Selling your home is a big deal — so while it may be tempting to go with the first word-of-mouth recommendation you get, when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it pays to do a bit more research. Your real estate pro will be responsible for setting the sale price, marketing your home, running open houses, speaking with potential buyers and ultimately, walking you through the selling process. To make an informed choice, ask friends and neighbors for personal recommendations, but also take the time to interview several of the best candidates before making a decision. Here are 15 questions to ask potential real estate agents.
1. What is your experience and education? Though a new real estate agent can certainly be motivated and eager to please, a pro with years of experience will have the knowledge and skill to face unexpected challenges. Taking continuing education courses shows a commitment to keeping up with changes.
2. Is this your full-time job? Having another job shouldn’t necessarily cut a potential real estate agent out of the running, but you need to be aware if this is a part-time gig before committing. Someone who also works somewhere else may be harder to reach and could miss out on opportunities to show your house.
3. Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors? Membership in this professional organization is what allows a real estate agent to use the title Realtor. Being a Realtor means that the person has agreed to follow the organization’s ethical guidelines and to keep up with continuing education.
4. What’s the price range of most of the homes you have sold? You probably already have a ballpark figure in mind for your home’s price. Does the agent typically represent homes in that price range? If most of the homes the agent sells are in a far higher — or lower — price range, he or she may not be as familiar with how to market your home.
5. How many homes did you sell last year? This will give you an idea of the volume of work a real estate agent is used to taking on. This number alone is not enough to base a decision on, but keep in mind that a very high number may mean the agent is not able to give each client as much personal attention, whereas a very low number could be a clue that homes are languishing on the market.
6. Which neighborhoods do you primarily work in? If the agent typically works in areas far from your home, it may mean that he or she is not as familiar with the market in your area.
7. How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood? Good word of mouth tends to spread within neighborhoods, so if your real estate agent has had a lot of home sales in your area, that’s probably a good sign. Familiarity with your neighborhood can only help your agent sell your home.
15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent