Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
Published June 3, 2014 | Updated June 15, 2014
Whether you're buying or selling your home, choosing a real estate agent is an important first step. You want to find one that possesses the tools and skills you need in order to get the results you want.
Think of the process like a job interview. Here are some questions to consider asking your potential real estate agent.
If You're Selling
- "How do you plan on advertising my home?" This is one of the most important questions to ask. Find out how the agent typically promotes their listings to the public.
- "Do you have your own website with pictures of your current listings?" Many people search for homes online. Find out which channels your agent uses.
- "Do you have any support staff?" A real estate agent who has assistants, especially licensed assistants, will likely have more time to work for you.
- "How do you operate open houses?" Open houses generally require sellers and their pets to be out of the house for long periods of time. Ask how often the agent plans to have open houses, what day(s) of the week, and how long they will last so that you can make plans accordingly.
- "What is your average time to sell a home, and what percentage of your listings sell?" A reputable agent should willingly provide this information.
- "What is your commission percentage?" Contrary to popular belief, this number is often negotiable, especially if you have a desirable property.
If You're Buying OR Selling
- "Do you have a reference list of past clients?" Talking to a few previous clients can give you peace of mind before you decide to hire an agent.
- "Do you work full-time as a real estate agent?" If this is a part-time or second job, the agent might not be able to provide the quality of service you need. Having other commitments is not necessarily a roadblock to providing good service, but be clear about the situation before you sign on.