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Follow Us BREAKING NEWS Southwest plane lands at PHL with engine, window damage Full Story Email sharesharetweetemail LIVE VIDEO LIVE: Southwest Airlines jet makes emergency landing at PhilaInt'l Airport Watch Now sharetweetshareemail Sponsored Content REAL ESTATE15 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Real Estate AgentSHARE:sharetweetshareemail wpvi (Shutterstock) SHAREsharetweetshareemail wpviTuesday, November 18, 2014Not all real estate agents can help you get the home you wantWhen it comes to finding a good agent, you need to ask the right questions upfront to save yourself the trouble laterReal estate brokerage Redfin recommends that you ask every potential agent the 15 questions below before committing yourself to an agent.For more tips on the home-buying and selling processes, check out the Redfin Home Buying Guide and the Redfin Home Selling Guide.1Is real estate your full-time job? How many clients have you had in the past year? Okay, that's two questions, but they're actually the sameAn active, full-time agent is much more likely to be up to date on the market and the local real estate laws than a part-time agent.2How many homes have you sold in my target neighborhoods? ShutterstockDon't expect every agent to have an in-depth knowledge of the places you want to liveYou want someone who knows those precise markets, with a few recent deals in your target neighborhoods to ensure their expertise.3When clients are dissatisfied with your service, what went wrong?There's not a single agent out there that hasn't dealt with an unhappy customer, but knowing why others were dissatisfied can help you anticipate and prepare for the bumps ahead, or whether or not they'll be a good fit for you.4Has a client ever filed a complaint against you? If you're not comfortable asking this, you can always check with your state's licensing boardSome state boards will even list disciplinary actions and education credits associated with the agent.5What's your fee? While you pay no fee at all as the buyer, the fee is built into the price of the homeWhen the house is sold, the seller pays the agent their fee using the money you paid for the house, typically 2 to 3 percent of the sales priceSince the commission amount is set by the seller and can vary from home to home, you should inquire what their share would beAfter all, you don't want an agent who may pressure you into a home just because they'll land a bigger commission.6What are all the services you're willing to provide me?Negotiations, escrow, paperwork and contingencies are the minimum additional services an agent can provide, though some are willing to go the extra mileMake a list of what you'll be paying for so there are no surprises later.7When am I committed to working with you?Buyer beware: If you start touring homes the agent sends you, this may obligate you to work with them despite not having signed a contract.8How many foreclosure or short-sale transactions have you handled in the past?While you can buy distressed properties at a great price, the paperwork is complicated, and your liability is greaterIf you choose to go down this road, you'll want an agent with experience closing deals with banks.9Who else will be working with me? A real estate agent agent is often supported by a team, but the person you hire should being doing most of the work.10Am I obligated to work with the lender, inspector or other service providers you recommend? If they answer "yes" here, it's a big red flagGood agents may have solid recommendations for lenders, inspectors and other service providers, but you should never feel pressured to use their recommendationsIn fact, it's illegal for an agent to force you to use their recommended providers.11How quickly can you get me into a home? ShutterstockHot homes move fast, so how does your agent compete? Ask the agent how they handle tours on short notice.12Do you represent buyers and sellers on the same house? This is not a good thing for a buyerWhen one agent represents both the buyer and seller, this is known as dual agencyIf the agent is trying to get the most money for the seller's home, how can he also be trying to get the best deal for the buyer? Redfin recommends to just avoid dual agency altogether.13What sets you apart from other agents? Listen to how they answer this questionYou're looking for expertise, not just enthusiasmYou want an agent who's experienced in your favorite neighborhoods, with a proven track record, and in-depth knowledge of any special requirements that you want in your next home14What if I'm unhappy with your service? If you have any complaints after you've purchased your new home, it may be too late to do anything about itMost agents don't get paid until you buy a house, so there's incentive for them to close the deal even if you still have doubtsYou want an agent that will guarantee your satisfaction, so ask about what recourse you'll have if you have a bad experience.15Can I see reviews of your past deals? ShutterstockA good real estate agent should have nothing to hide; that's why Redfin posts reviews for all agents after every dealWhile an agent may provide you their hand-picked endorsements of those clients they kept happy, you want to get the full list of reviews, especially those from the dissatisfied customersA few success stories does not necessarily define a good agent, but only those who consistently deliver excellent serviceNot every real estate agency will provide this list, but you can use sites like Yelp.com to see what feedback others had to give Related Topics:realestatereal estatemortgageshomehomeownersreal estate development SHARE:sharetweetshareemail Sponsored Content Related SPONSORED: How to move into a new home during the school year SPONSORED: What you need to know before buying a home in Philadelphia REAL ESTATE Shaquille O'Neal to open luxury high-rise in New Jersey City council considers new construction tax to benefit affordable housing Shore-goers get an early start on summer rentals Giuliana, Bill Rancic list Gold Coast mansion for $6.8M Home sales dip more than three-percent More real estate REAL ESTATE 9 Philadelphia apartments for $1,700/month or less 3 apartments in Washington Square West with dishwashers, granite countertops & more Ultimate Disney lover's dream home hits the market 4 budget-friendly apartments available in Philadelphia City council considers new construction tax to benefit affordable housing More Real Estate Top Stories Southwest plane lands at PHL with engine, window damage Passenger account from inside Southwest plane PHOTOS: Southwest flight makes emergency landing in Philadelphia RAW VIDEO: Passengers exit after Southwest flight makes emergency landing RAW VIDEO: Southwest Airlines flight makes emergency landing Spokeswoman: Starbucks CEO met with 2 men arrested in Philly store United Airlines flight makes emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base Bad gasoline stops Padrivers, damages cars Show More 3 injured after SEPTA bus crash in North Philadelphia Alleged drug dealer, 21, charged in Marlton teen's overdose death Judge rules jury can hear Bill Cosby quaaludes testimony Man shot 'execution style' while unpacking groceries dies Police: Man threatened McDonald's workers over vegetable oil More News (function(e,t){if(t._ym===void 0){t._ym="";var m=e.createElement("script");m.type="text/javascript",m.async=!0,m.src="//static.yieldmo.com/ym.m2.js",(e.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]||e.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]).appendChild(m)}else t._ym instanceof String||void 0===t._ym.chkPls||t._ym.chkPls()})(document,window); Local News PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaNew JerseyDelaware Categories Investigation Troubleshooters Consumer Healthcheck Today's Tips Art of Aging Station Info About 6abc/Contact Us! 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