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7 Things to ask when interviewing a Real Estate Agent - Buyers

Looking to buy real estate, but not sure where to start? Well, most will tell you to hire a Real Estate Agent, and have them guide you with their expertise and knowledge. But, not all real estate agents are built the same. Here are 7 questions to ask to ensure you find the right fit to help you along your real estate journey.

1) What area are you licensed in?

No, not physical areas. I'm referring to areas of real estate. Did you know that there are several different types of licences agents can hold in Alberta? From residential, commercial, and agricultural, it's important to find an agent that practices in the area you're looking for. If you're looking for a condo specifically, make sure your agent if familiar with how condos operate, and reviewing condo documents. If they're not an expert in this area, there are condo review specialists that can assist, but a knowledgeable agent should be able to point you in the right direction.

2) Do you typically work with buyers?

Some real estate agents limit themselves to sellers only, but will take buyers if the market is slower. This can cause issues for you if your agent isn't on their game as a buyers agent. They may not be able to effectively research properties in order to narrow down the best options for you.

3) What locations do you specialize in?

While some real estate agents may tell you they can show you properties from Strathcona County to Wabamun, Morinville to Millet, there is an extremely high chance they can't tell you much about the schools, city planning, commuting routes, emergency services etc in each of these areas. These things can affect the property values in the future, can affect the use of your property, and peace & tranquility of your yard.

"Oh look, this home backs onto beautiful green space". Did they know the zoning of that green space? Is it zoned for development? or is it truly reserve land where no structures can be built?

"There's a new school that's going to be built in the neighbourhood" When exactly is this school slated to be built? Sometimes it can be 5 years + down the road, and that estimate is always a sliding scale depending on funding, population, and if any other schools need replacement in the mean time.

"This house is on a quiet dead end road". Do they know the city development plans? Is that road going to extend into a new neighbourhood at some point, creating heavy traffic (and construction traffic for a few years), noise and dirt?

4) What price point do you typically work with?

While some real estate agents are excellent at working with all price points, some may not be. The truth of the matter is, high value, luxury homes are a whole different ball game from your typical cookie cutter neighbourhood home. When working with buyers at a higher price point, it's important to know the value of the features within, ie: solid white oak floors vs. LVP, or quartz, vs. Dekton, vs. marble counters, in floor heating options, appliances, HVAC... Really the list goes on.

5) What is your availability?

This is important, especially when it comes to offer time. Some agents work a strict 9-5 Monday - Friday and aren't able to be reached after hours or on weekends, which is likely when you're doing your research and have either questions, or would like to see a property. Also ensure someone is looking after their clients if they're away. Wouldn't it be irritating if you found a property you absolutely loved, but your agent was away? and then that property sold before you even had chance to see it?

6) Do I have to sign a contract / agreement?

The answer to this is 'yes', however the timing is usually up in the air. While it is a requirement to have a buyers representation agreement in place before an offer is made on a property, you should be able to ask questions, and even view a property without having to sign anything. Once you've signed an agreement, you can no longer work with another agent for the term of that agreement, which again if your agent happens to be away and you want to write an offer on a property, you'll be hard pressed to find another agent who can help you out.

7) Can you accommodate virtual showings / paperwork signing?

Do you have a busy schedule? Kids who you cannot bring to showings or appointment with you? Maybe you live out of town and are relocating to your new city, or are on vacation or a work trip. Having the ability to accommodate virtual showings and paperwork signing is essential to keeping on your timeline, and ensuring you're able to view properties as they come on the market, and meet contractual timelines as far as paperwork.

Have questions? Feel free to reach out! I'd love to hear from you.

Camille Elliott, REALTOR

eXp Realty, Greater Edmonton area

call/text (780)803-HOME (4663)

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