So you know you want to find a real estate agent to help you make the best purchasing and selling decisions in the Kirkland area. That’s a great choice, but remember, there are hundreds of real estate agents who might ‘seem’ to fit your needs.
How can you choose the best person for your specific situation?
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of the top questions to ask a real estate agent when buying a house. These queries will help you determine how experienced the agent is, whether they will steer you in the right direction long-term, and how much you can trust their opinion.
1. How Long Have You Been Working in the Kirkland Area?
Before you move on to some of the more nuanced questions, you need to learn something important upfront. A great question to ask a realtor is “how long have you been working in this area?”
There are some realtors who are willing to work in several areas or even in multiple states. With the increased usage of the internet, many realtors feel that they can understand and work in multiple locations. However, does that really make them a “neighborhood expert?”
The best real estate agent won’t just know about your area; they’ll have an intimate knowledge of the local market, real estate trends, the surrounding economy, and predictions for the future. Yes, it’s good for them to also have a larger understanding of the Seattle area to some extent, but at the end of the day, you want Kirkland real estate agent who knows your immediate area details, trends, and tips for making the best decision.
2. What Are the Biggest Real Estate Challenges in Kirkland?
One of our biggest tips for choosing a realtor is to talk about the negatives, not just the positives. Although some realtors might try to earn your trust and money by boasting about past sales and promising success, you don’t want to just hear about the good stuff. Ask about the problems you’ll face, the challenges they expect, and how you will handle them.
For example, Google is expected to take up to one million square feet of space in Kirkland in the future, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. How will this affect the surrounding home values? What about rental spaces or commercial properties?
Another thing to think about in Kirkland is the lack of inventory (properties available for purchase). Seattle and Kirkland are two of the tightest real estate markets in the entire country. How does this realtor deal with the lack of supply and the unbalanced buyer’s market? How do they handle the competition from other buyers?
During an interview with a potential realtor, pay attention to the challenges they mention. Not only is it important that they address challenges you may face, but it’s also vital that they propose potential solutions to your problem. Whether you’re dealing with a budget issue or a lack of supply in the area, a top-notch realtor should have some general ideas as to how you can tackle the problem.
When a realtor proposes solutions to your issue(s), ensure that you feel comfortable with the methods and timeline they suggest. This is a big investment and decision-making process, and you should feel 100 percent comfortable with your realtor’s ideas and tactics.
3. How Do You See the Real Estate Market in Kirkland Five Years From Now?
One of your top real estate questions should be about what the future might bring. You’re not a real estate expert, and you probably don’t have the knowledge or time to figure out what will likely happen in the local market over the next few years. Your realtor, on the other hand, should.
In order to increase your chances of making the most from your real estate investment, you should probably plan on keeping the property for at least a couple of years. Economists suggest that you should expect your property to appreciate in value by at least one percent a year, but you probably don’t want to sell until you’ve reached about 10 percent in value appreciation.
Of course, how long you keep the property will depend greatly on your investment strategy.
Are you looking at a long-term or short-term investment?
Will you be flipping a house and selling it right away?
Are you considering managing a rental property for many years?
Be open about your goals with any realtors you interview. Their input on future outcomes for your specific strategy can be extremely valuable.
Regardless of your investment plan, you don’t want to just know about Kirkland real estate market right now – you want to know where it will likely go in the next five to ten years. Ask your realtor for their opinion during one of your first meetings. This will give you a good idea of the realtor’s expertise and ability to guide you.
Keep in mind that you want to hear the good and the bad aspects of what your area will face in the coming years. Real estate agents are on the front lines, and they should know the risks and benefits of investing in the current market, as well as the future one. Make sure they mention potentials for both growth and decline. Otherwise, you might not be getting a full picture of the future.
4. What Are the Best Ways to Market Property in Kirkland?
Another thing any Kirkland-based real estate agent needs to understand is how you can effectively market a property in the Kirkland area. A huge part of any realtor’s job is understanding how to use social media, local advertising opportunities, and networking to get properties off the market. If they don’t have marketing skills, then they’re missing half of their potential.
Whether you’re buying real estate to keep for many years or planning to sell soon, it’s important that you find a realtor who will be able to help you with every aspect of the process. Just because they can help you find a property you like doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily equipped to help you market it in the future.
Here in Kirkland, there are good times to sell properties and bad times. Any real estate agent should be aware of these marketing trends and know how to work around them. Additionally, they should know how to best reach the locals of the area to sell properties quickly for a high ROI.
Listen to the methods that the potential real estate agent lists. Do their marketing ideas seem well-presented and effective? Are they innovative and up-to-date, or a bit old-fashioned in comparison to the new ways in which realtors are reaching buyers?
Picking a real estate agent might seem like a simple task on the road to buying or selling property, but with so many options and different concerns to keep in mind, you need to take the process seriously.
Use the above questions to fuel an informative interview with any of your prospective candidates. Don’t just pick the realtor with the best ads or prettiest website – pick one that can answer your questions with a high level of local knowledge and expertise.
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