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10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

Home Buyers. Meeting With A RealtorStarting your search for a home in the Lake Champlain area or other parts of Northwest Vermont?  Finding a highly qualified and objective Vermont realtor is the first step to ensure a smooth home buying process. Here are some questions to ask while interviewing a real estate professional.

1.  What, in detail, is your experience in residential Vermont real estate sales?

Open up by asking about your prospective agent’s background in residential Vermont real estate. This can give you insight to their experience level and if they are well equipped to help you find your home in your preferred location and price range. Ideally, you’ll want an agent with a few years of experience. If it is a newer agent, ensure that they receive guidance from their brokerage throughout the process. 

2. How many Residential Vermont homes did you help buyers purchase last year?

The median number of transaction sides per agent in the U.S. are 12 a year. Inquiring about past transactions could help indicate how active the agent is: are they part time or full time? Depending on what you’re looking for, their answers could affect your decision making process.  

3. Can you recommend service providers who can assist me in obtaining a mortgage, making repairs on my home, or any other things I need done? 

Throughout the home buying process you will work with a number of other professionals from home inspectors, attorneys or even contractors. If you’re searching for a Lake Champlain waterfront home there may be additional service providers you need to contact before and after the sale goes through. The best Vermont realtors will have a list of Local Vendors that they have worked with and can suggest. 

4. How do you help buyers in the competitive real estate market?

In a competitive market the home buying process is fast-paced and at times stressful. That is why it is so important to have a Realtor representing you who knows the ins and outs of the current market, the experience to write a competitive offer, and area knowledge to help you find the ideal home. Our Realtors get first hand information from other real estate professionals about new and current listings sometimes before the property goes online. We utilize automated email to notify you of any new properties or status changes so that we can have the best chance of landing your dream home.

5. What type of support or supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? 

Many Vermont real estate companies have tools that can make your hunt to find houses for sale in Vermont much easier. The prospective realtor’s brokerage may have insider information about your search area from their local connections that will help you whether you’re looking for a Lake Champlain waterfront property or seasonal Vermont cabin. 

6. Here's my business philosophy. What’s yours?

Lay down how you operate professionally from the beginning, and see if your realtor’s approach to business aligns. A realtor should serve as your personal advocate throughout the buying process while offering their local knowledge to help you make informed decisions. 

7. How will you keep me informed of the progress of my transaction?

Communication is key especially when navigating the complicated process of buying a home. Whether it’s phone, e-mail, or text, ensure that your Realtor can meet your preferred method of receiving important information.

8. What’s the ratio of buyers to sellers that you represent?

Finding out an agent’s area of expertise will help decide if they are a good fit to help you on your search for a Vermont home. Many realtors work with both buyers and sellers while some realtors specialize as buyer’s agents or as listing specialists. Overall, realtors who work with both sides most likely indicate that they are well versed in both factions of a real estate transaction.

9. What designations do you hold? 

When interviewing potential Vermont real estate agents to work with ask them if they hold any designations. Designations such as ABR® (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) and CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist) are specialized credentials for Realtors. These require Realtors to take additional specialized real estate training and are only held by about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.

10. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of three of your most recent clients?

When vetting your potential real estate agent, past client testimonials are a great way to find out if this agent has provided satisfactory home buying experiences. This will also help determine if there are any red flags, you may want to make note of an agent who is hesitant or cannot provide client references.

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