Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Houston Realtor

Unmatched Real Estate Knowledge For Your Home Buying Or Investment Journey

Would you hire an attorney, mechanic, or hairdresser without first researching their price, reviews, and overall professional capabilities?

If not, it’s a good time to start. Too many things can go wrong without proper research. And at the end of the day, your lack of due diligence will be (at least partially) to blame. 

Considering how large of an investment home ownership is, the same sentiment goes for shopping for a real estate agent. Unless you’re willing to gamble away hundreds of thousands of dollars, you need to work with a realtor with a proven track record. 

Before you get caught up in the moment of house shopping, make sure you’re not eagerly signing on with the wrong realtor. First, you need to have a serious conversation to make sure they are the right realtor for you. To help you get the house hunt rolling, here are the questions to ask a realtor. 

Ask These Questions Before Committing To A Realtor

Never let someone pressure you into signing a contract you don’t fully understand. If a realtor asks you to sign a contract, make sure you read the fine print and are aware of the time frame commitment. 

1. Can You Provide References?

Any successful realtor will be more than happy to share references with prospective clients. Plus, you need to treat your relationship with your (future) realtor as you would any professional relationship. 

You wouldn’t hire an employee without checking out their references first. Right?

Looking for a real estate team with references you can trust? Look for your new home with confidence knowing that Bortoni Properties is in your corner. Contact us today for references and to start your home buying process. 

2. What Is Your Fee & What Does It Include? 

Realtors don’t work for free. Buying and selling houses is their bread and butter. It’s how they afford their own homes, meals, and even their kids’ ballet lessons and little league fees. 

With that being said, you should understand how their commission works. Typically, 6% of the home price is split between the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent. However, this varies across markets and even with different brokerages. 

It’s important to realize that many realtors front the cost of marketing, home staging, and more on top of the hours they work for you. You should find out what their fee is, how they receive it, and what it includes. If there are any costs you will be responsible for, you need to know that up front, too.

3. Are You A Full Time Real Estate Agent?

Many people get into the real estate industry while working other full time jobs. While this may work for some people, you need to know the hours they’ll be able to commit to your goal of finding a home. 

Furthermore, if you work with a part-time realtor, find out what hours they will be accessible. Part-time realtors typically are just starting out, which means they may lack experience and negotiating skills. 

4. How Many Homes Have You Taken Through A Successful Closing?

Here’s a red flag to watch out for: You meet a realtor from a big brokerage. When you ask how many homes they’ve taken to closing, they say their brokerage has closed X amount of deals this year. Their brokerage probably sponsors hundreds of agents. This doesn’t mean that particular agent has closed a single one. 

Before you sign on with a realtor, you need to know exactly how many homes they have personally put in the work to buy and sell. This speaks to their experience and success rate.

5. Do You Work With Buyers & Sellers? If So, What’s The Ratio?

Many times realtors will work with only buyers or sellers. And that is totally reasonable. In these instances, an agent who only buys usually works closely with an agent who only sells. Together they make up their own dream team. 

However, an agent who works with buyers and sellers will have a better understanding of each side of the table. This can be incredibly useful when it comes to negotiating the best price for you, their client. 

6. How Many Buyer Clients Are You Working With Right Now?

A buyer’s agent is typically putting in more hours and working harder than a seller’s agent; however, it all depends on the client. Just think of the time it takes to look at all the houses you have on your list. Those hours can add up!

With that being said, a realtor working with several buyer clients at once has their hands full. While this speaks highly of their experience, it doesn’t bode well for the amount of their time you can expect to be dedicated to you. 

7. What Is The Typical Timeframe From The First Step To Closing?

A good realtor can help you save time by narrowing your list of possible new homes. Someone with intimate knowledge of your ideal neighborhood can lead you to the very best areas. Furthermore, they can give you a heads up if the address you’re interested in may not meet the criteria you have for your new home. 

While very few buyers find their dream home immediately, a good realtor can help keep the process short and on point. 

8. What Areas Have You Helped Clients Buy Homes In?

Would you ask an Alaskan realtor to help you find a home in Houston? I hope not!

Realtors with intimate knowledge of the area you want to live in will always be better than the alternative. For instance, Bortoni Properties knows the Houston market inside and out. Our team of realtors has been buying and selling homes in Houston for over 30 years. We’ve watched the city grow and the neighborhoods change. 

Do you need a realtor with unsurpassed knowledge of Houston’s Inner Loop? Look no further than Bortoni Properties. We have the experience, dedication, and expertise to get you the best deal possible. Contact us today!

9. What Price Ranges Have You Worked With?

The price range of homes you’re interested in buying will greatly impact the realtor you work with. For instance, a realtor who primarily buys and sells multi-million dollar homes is probably not going to be interested in helping you find a $350,000 house. The commission they get from their usual homes means they will give your home buying process minimal attention. Plus, they won’t be as familiar with the market when you get to the negotiating table. 

10. Will I Be Working With You, A Team, Or Your Assistant?

Have you ever hired an attorney only to feel like you’ve been pawned off to their legal assistant? The same thing happens in real estate. 

So don’t become an afterthought after signing into an agreement. In fact, you can even make it a stipulation on your contract with your realtor that you will be working with them personally. If you feel that you’re only in communication with their assistant, you will be able to terminate the contract on those grounds. 

However, some brokerages do work as teams. This means you could have the experience and expertise of your real estate agent and their colleagues. Just know what you’re getting into before you sign. 

Bortoni Properties Is Here To Help You Confidently Buy Your New Home

With over 30 years of experience in the Houston real estate market, Bortoni Properties knows the area inside and out. 

We stay on top of active listings, so our clients are always aware of inventory. We know the market and have perfected the art of timing to sell at the right time. When issues arise, we find solutions that keep your goals at the forefront. And when we get to the closing table, we won’t leave any money on the table.

Ready for a home buying experience with a “Touch of Aloha”? Contact Bortoni Properties today!

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