Chicago is a vibrant city brimming with excitement and opportunities. It has breathtaking architecture, top-notch museums, and exquisite dining options. The city also has an excellent music and entertainment industry and the serene beauty of the great Lake Michigan. Moreover, the locals are warm and welcoming. All of this makes it an ideal place to live.
If you plan to make Chicago your home, here are some questions to help you find a reliable real estate agent to assist you in your search.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
Everyone has to start somewhere, but you should at least know that upfront. A seasoned professional will know more and have better negotiation skills than someone new to the field.
What has changed in the Chicago real estate market over the past few years?
This question is a way to gauge a real estate agent’s experience and knowledge of the area. An experienced real estate agent should be able to tell you about the Chicago market and what has changed over the last few years. A new agent or one working part-time may have difficulty answering this question.
Do you work in real estate full- or part-time?
While there is nothing wrong with a real estate agent that works part-time, you may need someone dedicated to the job full-time and able to meet your timeline.
How many homes have you closed this year?
It never hurts to know an agent’s success rate. If an agent has closed numerous homes, they may be more reliable and better able to get the job done. You want someone that can find you a home and close the deal.
How many clients do you currently have?
You want an agent with more than one client, but probably someone with less than 10 or more. It is a balance. If they have too few clients, that might be a bad sign. If they have too many, they cannot devote enough time to your needs.
Do you work with clients individually, or do you have a team?
Some buyers prefer to work with one agent. However, many agents work with a team. If the agent works with a group, but you prefer a one-on-one relationship, you may either have to look elsewhere or work out an understanding with the agent that you only want to deal with one agent.
Do you specialize in a particular type of home or price point?
Some agents specialize in finding starter homes for first-time homebuyers. Some know about middle-of-the-row affordable homes. Others have experience in high-end luxury homes. You want an agent who knows the type of home and price point you are looking for.
You also want a real estate agent that represents buyers. Ideally, the agent has experience with buyers and sellers, so they will be knowledgeable about both sides of the process. If the agent primarily works with sellers, that may not be a great match.
How well do you know the area?
An agent that knows the area will know if the community is experiencing a seller’s or buyer’s market. In addition, they may know about listings that are not on the market yet. They can also answer questions about the neighborhood and the school district.
An agent should be able to answer the following:
- Is the house well-priced, and how long has it been on the market?
- Do you see any potential issues with the property?
- What is the commute time like?
- Is there a place to park, and how much does it cost?
- How much are the additional monthly costs? For example, homeowner association (HOA) fees, property taxes, utilities, water, electricity, sewage/septic tank, etc.
How do you help a buyer stand out when making an offer?
Standing out when you make an offer on a home is vitally important. An agent with experience should know a few methods to help your offer stand out above the rest and help you get the house of your dreams.
What are your negotiations skills like?
The list price and the final sale price are two different things. What is the agent’s average list-to-sale ratio? Determining this will show how good the agent is at negotiating.
What is your commission, and are there other fees?
Although the seller generally pays the commission, you should ask about the rate and if there are any fees to expect, such as photography, staging, or legal fees. You want to know how much you will pay before hiring the agent.
Do I have to sign a contract with you, and is there a penalty if I cancel?
Many real estate agents will have potential buyers sign a buyer’s agent agreement. Agents work on commission, so they are not paid until the real estate transaction is complete. No one wants to work for free, so the agreement ensures they will receive a commission when you find and purchase a home.
The contract has a time limit, but if you are unsatisfied with the agent, you can ask to cancel the contract. It is important to see if there will be a penalty for canceling before you sign the contract.
How will you communicate with me?
Good communication goes a long way when it comes to the satisfaction you have with an agent.
Ask them about their communication style
- Do you communicate through phone, text, or email?
- Will you call regularly, or do I have to contact you?
- In case of an emergency or something unforeseen, what is the fastest way to reach you?
Will you give me references?
A successful real estate agent will have satisfied clients they can list as references. You do not have to contact them if you do not want, but it is always good to find out if the agent has had successful transactions. If you contact the references, ask if the agent was available for them, how long it took them to find a home, and whether they would hire the agent again.
The group you can count on
Looking for a new home in the competitive Chicago real estate market can be daunting. With so many real estate options and agents, it can be tough to decide who to trust. To make the process easier, you need a top-notch agent who can help you find your dream home and neighborhood.
Enter the Gillman Group
, an experienced and dedicated team of real estate agents with extensive knowledge of homes for sale in Chicago and its various neighborhoods. You can trust that they will not only help you find your dream home but also seamlessly guide you through the process
of becoming a homeowner.
If you are searching for your perfect home, do not hesitate to contact the Gillman Group
. You can count on them to deliver for you.