5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Realtor When Buying Investment Property
Investment properties can be a great investment in your future and working with an agent is one of the best ways to get some great properties for a good price. A real estate agent can help you in so many ways and they are such a benefit to have on your side. If you have ever wondered about using a real estate agent to purchase your investment properties, keep reading to see a few questions you can ask to tell if your realtor is investor-friendly.
1. How long have you lived here?
Realtors who are new to the area might not be as aware of the property values and small details that others might know if they have lived there for a while. A seasoned and local realtor will be able to help you figure out what properties are worthwhile investments. They might know more beyond the typical listing details and their insider information can be very beneficial.
A local agent will also be aware of off-market sales that you might be able to get in on and they can also negotiate a good local deal with people they might know. Someone local will also know the hazards and downsides of specific properties so they will be able to let you know if your investment has the likelihood to turn sour.
2. Do you own any investment properties?
There are plenty of real estate agents who are also property investors but you don’t need to see them as competition. If your agent is also an investment property owner then they will have their hands full so you don’t need to worry about them scooping up any good sales on you but if you are worried, look for someone who has a different investment style. If you’re into holding and renting, look for an agent who prefers a quick flip so you can get first access to properties they won't be interested in.
Any experience with investment properties will help you both make the perfect professional connection. A regular residential real estate agent will be more versed in matching the home to the buyer instead of looking at any potential profitability of it. An agent with investment experience will also know what not to look for and they might even sway you from potential purchases if they know what the property is like better than you do.
3. What is your specialty?
Some agents have specific real estate skills that might help you both out and they might not be obvious right away. Many commercial agents switch over to residential real estate (or vice versa) if they’ve found the area they are living in doesn’t have much available for them to sell. Some agents relocate all the time from larger cities so asking a few questions might reveal their experience level.
Specializing in commercial real estate is helpful to those looking at investment properties because the agent will know more about the profit aspect. Many investment properties can require upgrades or repairs to give them a boost in profitability and a commercial agent has to knowledge to judge whether or not it’s worth it. A residential agent might not be able to tell you that the plumbing upgrades are going to cost you more than the value of the building but a commercial agent will likely know what things to look for before they suggest it for you as a potential investment.
4. When can I reach you?
This seems like an innocuous question but the answer will tell you so many things about the agent. If they are out of the office all the time and prefer to be reached by cell phone then that’s usually a good thing for you and it shows that they prefer to see and show properties in person. It also shows you they are likely hardworking and they make their real estate job a priority.
An agent who can be reached in the office all the time might give off a hardworking vibe but it also shows that they aren’t into scouting properties like some agents do. They might be the type to do most of their work online so they might not have the best information on the details of properties as they usually work from photographs. An agent who has specific hours might be an agent who prefers to keep the job as a side gig and that means they likely won’t have the skill or knowledge level you need to help you out so you might as well work by yourself.
5. Off-market sales vs on-market sales?
A real estate agent who is investment friendly will likely have many off-market sales under their belt. This shows that they are great at making the perfect connection between a potential buyer and prospective sellers before the home even hits the open market. This is the best type of deal for an investor as it reduces any static that comes with other buyers and the offers they might have.
If your agent has more on-market sales then inquire about how long the properties were actually on the market. If they weren’t on for long then you know you’ve got a good seller who knows how to offload their properties to the right people. If your agent's properties have a long time stuck on the market then they might not be adept at selling or they might be too good and have too many properties on their plates at once.
Finding the right agent for you will make both of your jobs so much easier. As long as you look for an agent with the right drive, experience, and knowledge about the market then you are sure to have success together.