Jim Valentine: Did your agent ask enough questions?

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

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A little recognized fact about real estate agents is that they must be good interviewers. Yes, interviewers.
You’ve all seen good interviews whether it be for news or entertainment, the objective is the same. The interviewer must get to the core of the issue with the interviewee and learn their thoughts, beliefs, and actions contemplated and/or taken. Agents, too, must work to accomplish such results.
When you connect with an agent to contemplate a real estate transaction, whether it be buying or selling, you’ve a lot of work to do together to establish what it is that you want to accomplish and how you will get it done. It goes far beyond price unless someone is willing to “give it away,” a phrase most often used in the negative, not positive, as a course of action. Your agent should ask you a lot of questions so as to identify your wants and needs. When you start the process, you may not know what they are yourself, but through the interview process you will learn what they are along with your agent.
For a complete understanding of your real estate goals your agent should inquire about your motivation, why you want to buy or sell, when you want to do it, where you want to do it (not a question about selling your home, we get it), and how you are going to do it. Of course, each of those questions has a subset of questions that further qualify you to fine tune their understanding of what it is you want. For example, you want to move to Nevada – it’s a big state. Narrow it to Carson Valley and you realize it is still a large and varied offering.
Do you want acreage or a condo? Do you need to be near somewhere due to work, mobility issues, being near friends, etc.? Are your children’s’ activities dictating location, or do you want to be close to the senior citizen’s center? Will a two-story work, or are the knees/back a future concern for you? How soon do you want to be moved, or is it later? How flexible are you regarding the moving process? Are you rigid on moving once, or do you have options to buy time that will allow you to better negotiate your ideal purchase?
As your agent learns of your life circumstances and real estate desires, note whether he jumps to quick decisions. Without sufficient information about you he may not connect you with a property style that you didn’t mention because you aren’t aware of its availability, i.e., a patio home. People wanting a smaller property with less maintenance often think condo, but when exposed to the patio home concept they love it. Keep engaged in conversation until you feel there is a complete understanding about you and your lifestyle.
How many bedrooms and baths may seem a simple decision, but how often do friends or relatives come to visit and stay a few days? Do you want them around the house for late night conversation and coffee harmony in the morning, or expect them to base out of a local hotel? You might want more space than you realize at first blush. Share your desired lifestyle with your agent to be better matched with the right property in the right location under the right terms and conditions.
It is better to take the time up front to identify what it is you want than to find out sooner that you bought the wrong property for your inner desires. Probe for the wants, confirm the needs, both as an agent and for yourself. As the market is settling down there are fewer reasons to compromise on your wants and needs, it becomes the traditional game of patience. Take the time, you will be owning the property for an extended time, and it should be what you want.
Remember that the home is yours to buy and enjoy so only your identified wants and needs are important. The input of others, especially the details gleaned through a good agent qualification process can help as you gather information with which to make a decision, but you make the ultimate decision.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, BS.3481, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com 


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