10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Real Estate Agent

El Segundo real estate expert John Skulick shares 10 questions to ask a real estate agent before choosing.

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Whether your going to buy, sell, or rent a property, knowing what questions to ask can help you find an agent that will suit your specific needs and create the best possible experience.

Being an agent for the past 30+ years has truly been a blessing. I’ve developed a passion for continued education so that I can offer the best experience possible. I’ve met wonderful families, established life-long relationships, and have been entrusted by my clients to help them transition to the next chapter of their lives – to me that is priceless.

El Segundo is currently a strong seller’s market, knowing the right questions to ask can and will help you get the most out of this important time of your life. Here are 10 questions to consider when choosing a real estate agent for your next property.

10When did you become a real estate agent?

You definitely want an experienced agent. Buying a new house is far more complicated than other types of large purchases, so you’ll want to choose someone who is knowledgeable and well-trained.

9How well do you know El Segundo neighborhoods?

Connecting with an agent familiar with El Segundo’s neighborhoods will increase your chances of quickly finding the right home because they’ll guide you towards the best listings, prices, schools, amenities and accessibility. A well-versed local agent can effectively answer your questions and offer helpful information—even about the things you don’t think to ask.

8What separates you from other agents?

This is a good question because it’ll help you determine which agent is the best fit for you. What characteristics and qualifications matter to you most? Be on the lookout for answers related to negotiation skills, communication preferences, or even stating they have a knack for detail—you’ll want someone with an eye for spotting a home’s flaws that might otherwise go unnoticed by an inexperienced eye.

7What is your availability?

In a growing market like El Segundo, an agent with full-time availability, or one who works with other agents who can fill in availability gaps, is likely your best bet. If an agent only works a handful of hours per week, you could potentially lose out on a home because in El Segundo’s fast-moving market, chances are someone else will beat you with an offer.

6How long will it take you to help me find my home?

Generally, finding a home you like takes one to two months, plus time for contract negotiations and closing. In an area like El Segundo where the demand for homes is high, your agent should be a go-getter. If an agent says it takes six months or longer, this signals a potential problem.

5Who makes up most of your clientele?

Most agents work with both buyers and sellers, however, it’s common to have a stronger specialty in one or the other. You want someone with a higher buyer-to-seller ratio. Find out about the majority of their clientele and also inquire how many buyers they helped close on a home in the past year.

4How do you decide which homes to show?

The answer to this question should include offering you a survey to ascertain your “must haves” and “wish” items. A great agent innately understands their clients’ needs and wants.

3What is your current client caseload?

A busy agent is a sign of a good one, however, you want one who isn’t too busy to provide you with quality service. Try to find someone who is skilled but not overwhelmed.

2Is your license in good standing?

Maybe sounds like the obvious, but you never know. A straightforward question like this will give you the reassurance you need before you start the home search process. You want to know the agent you hire is reputable. (You can double check California’s license standings online).

1Is there anything else important I should know?

Local Expert Tip provided by El Segundo Realtor John Skulick

An agent should answer all your questions, but also cover points you might not have asked in your interview. Items such as fees, vendors, contracts and other important details should all be discussed before you sign with them.

The purpose of interviewing real estate agents is to find one who is a good fit. When navigating El Segundo’s high in-demand market, you want to be sure you link yourself with an agent who looks out for your best interests. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in El Segundo give us a call at (310) 350-4240.

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