MM of real estate, there isn’t too much our team hasn’t seen or can’t handle. We know the area better than any other Austin Realtor and can help you get the best deal on the right home for you. Check out our Austin Home Buyer Representation Program to learn a little bit more about us and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8232 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.