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Tips for Choosing an Agent to Help You Buy A Home

Jun 21, 2018 06:00AM ● By Alyssa McGinnis

By Tracie Storo

One thing is certain when you are buying a new home—you should have your own agent representing you through the purchase process. One of the most obvious reasons is that it does not cost you anything. In most cases, buyer agent fees are paid by the seller.  

But an even more important to reason to have your own agent is to ensure that you have someone in your “corner” who has been properly educated and fully understands what can be a complex process.  Because there are many agents to choose from, you will rest easier when you know you have a good one working for you.

The following is a list of suggested questions to ask as you interview agents to help you buy a new home:

1. When are you available?

Ideally, you want to find an agent who is willing to work around your schedule—not require you to accommodate them. Most Open Houses are on the weekend so if you want your agent to go with you, find one who is willing to meet you on the weekends.

2. What exactly will you be doing for me throughout the process?

Agents should be there for you throughout the entire buying process. You should expect them to follow through with the mortgage process, getting inspections done, securing warranties and scheduling a final walk-through. A great agent will be with you at the inspections, the final walk-through and the closing.

3. How will you be communicating with me?

Agents should be flexible in their communication styles and adjust to the communication method that you prefer.

4. Is the agent a friend or a relative?

Did your mom ever tell you not to room with a friend in college?  The same advice applies here. If you have a real estate professional in your family and you wish to give him or her credit, you can request that the agent you ultimately hire give that person a referral fee.

5. Do you have a list of vendors you work with?

Good agents will have good relationships with vendors for “all things real estate”.  If you need to have something done either before or after the closing, the agent should be able to quickly give you one or two referrals.

6. Are you part of a Real Estate team?

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the term “two heads are better than one”.  It just stands to reason that agents who are part of a real estate team have more expertise and experience among them than a single agent working on his or her own could ever have. (Even so, you should still expect that you will be working with one primary agent throughout the transaction.)

7. What happens if I something goes wrong?

If, at any time throughout the home buying process, you no longer want to work with a particular agent, a respectful agent should be willing to release you from the signed contract.  

Remember, the agent you find to help you make one of the biggest purchases of your life should be someone around whom you feel comfortable and can trust is working in your best interest.  There are many great real estate agents out there; take the time to find one that makes you feel confident in buying a home.

        Tracie Storo is a Broker Associate with                 RE/MAX Professionals Inc in Sioux Falls.

Nest Editors, The. The Nest. 9 Things to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent. Retrieved from

Boss, Ray Jr. (January 24, 2017). US News & World Report. 10 Essential Questions for Choosing a Real Estate Agent. Retrieved from