Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a House

We close over 36 transactions every year!  Our sales are evenly divided between buyers and sellers, so we have the pleasure of working extensively on both sides of the contract.  We credit our success with hard work, honesty, and integrity.  We truly care about our clients’ best interests and wish that everyone could work with conscientious agents.  To that end, we have compiled a list of the top ten questions you should ask a prospective REALTOR prior to shopping for a home.  Remember, you have a choice.  The best agents do not cost more, but they will save you time and money.  You deserve the best, demand the best!

  1. Are you a full-time, professional real estate agent?  Consider if you were having surgery, would you hire a part-time doctor whose day job was in retail?  A home costs more than open heart surgery. You should demand to work with a full-time real estate agent.
  2. Will you show me other agent’s listings and other company’s listings?  Some agents will only show their listings or their company’s listings. There are some who only show another agent’s listings if the listings are over-priced or are one’s that they think their buyer will not like.
  3. Will you show me houses within my price range?  Some agents are taught to find homes in the top of their buyer’s price range in order to make a higher commission. Your agent should try to find you a house for less money that is a perfect fit.
  4. Will you perform a detailed market analysis before I buy?  Please run from the following scenario: Your agent shows you a house listed for $200K and you decide to make an offer. Your agent asks you, “Ok, how much would you like to offer?” Your response should be, “Goodbye!” How can you know how much to offer if you do not even know how much the house is worth? What if the house is only worth $150K and you tell your agent to offer $180K. You may think you are getting a deal when the seller accepts your offer, but in reality, you paid $30K too much! The need for a detailed market analysis is particularly critical if you are a cash buyer. Buyers with financing will have an appraisal that may prevent them from paying too much. Sadly many cash buyers pay too much for their homes because their agent did not run an accurate market analysis or worse, knew the buyer was paying too much and did not care.
  5. Have you closed at least ten transactions in the last twelve months? Be sure your real estate agent is more concerned about your best interest than with getting a commission check. Some agents pressure buyers into making poor decisions just to make a sale.
  6. Are you low-pressure?  The last thing you need when shopping for a house is a high-pressure sales person breathing down your neck.  You should be able to relax and make an informed decision that best meets all of your wants and needs.
  7. Will you research the property?  Wouldn’t it be nice to know whether an addition has been permitted, how much water a well and surrounding wells produce, or whether the four-bedroom house has a two-bedroom septic? Many agents are taught to be terrified of lawsuits, so their standard response to a tough question is “I don’t know.” Many agents are taught to be “the source of the source.” The net result is that many agents tend to do a poor job in representing their clients.
  8. Will you protect my earnest money?  Buyers may write a check for $1,000 to $5,000 or more as earnest money. There are several contingencies that might protect a buyer’s earnest money including: inspection, appraisal, and loan. There are contractually acceptable ways to cancel a contract and get the buyer’s earnest money back. There are also pitfalls where the buyer can lose the earnest money if the agent sends the wrong cancellation text.
  9. Will you give my lender a sense of urgency?  Loans often kill a transaction in this market. Loans can be delayed and contracts cancelled because agents are not proactively working with their buyer’s lender to ensure that the loan process is moving along and that the underwriter has all of the required documentation.
  10. Are you familiar with my type of transaction?  An agent might be very familiar with basic transactions, but may be a novice with foreclosure transactions, for instance. When an agent is not familiar with a particular type of transaction, the agent may make mistakes. Mistakes typically cost money.

Please contact Nancy and Brian Biggs prior to shopping for a home.  We will take very good care of you and your hard-earned money.

Nancy and Brian Biggs
Nancy and Brian Biggs
1177 Old Chisholm Trail Ste B Dewey AZ 86327