Home Buyers: Questions to Ask Your Central Texas REALTOR®

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchase decisions you will ever make. Therefore, it is important to consult an Austin-area REALTOR® who can understand your needs and match you with your dream home. Find the REALTOR® who is right for you by asking him or her the following questions.

Are you a REALTOR®?

Not all licensed real estate agents are REALTORS®. Only REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, which holds its members to a strict Code of Ethics. Additionally, REALTORS® have access to comprehensive property listing content for homes on sale in the Austin area. . REALTOR® members can share details about your home with other REALTORS® in the Austin area and expand its exposure by showing it to worldwide audiences on Web sites like Realtor.com and AustinHomeSearch.com.

What is your background and what professional organizations do you belong to?

To ensure you work with someone who is prepared to meet your needs, your REALTOR® should be a licensed professional who is ideally a member of the local and state real estate associations and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), as well as the National Association of REALTORS®. The associations they belong to and the activities they are involved with give you a better understanding of their key strengths. For example, REALTORS® who hold leadership positions or belong to community organizations likely have strong communication and networking skills and demonstrate a willingness to actively work for a cause they believe in. These traits are useful in serving clients throughout the process of buying and selling real estate in Austin, TX.

Do you work mostly with buyers?

Some REALTORS® are strictly buyer’s agents, while others work with both buyers and sellers. A number of REALTORS® hold designations —such as the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation—which indicate their specific areas of expertise. Having an idea of your REALTOR®’S training and experience helps you better understand the level of service he or she can provide you. Also, ask your REALTOR® how many Austin home sales he or she has participated in during the past year or how many buyers he or she currently represents.

Can you tell me about your firm and who you work with?

Some REALTORS® work individually; others work with brokerage firms that can range from small to large. Every real estate firm operates differently, so understanding their processes and special services will help you make a decision that is right for you. For example, sometimes a REALTOR® has a team of employees who handle the details or an assistant with whom you might deal directly at some point in the process.

How will we work together?

A REALTOR® knows your time is precious and is there to work for you. Understand your REALTOR®’S availability; how often and in what ways you will communicate; and what information you will be provided with throughout the process.

Are you familiar with the area in which we want to look?

Selecting an area in which to buy a home is one of the most important steps. REALTORS® often specialize in certain types of Austin homes and neighborhoods. When your REALTOR® is familiar with the area you are looking at, he or she can help you understand the community, price range, expectations and home features that are part of the region.

What neighborhoods fall within my price range?

Your REALTOR® can help you understand financing options and what you can afford. He or she will also have a good idea of what available Austin real estate meets your qualifications, such as location and special features. Let your REALTOR® know what is important to you in a home so that he or she can make the best recommendations. Your REALTOR® may also know of incentive offers by sellers that can help factor into the affordability of your Austin home.

What should I know when buying a home in this market?

A REALTOR® can familiarize you with the current condition of the Austin real estate market and guide you to the best purchase possible. REALTORS® know how to make smart, favorable recommendations for their clients, regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.

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