to help you choose
the best real estate agent
1. What makes you different from other agents?
A strong agent will know their worth and can demonstrate their communication skills to a client by clearly and confidently articulating what sets them apart from their competition.
2. What is your company's track record and reputation in the marketplace?
There are many ways to calculate success but in real estate, what you want to look for is growth, reach, and consistency. Is the company showing signs of expansion due to its success, is it supporting its agents so that they are increasing their own production, can it afford a strong marketing presence promoting any listings, and what do past clients say about their experience with agents who work there?
3. If I list a home with you, what marketing will you do, and who pays for it?
Whether you are buying or selling, an agent's answer to this question will help you better understand their creativity, their commitment, and whether they are going to be doing anything beyond just posting a home on the MLS, and putting a sign in the yard.
4. What is your experience with the current market conditions?
When asking this, what you are listening for is an agent's knowledge of statistics that only full-time active agents are in touch with. Listen for whether the agent can tell you any current stories about other clients they have recently or are currently working with who are selling their homes for top dollar / or are winning the offers they have made.
5. When your own listings sell, how close is the selling price to the original list price?
Depending on the market, this answer will vary so what you are really listening for is the story the agent tells: do you feel they are being honest, is the info helpful and informative, are they just trying to sell you on how awesome they are, are they making excuses or side-stepping your question? You need to trust your agent to be honest with you above all else, so asking them pointed questions during an interview will put them 'on the spot' and will help you analyze how they handle surprises, discomfort, confrontation, etc.
6. What will you do if we run into a situation that you don't have any experience with?
Even the best agents quite commonly encounter situations in this industry where they have the opportunity to learn something new - so what you are really looking for with this question is how comfortable they are admitting when they don't know something they have other experts they can lean on. One of the worst qualities you may find in an agent (that you'll want to avoid) is a big ego! If they show up with no humility or self-awareness - run!
7. Will I need to sign anything before we tour a house together / and what happens if I decide I no longer want to work with you?
You'll want to make sure they have you sign an Exclusive Right to Buy or Sell agreement - and also make sure they disclose to you that it is something you can typically get out of with a simple email (so long as you are not already under contract).
8. How many clients are you working with?
Are they too busy for you, or not busy enough for comfort? You'll want to be sure they have the flexibility and time available to prioritize your needs but you'll also want to verify that you aren't their only source of potential income.
9. Do you have any client reviews or a list of past clients I can call?
The only answer to this question should be YES! And it is highly encouraged that you do some due diligence and research the agent thoroughly. After all, there are plenty of agents out there so if you can only pick one, be sure it's someone you're going to enjoy working with and speaking with often.
10. Why do you think you are the best agent for ME?
This question sounds to the agent like you are asking about them, but what you are listening for is if they have clearly assessed what YOUR needs are, and can they clearly articulate why their business style will support what YOU want to accomplish?