Whether you’re buying or selling, you probably know you need a real estate agent. But just how do you determine which agent is best for you? You can always get referrals and recommendations and peruse reviews. But the best way is in a face-to-face interview. Here, then, are 5 questions you should ask before committing to a real estate agent in Los Angeles.
1. Is this your full-time job?
When interviewing a real estate agent in Los Angeles, one of the first things you should ask about is whether this is the agent’s full-time job. That’s not to say that an agent just starting out and doing it part-time can’t do a good job for you. But a full-timer is usually better qualified and has a lot more at stake.
The full-time agent has to be doing something right, or she wouldn’t be making a living and doing it full time. In addition, an agent is successful only when her clients are successful. You know, then, that a full-time agent will put in the effort and time to get you the best deal possible. You’ll get a full-time effort from a full-time agent.
2. How long have you been a licensed agent?
Then you should ask how long a Los Angeles real estate agent has been licensed. Length of time in the game is no guarantee, of course, but most of the time more experience is better.
An experienced agent will typically have more knowledge and more familiarity with the whole process. She will also be better equipped to handle any problems that may arise during the course of the transaction. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t want your brain surgeon to be inexperienced, would you?
3. How many transactions have you completed this year?
Still, a full-time real estate job and many years of experience don’t mean much if a real estate agent in Los Angeles doesn’t have a solid track record. So be sure to ask about the number of transactions the agent has done this year.
Really, though, it’s not the number that matters, but whether the agent consistently doing business, completing transactions, and making clients happy. It’s a good idea, then, to take the question a step further. You should also ask the agent to provide figures for the most recent several consecutive years to get a good idea of consistency.
4. How will you negotiate for me?
Negotiating is one of the most important things agents do for clients, both buyers and sellers. So you absolutely must ask a real estate agent in Los Angeles about negotiating style – that is, how, exactly, she will negotiate on your behalf.
You do, of course, want an agent with strong – and at times aggressive – negotiating skills and tactics. But you don’t want your agent to be too pushy or obnoxiously aggressive – that can be, and usually is, counterproductive.
Your agent should indicate that she will be professional at all times and do only what you are comfortable with. Both buyers and sellers should feel they’ve arrived at a win-win situation at the end of the negotiating process, and your agent should be able to adjust and adapt her negotiating tactics to make that happen.
5. Do you know the area?
Finally, (and this may be the most important question) you to ask should about the agent’s knowledge of and experience with the area – the local market. Even if an agent impressed you in answering all the other questions, if she doesn’t know the local market, she’s not for you. The agent should know all about local property taxes and school districts and trends in property values.
If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Los Angeles with this knowledge and experience, we’ve got you covered. Find out today how our experienced agents can help you buy or sell in Los Angeles. Feel free to give us a call at 562-881-9811 or send us a message.