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Dave & Pat Zumbrun

(805) 340-9338

Pat Zumbrun
Email Pat at  
Cell: (805) 340-9338
BRE #01229401

Dave Zumbrun
Email Dave  at
Cell: (805) 340-9339
BRE #01227683

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buyer tips

What to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before You Hire Them

So, you’ve decided to purchase a Ventura County home. Congratulations. One of the first steps you need to take in the home buying process is to hire a good real estate agent. But don’t settle on the first one you come across. Instead, interview several agents. The answers they give to these crucial questions can help you narrow down your choices.

When interviewing real estate agents, ask them a few important questions before deciding to hire them. You need to be comfortable with your decision throughout the buying process.

What to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before You Hire Them

How Long Have You Been a Real Estate Agent in Ventura County?

Search Ventura County homes for saleAn experienced agent knows the area like the back of their hand. Their knowledge and expertise help you located your next Ventura home. They also negotiate a great deal on your behalf. Therefore, you want someone with a great deal of experience in the Ventura County real estate market. If you do talk to someone new to the game, ask them if they have a broker in their office that they work with. Everyone has to start out somewhere. If you know that they have someone with experience backing them up, at least you know you’ll be taken care of.

Which Cities Do You Primarily Work In?

It’s always good to have a real estate agent who specializes in the cities and communities you’re most interested in moving into. They should know how the school districts perform compared to others in the area as well as what buyers are paying for homes in different neighborhoods.

Do You Work With a Team or Are You On Your Own?

You’ve heard the saying “it takes a village”, right? That applies to real estate, too. You might not be aware of it but many real estate agents work with a whole team of professionals to help them find you a Ventura County home. Their team may include other agents and/or an administrative assistant managing the behind-the-scenes checklist of things to be completed. This team facilitates a much more smooth transaction.

Who Makes Up the Majority of Your Business: Buyers or Sellers?

Ideally, you want to hire a real estate agent that works primarily with buyers. Listing agents tend to work with sellers. An agent with a higher buyer-to-seller ratio means that their main focus is on buyers.

How Long Does It Usually Take Your Clients to Find and Buy a Ventura County Home?

Let’s face it. Buying a home tends to take some time. First, you need to locate a property you like. That alone takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days on average. Then, you have to put in an offer, have it accepted and enter escrow. Escrow takes an average of between 14 to 60 days by itself. If your real estate agent tells you that it takes a lot longer than that, you might want to find someone else to handle your business.

How Often and By What Means Will You Communicate With Me Throughout This Process?

Some agents like to send emails or text. Others prefer to talk on the phone. Yet others favor an in-person discussion. You need a real estate agent who’s communication methods sync up with yours. If you want a weekly update via email or text, great. But, if you prefer someone more personal or more often, make sure the agent is willing to accommodate you accordingly.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Choosing the Right Kind of Ventura Home

Choosing the Right Kind of Ventura HomeHome buyers need to make so many decisions throughout the buying process: how much to spend, what size, where, when, etc.  So, how do you know what kind of house to look for?  Whether you decide on a single-family home, condominium, new or old, choosing the right kind of Ventura home can make the difference between experiencing a “buyer’s high” or suffering “buyer’s remorse”.

First things first.  Take your time to evaluate what your lifestyle requires.  Do you want to be close to work?  Do you like having your entertainment, shopping and recreational opportunities within walking distance?  Do you like to entertain?  Do you need a yard for the pets, family, just lounging, etc.?  Are you willing to put some elbow grease into fixing up a property (like a foreclosure or older home) or would you rather have a move-in ready, turnkey home?  These are just a few questions that need to be considered before you go looking for that perfect Ventura County home.

Condos and townhomes are great for people with busy lifestyles who don’t need a big yard to take care of. Your HOA fees take care of routine landscaping and maintenance for the grounds and common areas.  You are still typically responsible for any repairs or maintenance for everything involved with your particular unit (check the CC&Rs to see specifically what you are responsible for).  You also have less privacy, since you share at least one common wall with a neighbor.

Single-family homes give you the luxury of more privacy as well as a yard for the kids or pets to play in as well as entertaining.  Repairs and maintenance on your single-family Ventura home are solely your responsibility.  Families tend to gravitate towards the more open single-family home rather than smaller condo lifestyle.

Whatever option you decide on, choosing the right kind of Ventura home is a big first step to getting you moved into the home of your dreams.  Take your time.  Going on gut instinct alone is what makes many buyers end up regretting a hasty decision.  Let us know when you’re ready to make that step to Ventura homeownership.

Dave and Pat Zumbrun, Your Ventura County real estate specialists

Originally posted on our Ventura County real estate blog here: