Brooklyn Homebuyers: 5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

By Elizabeth Kohen | September 23, 2023

Last month, we shared with 5 questions to ask your real estate agent when selling home.

When embarking on the discovery of your Brooklyn dream home, there are many ways that hiring a real estate agent can benefit you too. A skilled agent can harness their wealth of expertise to craft a tailored homebuying strategy, impart invaluable insights into co-op/condo/townhouse intricacies, streamline your property search, and expertly guide you through the nuances of offer formulation, negotiation, closing and post-closing resale enhancements.

But as much as you know you might need a real estate agent, deciding on one might seem a tad overwhelming in a place as large as Brooklyn—especially if you don’t know which questions to ask. While your overarching aim is likely to align with a trustworthy, knowledgeable, experienced, and approachable agent or team, asking the right questions is key to understanding how these attributes best represent them.

Here are five questions to kick off your real estate agent selection process.

1. Can you tell me a bit about your real estate background?

Find out how long the agent has been in real estate and which neighborhoods they specialize in, as well as how long they have been working in Brooklyn, or more specifically the neighborhood in which you’re hoping to call home. You can also inquire about their personal experience buying and selling property in Brooklyn.

Any real estate experience is reassuring, but an agent with hyperlocal market wisdom and a stellar reputation amongst Brooklyn agents can offer unparalleled advantages when it comes to pricing, inventory, insider knowledge on upcoming listings, informed neighborhood comparisons and an established rapport with sellers’ agents, which can help in negotiations.

2. What is the homebuying process like, and are there associated costs?

A proficient Brooklyn real estate agent will seamlessly guide you through the labyrinth of securing a formal pre-approval letter from a trusted mortgage banker, advise you on how much a down payment will be and help you decipher how realistic your future home wish list is. Ask them what the homebuying process is like and exactly what they can do for you so that you know what to expect during a transaction.

You can ask your potential Brooklyn buyer’s agent to discuss projected closing costs, which you should review further with a lender. Buyer’s agents tend not to charge a fee for helping you find a home, as the commission fee is paid by the seller upon closing and split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent.

3. How do you collaborate with clients?

Ask what their agent-client relationship is like so that you know if you will have direct communication with the agent you’re speaking to or whether you will be passed on to other team members or assistants. Find out how the agent communicates (e.g., phone, text, email) and how frequently so that you know how often you can expect to hear from them.

4. Can you provide me with recommendations for service providers, local amenities and transportation options?

This question is especially important if you’re new to Brooklyn—or just to Park Slope, Ditmas Park, Windsor Terrace or wherever else you’re looking to buy a home. An agent who has lived in the area for a significant amount of time should have a deep pool of trusted vendors who can help you secure funding, inspect the property, make any repairs or home renovations you desire, service your home’s boiler or HVAC system, or other services that can come in handy for homeowners.

A knowledgeable Brooklyn real estate agent should also be able to point you in the right direction whether you’re looking for the most efficient modes of transportation in Park Slope, the newest restaurants and coffee shops in Windsor Terrace, where the neighborhood parks are in Prospect Heights, or what cultural and recreational activities exist in Kensington.

5. Can you share any accolades, client success stories or reviews?

As you learn more about each agent and decide whether they’re right for you, take the time to learn about their past client experiences by asking for specific success stories and seeing what former homebuyers have to say. You can likely find reviews by Googling agent names, but if not, ask where you can read some.

Finding your dream home in Brooklyn is smoother with a skilled real estate agent. They’ll tailor strategies, simplify property nuances and guide you seamlessly. As you search for the right buyer’s or seller’s agent, these key questions will lead the way.

And whether you’re thinking about buying, selling or renting a home in Brooklyn, our experienced Park Slope-based real estate agents can help. Contact us today to get started on your Brooklyn real estate journey.

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