While there is no script to follow when you begin the process of purchasing a home, it's a pretty good idea to have some questions ready when you're interviewing a Realtor. That's right, you should interview a few Realtors before you decide who will represent you in making one of the biggest purchases of your life.
Here are five questions you should ask to make sure an agent is right for you:
1. Do you have an active real estate license and is it in good standing?
Don't assume that your agent is licensed. It is your responsibility to pose this question to ensure they are. An agent who is licensed and in good standing has met rigorous standards to ensure they are up-to-date on market trends, regulations and the prevailing industry knowledge. A licensed agent in good standing is essential in protecting your interests.
2. Do you have references?
It's one thing to have an agent answer your questions. It is entirely another to gather information from someone who has worked with that agent in the past. Don't be shy about asking for references. Again, this is a huge purchase and you want to be sure you've done your homework -- ALL of it -- before you select the right agent for you.
3. Do you belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or a reliable online home buyer's search service?
The MLS is vital in identifying homes that may be of interest to you in the area. By making use of this cooperative information network of REALTORS®, which provides descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region, you can be sure you won't miss that "can't miss" home.
4. What real estate designations do you hold?
The National Association of REALTORS® and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide-range of programs and services that assist members in increasing skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses.
It's a good idea to take a look at these list of designations to determine which might be important to you: http://www.realtor.org/designations-and-certifications
5. Do you have questions for me?
In exchange for your commitment, your agent should be ready, willing and able to help you find the type of home you are looking for. Among the questions you should expect from your agent are:
· How long have you been looking?
· Are you pre-qualified and, if so, for what type of loan?
· What time frame are you looking to move in?
· How much are you looking to spend?
· What type of house and how many bedrooms are you looking for?
· Are good schools important?
· What neighborhoods are you interested in?
If you would like to set up an interview with one of the agents at Friedrich Iowa Realty, please give us a call at 515.232.6175, toll free at 800.681.7333 or stop in our offices at 100 6th St. in Ames. We look forward to chatting!
ABOUT FRIEDRICH IOWA REALTY
Friedrich Iowa Realty has worked with buyers and sellers of houses, condos, patio homes, townhouses, multi-family units and commercial real estate in central Iowa since 1927. The independently owned affiliate of Iowa Realty offers 30 Realtors®. Learn more about Friedrich Iowa Realty online at GreatIowaHomes.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GreatIowaHomes and on Twitter @GreatIowaHomes.