Seniors, Ask These 5 Tech Questions of Your Prospective Real Estate Agents

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"The market isn't what it used to be."

We've heard it before, and it is correct on a number of levels. The real estate market, in and of itself, is certainly different than it was a few decades ago. We see different relative home prices, a different scale of mortgage interest rates, and individual markets are experiencing myriad differences in popularity.

Just as notable, perhaps, is that the real estate process has many new tools and trends that will be unfamiliar to buyers and sellers who haven't explored the market in a number of years.

The biggest trend? Digital integration - aka, going paperless.

While many real estate professionals don't run entirely paperless practices, there are many key elements of digital integration that are being used by many professionals that you'll want to understand. It is important to talk with your agent about any questions or concerns you may have with digital integration in the real estate process to ensure you're working with an agent that is the right fit for you.

1. How do you communicate with your clients (phone, email, text, instant messaging, etc.)?

Communication is one of the top responsibilities of your real estate agent, and you'll want to make sure that you and your agent agree upon the best method (and frequency) of your interactions.

If you choose to communicate by phone, for example, make sure that you and your agent agree on the protocols for leaving and returning messages, hours of availability, and expectations for following up. Be sure to inquire about email, text messaging, and other modes of communication that your agent may prefer to use.

2. How do you obtain client signatures?

Many paperless offices opt for "s-Sign" or "Docusign" alternatives to paper signatures, which are provide digital - and legal - signatures on important documents in your transaction. Many brokerage firms are only using paperless systems in their office, so this will be an important element to understand. Be sure to ask your agent to show you examples of the types of digital signatures that may be asked of you during the course of your real estate transaction.

Ensure your agent is able to give you a quick tutorial to create a smooth process for you.

3. Can you assess my devices to ensure they're compatible with your systems?

It is important to make sure you have the right equipment to work with an agent that uses digital systems. Ask the agent to do a "test run" where they send out an unofficial document to have you sign to ensure that you're able to access and use the document from your device.

4. Will you provide technical support if I need help?

Agents should be willing and able to help you with any technical problems you may have. It is important that your agent is not only capable at their job, but also patient and willing to personally help you with any technical trouble that may surface.

5. Are you flexible if I choose phone and paper over electronic communication?

Your agent should be flexible and willing to work with your preferences. Some agents strictly use one process or style, and if that style does not mesh with yours, it could be a difficult relationship for you. Ensure that the agent you are working with is willing to work for you, the individual, and accommodate your needs to the best of their ability.

Questions for us? We'd love to help! Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.

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