What questions to ask when buying or selling a home

What questions to ask when buying or selling a home

 When it comes to interviewing a Realtor – either to buy or sell a house – there are several important questions that need to be asked.

 “The short amount of time that you take in actually asking those questions is going to save you huge amounts of time and frustration in the future in your quest for a home or to sell your home,” said Annette Marchain with Prudential California Realty in Pasadena.

 The first question anyone should ask a potential Realtor is “May I see your license number?”

 “People will sometimes overlook the vital questions they need to ask,” said Lupe Teel


Coldwell Banker real estate agent Ruth Mayeda, left, is interviewed by client Natalie Oginz of South Pasadena, as they look through a listings magazine, at the Coldwell Banker office in San Marino. (James Carbone/ Correspondent )

with Teel & Teel and Associates in Colton. “At minimum, they have to be licensed. You wouldn’t have a brain surgeon working on you, if he didn’t have a diploma from an accredited school, but a lot of people don’t ask to see that. You can go online to the Department of Real Estate in California, and look up Realtors’ license numbers. Realtors should have their license number on their first contact materials, like business cards and flyers, as that is a Department of Real Estate law.” It’s then important to make sure that if someone says he is a Realtor, he actually has paid the dues and done what needs to be done in order to use the title.

“That shows that they have made some sort of investment in their profession,” said Teel. “Just like you want a licensed contractor working on your home. You might get a handyman who knows how to put something in, but a contractor has a license, so if anything goes wrong you can track them down. I bet nine people out of 10 don’t bother to check. It’s kind of scary. There are a lot of unlicensed people who are doing the work of licensed people.”

Be sure to also ask how long an agent has been employed as a Realtor.

“Experience counts, not just the number of years but also the number of transactions,” said Teel. “That’s also something that a lot of people don’t stop to check. Just because someone has been around the block, doesn’t mean they’ve sold a lot recently.

But you don’t necessarily want to discount someone who has been in the business a long time. You want someone who, when it hits the fan, they’ve had the experience, they know how to handle the tough transactions. You need balance.”

Longevity in a different sector might also help with the person’s real-estate dealings.

“Sometimes it doesn’t make much difference how long they’ve been in the business,” said Marchain. “The person may have had extensive background in another industry or another job that really brings some great skills to the forefront.”

Be sure to ask if the Realtor is part of a group – many Realtors now work in teams, which can be helpful when your point person is out of town or ill.

“When Realtors work with a team, they can go on vacation,” said Brett Dunne with Keller-Williams in Rancho Cucamonga. “If it’s one person, they can get sick or take a personal day, human things that we do. That’s why it’s nice that they can be part of a team or group.”

“It’s useful for a buyer and seller if there’s much more than just the agent involved,” said Gary Fleishman with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Marino. “Do they have a team behind them? It’s one-stop shopping. Can you help me with title, escrow, mortgage – all these things that are part of the deal? The business has become so complex you need all these people, so can you help me with that?”

Thinking about buying or selling your home? I’d love a chance to interview with you, please contact me at your earliest convenience: 626-252-0839

Via SGVTribune by Catherine Garcia


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