In a previous article, we talked about what to ask a potential REALTOR when interviewing them for buying investment property. However, sometimes those broad questions don’t give you enough information on whether you should choose between one REALTOR over another. With that in mind, here are some more questions you can ask to better screen your REALTOR.
HOW MANY INVESTMENTS HOMES DID YOU SELL TO INVESTORS LAST YEAR?
Ask them how many investment properties they sold last year. This not only gives you an idea of how busy they are on a day-to-day basis, but also how successful they are at narrowing down what a buyer wants. You want a REALTOR who specializes in investment properties, not someone who only does traditional homes. The reason for that is buying for investment is a totally different type of analysis than buying a personal residence.
HOW FAMILIAR ARE YOU WITH THE AREA?
Information is the best weapon for you when buying a home. Ask them how familiar they are with the area you’re interested in buying in. The more they know, the better deal they will be able to find you. Do they know the rental market for that area? What would be the typical rental income for a home of that size in that school district? A qualified professional should be able to answer these questions very easily.
WHAT SORT OF STRATEGIES DO YOU EMPLOY TO LOCATE GOOD INVESTMENT PROPERTIES FOR ME?
A simple Google search can bring up dozens of properties in the neighborhood you’re interested in, but how do you know which one would make a good investment? Ask your REALTOR what sort of strategies they use in order to narrow down which properties work best with your needs. This way, you know the REALTOR won’t waste your time showing you properties that you’d never be interested in or that don’t meet your requirements.
HOW DO YOU NEGOTIATE THE TERMS AND PRICES FOR PROPERTIES I MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN?
Learning as much as you can about the process when it comes to negotiating can be one of the most valuable things you learn when deciding which REALTOR to go with. Do you have someone who knows how to negotiate properly so they can get you the best price? Ask them about their negotiation strategy and when they’d be willing to walk away if the sellers are being unreasonable.
IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE OFFERS ON A PROPERTY I’M INTERESTED IN, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE SURE MY OFFER IS THE ONE THAT’S ACCEPTED?
There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the property you’re interested in if there’s a ton of interest. Ask your REALTOR how your offers will be prioritized over others that may be put out on the property you’re interested in. Ask them what sort of incentives you can offer (cash offer, close in fourteen days) in order to make your offer more attractive to the sellers.
WHO ARE THEY REPRESENTING IN THE TRANSACTION?
It is hard to equally represent 2 parties. You want to make sure that the REALTOR is truly representing your best interest in the transaction. So make sure that you have written representation from the agent to protect your interests in the transaction.
Generally, buying a home will be the single biggest investment you will ever make in your life. Doing your homework can not only save you a ton of money, it can also help you find a better property than the one you might have had your eye on initially. Good luck!