A simple guide to picking the right real estate broker

Purchasing property in Chicago is a hefty endeavor and for first time buyers, the process can be a confusing one. This is why real estate brokers exist- they help buyers and sellers navigate the legal ins and outs of Chicago real estate purchases. See below for some simple questions to ask your realtor, to make sure you are choosing the right person for your needs:

How long have you been a broker and what is your track record?

Experience is paramount in the real estate game. You want a broker that has seen a lot of various scenarios that come up during inspections, attorney reviews, and closings. The more years behind them, the more apt your broker is able to navigate unexpected hurdles and drive the process in your favor. Their track record, or success rate, is a good indicator of their professional ability and level of negotiation skills.

How well do you know the Chicago real estate market?

Knowing the area market is more than just pulling comparative reports. A well-seasoned realtor will be able to provide an account of the history of the area. How home values have shifted in the past decade, the demographics of the area, and how the central business district has changed with the neighborhood.. This is an important factor in assessing the potential value of your investment.

What kind of fees do you charge?

Typically, broker fees for the buyer do not exist. Their payment comes from the seller’s commission side at the time of closing. If you do find an agent who charges you, it would be best to seek a different broker that will not nickel and dime you for their time.

How quickly can you see properties and how does the initial process work?

Prior to viewing any properties, the broker will request your re-qualification letter from your preferred mortgage lender. Once that is in hand, each party will sign a buyer’s contract called Exclusive Buyer/Broker Agreement. While the turnaround time for this is usually short, you, the broker, and the managing broker of the realty firm will all need to sign before you can view any properties. Now for the fun part of the process! Your agent will request your needs and wants and perform a search on the MLS for you. You will receive an initial list of available properties and you can favorite from there. Once your parameters are fine-tuned, you can receive updated lists and start scheduling your showings!

There is a bidding war! How can you help me?

Sometimes Chicago finds itself in a seller’s market. This can cause a bidding war and a perfect opportunity for your broker to step in to take the reins and make sure you are getting the best deal. If the dreaded bidding war does happen, your agent might recommend a few tactics. One is an escalation clause which stipulates that a potential buyer can up their price if another party puts in an offer- this is a good remedy for a seller’s market. When there are multiple offers, the seller often asks for a best and final offer from all parties. This allows you, as the buyer, to set your purchasing terms. But remember, negotiations can last all the way up to the closing table. Make sure you consistently rely on your broker for guidance until the end!

Buying a property is definitely a process, but with the right broker standing beside you, it can be easily and professionally navigated so you get the best deal. Make sure your agent knows the area, the market, and help define what you are looking for in a property and properly represent you at the closing table. High Fidelity Realty has an amazing team of brokers with over 30 years of experience and over XXX closings. Contact us today at info@highfidelityrealty.com to start looking for your perfect property!