Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but
Thinking of Hiring a Reat Estate Agent?
• How many people are you currently assisting in finding a house? I usually have at least 3 or 4 buyers that I actively work with at a time.
• How many homes, on average, do you show your buyers? This depends on the market. In a buyer’s market, there are more homes to see. It’s not uncommon to see 5 -10 homes. In a seller’s market, it's usually closer to 5. My goal is to always listen to my client, making sure the homes I show fit their criteria-this saves a lot of time for everyone.
• Have you sold homes in the locations we are looking? I've sold homes in Austin and in every suburban city surrounding Austin, from Georgetown to Buda. I'm in my 11th year in the business (as of 8/2010) and have lived in North and South Austin as well as Leander.
• What percentage of the homes you've sold or located are in our search area? This will be specific to the buyer that is interviewing me. I’m happy to provide this information.
• Do you specialize in a certain area of town? No, I work all of Austin and the surrounding areas. I can advise you to make a good investment and smart real estate decision in any area of town-that is if you have already picked the area of town you want to live. Many times I am advising on this question first.
• Do you have a price-range you specialize in? No, I'm in this business to help people, no matter what price range they are needing.
• How many homes did you sell in the past year as a buyer's agent? As of 7/2020, I have sold over 150 homes and 73% of them, I represented the buyer.
• How do you stay up on current trends? Do you take classes or frequently attend training? I attend classes monthly. If something is happening or about to happen in the market, I know about it (thanks to my office and the amount of business that we do). Be wary of the lone agent that doesn't have a large, supportive broker. Unless the agent is constantly researching and reading the news (who has time for that when you are out showing homes and doing business?), I doubt she has the current trends that I do being with alarger broker.
• How do we know if this is the right time to buy? This is a question that I will help each individual buyer analyze. Considerations include whether you have been renting or own a home.
• How will you help us determine if our down-payment is appropriate? This will depend on the financial and real estate market. At the moment, it is such a strong seller’s market that showing at least 20% down on your offer will communicate to the seller that you are a strong buyer and will help us when we are competing against other offers, but 20% isn’t always necessary.
• How can you help us determine if an offer we make is good one? When you want to make an offer on a home, we will discuss the sold prices of comparable properties and current market conditions. I can help you write an offer according to the negotiation style you want and rate of success you desire.
• How will you handle multiple offers? Thankfully, I am very successful at winning in multiple-offer situations for my clients. I have some strategies that we can discuss and implement if you like. Remember, you are the boss. I am going to present you with the options and tell you which one I think is best. Ultimately, you are in charge of deciding how we handle the multiple offer based on my consultation.
• Tell us about the inspection process. How do we renegotiate the offer if the inspection reveals a problem? Will you attend our inspection? I have a list of inspectors that I work with regularly. I will get bids and availability from them and then let you choose whom you want to move forward with (unless you have an inspector you would like to use already). I may or may not attend the inspection. I do recommend buyers attend the inspection to learn more about the home. I will come by and review with the inspector at the end of the inspection if this is recommended by the inspector. If repairs are necessary, this is how I suggest we negotiate: 1. Any repairs that are lender required. 2. My buyers’ safety is of the utmost importance to me. If there are any items on the report that may affect your safety when you move in, we will request them to be repaired. 3. I will get you estimates on the repairs, so we can either ask the seller to make the repairs or discount the sales price. I can also negotiate money towards closing costs so that you may complete the repairs.
• What are the average closing costs your buyers have had recently? Are there possible hidden costs we might encounter? Average costs to buy a home will be:
• How are you compensated? The Seller's Agent/Broker pays me a commission only if the home closes.
• Will you always be the one showing us houses and contacting the seller's agent? Absolutely
• How accessible are you since we may have to act within hours on a property? How often will we talk to you? You can text/email/call me anytime. I have a team of 7 agents and we are able to help you see a home if we need to within hours of it hitting the market.
• How much notice do you need if we want to look at a home? Some homes require an hour and others need up to 24 hours.
• How will you search for properties that may not be listed in MLS (those sold by the owner)? I'm always on the hunt for "coming soon" properties. I will also call other dominant and active agents in the area to find these properties.
•Can represent us in a for sale by owner situation? Many “For Sale By Owner” sellers are agreeable to paying a commission to a buyer's agent. I will call on your behalf to get more information and set up a showing. If the FSBO does not want to work with agents, I can step back and still help keep you protected through the process. I've been very successful working with FSBO sellers and my buyers to make a deal work.
Tara Lopez moved to Central Texas from Lubbock in 1994. She was raised in the restaurant business and understands the value of excellence in customer service. She is married to her life-time friend, C....
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