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Five Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Hiring One


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If you're thinking of hiring a real estate agent to help you find your new home there are some questions that you should ask before you hire one to make sure that you can work closely with that agent and that you feel comfortable in that agent's ability to find the home of your dreams.

Before you sign on with any real estate agent, make sure to ask these questions. Some questions are regional. For these, we'll assume that you are looking for an agent in Mississippi.

1. How long have you been a real estate agent in Mississippi?

Obviously you want to hire someone that knows Mississippi intimately and has a lot of experience. That doesn't mean that someone that is new to the real estate field won't have the skills to help you find a great home however. In fact, someone with less experience might be even more motivated to help you find a perfect home because they want to build up good client relationships.

2. May I speak to other clients that you have helped?

Always ask for references. No experienced Realtor will be offended if you want to talk to other people that they've worked with before. A qualified Realtor will probably offer you the name and phone numbers of satisfied clients before you even ask.

3. What are the top three things that separate you from other Realtors?

That might sound like the type of question that you would be asked on a job interview, but in reality the real estate agent is applying for a job. He or she is applying for the job of finding you a home, and you are entitled to ask them what makes him or her better suited for the job than somebody else.

4. Can I preview the documents I will have to sign?

When you buy a home you will have a lot of confusing paperwork to fill out. You will be agreeing to spend large sums of money and you will have a lot of documents that contain detailed financial information. A reputable real estate agent will let you look over the standard documents that are used when purchasing a home beforehand so that you can be sure you understand them before you actually sign them.

5. What is your fee?

Although 3 percent of the cost of a home is a standard fee, each real estate agent has their own rules for what and how they charge. There are other costs associated with buying a home and an agent might bury part of their fee in another cost. So ask up front what the total amount of money that the real estate will receive out of the sale is.

Make sure that this fee is clear from the beginning so that you don't get surprised by a higher fee than you had planned on at the end of the sale.

The qualified Realtors of your local RE/MAX office in Mississippi have the experience needed to help you find that perfect dream home or plot of Mississippi real estate The author, Billings Farnsworth, is a freelance writer.


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