There is always awkwardness at first while determining if the Realtor you are choosing is a qualified agent.  There are good questions that buyers can ask to find out how much their agent knows.  I include some here but foremost it is about establishing a connection which isn’t all about questions.  It can be a gut feeling or just the efficiency in returning calls and e-mails — whatever an individual uses to establish a comfortable relationship.  I wouldn’t necessarily ask all these questions like an interview but pick a couple to start the process and establish trust.  Regardless, these are basic questions that any qualified agent should know.

  1. Does your agent thoroughly answer all questions without rushing or treating them as insignificant?
  2. Are they quick to answer calls and respond to e-mails or text messages?
  3. Do they point out things about a home to consider like older windows, furnace and possible repairs?
  4. Are they knowledgeable about the neighborhood and schools?  Ability to resell a home should be taken into consideration.
  5. Realtors should ask you early on if you have a preapproval as this is required when submitting an offer.  They will often have people they can recommend.
  6. Are you locked into the person who preapproves you for the loan?  Is there a cost?
  7. What is the difference between conventional loans vs. FHA?
  8. What is the process of a home inspection and what to do if there are major flaws?
  9. What happens after the home inspection?
  10. If a home is a short sale, are they knowledgeable in the process and how long it will take to close on a home?
  11. Are they familiar with the first time home buyer credit currently available (until April 30 & closing by June 30)?
  12. Ask about closing costs as these are often negotiated for buyers on many loans and can cut down on the amount of money you bring to closing.
  13. Many other questions will arise out of these – don’t hesitate to ask them all.

I often have buyers who will preface a question with “this may be a dumb question”.  There are no dumb questions.  All buyers, and primarily first time buyers, should be well informed about all the steps.  This is a major investment and can be an exciting, confusing, happy and stressful time.  It is your time to buy your first home-expect a lot from your Realtor.  And remember, everyone is a person first – we can all be stressed in these challenging times-all we can expect if for everyone to do their best.

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