Home Selling in 68137>Question Details

Julie Diers, Real Estate Pro in Inglewood, NE

When looking for a real estate agent what questions should I ask?

Asked by Julie Diers, Inglewood, NE Tue Oct 5, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Paco, there aren't many questions that are worth asking unless you have an idea of what a good answer might be.

Most agents will suggest you ask the questions that they think they can answer well. For example, I'd suggest that you ask how long the agent has had a beard, and how many times they've been to the Colosseum in Rome.

You should know how long an agent has been practicing, whether they're full- or part- time, how many clients they're currently working with. But there's no "right" answer.

You should ask there are any complaints against them, if they have experience working with clients like you in your situation, and if they have the time to do a good job for you.

But more than anything else, you need to determine what you need from an agent. Perhaps your property will be a fixer, or a trophy property, or have garden spaces, or be a condo.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
How many sales have they done in past 3 months? Are they working only for you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Hi Paco,
If you are a buyer, ask them if they enjoy working with buyers.If you are a seller, ask to see their marketing plan to sell your home.
Ask them if they have previous references from satisfied clients. Ask them how long they have been in business, and what makes them the agent to choose as opposed to another agent.
While they are answering you..ask yourself..if you can work with this person or not. Rapport is so important in Real Estate transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
How many sales did you make last year?
Follow up by calling the company and asking their boss, principle broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010

You will probably ask many of these questions suggested to you already. The key is how do you FEEL about the agent you're interviewing? Do you feel they are telling you true facts or simply trying to tell you what you want to hear.

If you trust your agent and they have a proven track record working with buyers & sellers, odds are...your "GUT" feeling will tell you whether they're the one you should list with. If they have a team they work with, will you be able to talk to them or a "team" member when you want them? All agents worth the REALTOR designation pull from the same MLS data, as do appraisers. You want someone who will actually target market your home and do what's needed to get it SOLD!

Remember, your can dazzle 'em with brilliance or baffle 'em with BS! My former clients will tell you...."if you don't want to know the truth, don't ask Teri"..."if you DO want the truth....Talk 2Teri!" 402-689-4041
Web Reference: http://www.Talk2Teri.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Besides asking questions, take a look at how the agents market their listings on the MLS, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. These are the most popular websites for home buyers. How many photos are posted? How good are they? How much information is available and how well does it sell the features of the home? The issue is not just what agents say they will or do, but what they actually do. Compare!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Hello Paco-

Before I was a Realtor , I would interview my agents very much like a job interview- after all this is a very important job.

Some questions I would ask would be:

What is your experience?
Are you full time?
How do you communicate with your clients ?
Do you know my neighborhood?
Do you have some references?

Best of Luck Paco
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
There are many questions that can, and should be asked, such as--what marketing strategies will be implemented; what plans will be put in place to coordinate meetings with buyers; what feedback (communication) can you expect and with what frequency; will data be supplied to help establish a fair and marketable asking price; will buyers be pre-screened and required to have mortgage pre-approvals when submitting offers; what other services does the agency offer, if any. What can the broker be able to expect from you the seller? Expectations are important on both sides--interview as many agents as needed from different realty companies--choose the agent you like best and the one who has the most to offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
If you've only had 3 showings in 6 months, I would go for a price reduction. You need a competitive price to get buyers in the house. When you have showings, make sure your home looks top-notch. Fresh paint, no clutter . . . make it move-in ready. Are their multiple pictures (about 25 or more) on the web? Is your realtor marketing the property on all realtor sites? Make sure you're getting the online exposure you're paying for.
Jan Nicola
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
How long in the business?
Are you a full time Realtor?
Can you provide three references?
What can you tell me about my neighborhood?
What will you do to sell my property?
What percentage of the time do you answer your phone?
Why should I hire you?
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010

This is a great question......

One of the most important issues with selling is having a good well thought out comprehensive marketing plan. Responsible agents should be able to verbally describe their model and have a printed copy that can be shared with you.

An agent's personal marketing plan should include how they promote themselves as well as how they promote their product and should go far beyond the standard putting a sign in front of the home, including it on the MLS, an putting an occasional advertisement in the local "penny saver."

Having an internet presence is "HUGE" in today's market place......over ninety percent of today's buyers at some point utilize the internet in their property search. Thus it is of critical importance that you find out how your agent plans to weave this into their strategy.

Your trust and confidence in the agent will take you a long ways in the selling process. We often recommend that when considering an agent that people visit "open houses" not for the purpose of viewing homes but seeing agents and how they operate in the trenches...the way they interact with the public may provide the insight you require to make your decision.

With best regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Here are some questions that I recommend asking someone you're considering hiring as your listing agent:

• How many homes, of my type, have you sold? (recently, 6 mos, 1 year, 5 years)
• How many of your listings have "canceled" or "expired" in the last 12 months?
What is your list / sale ratio? (ie: you listed for $300,000, but how much did it end up selling for?... and what's your "average"?)
• What is your average "days on market" (how long do your properties stay on the market before selling).
• What is your marketing plan for my home? (get it in writing) does it include internet (which sites?), do you offer multiple photos, virtual tours, color brochures.
• Do you conduct open houses (why / why not / how often?)
• What listing price do your recommend (why / how did you arrive at that / do you have the comps to back that up?... do you have a "quick sale" price, and a normal sale price")
• What is your plan if I'm not under contract in 30 days / 60 days / 90 days ...etc.... (reduction schedule?)
• Why should I hire you? What do you bring to the table that's different than the myriad of other agents out there who want my listing.
• Will you offer a reduced commission (why / why not?)
• Are you a full-time agent? (this might, or might not be important to you).
• Do you practice dual-agency?(or whatever it is in your state where the agent represents both the buyer and the seller) (why / why not?)
• What do you think of Agent A and Agent B (the two other agents you're interviewing... this is optional)
• Are you planning any upcoming vacations or are you going to be unavailable, and who is your back-up when you're gone?

• What weekly communication can I expect from you, and how will you contact me... (phone, e-mail, texting?)
• What do you think of my property... what are the positives and negatives that might impact it's sale... what (if any) updates or repairs should I make in order to sell?

and lastly:

• Are there any questions, that you think I should have asked you, that I didn't?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
This is a great article from Realtor Magazine that sums it all up:
12 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your REALTOR®

Make sure you choose a REALTOR® who will provide top-notch service and meet your unique needs.

1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.

2. What designations do you hold? Designations such as GRI and CRS®, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.

3. How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year? By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the practitioner has.

4. How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market? The REALTOR® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison.

5. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices? This is one indication of how skilled the REALTOR® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.

6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR® is responsive.

7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction? While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. Your REALTOR® should explain his or her agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party.

8. Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done? Because REALTORS® are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive compensation from any of the providers.

9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? Having resources such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, and assistance with technology can help an agent sell your home.

10. What’s your business philosophy? While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?

12. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients? Ask recent clients if they would work with this REALTOR® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the REALTOR®.

Let me know if you have any other questions
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
What makes you different from the rest?

That's the only question that really matters. Most realtors offer the same thing, they just word it differently. You want to know who is thinking outside of the box to get things done, whether it is representing a buyer or a seller. In this market being the same doesn't benefit a buyer or seller.

Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010

Here are a few questions that may help you find the best Realtor for you:

1. Are you a full time or part time agent?
2. Do you have names and numbers of past clients that I can call and ask about your level of service?
3. Will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant?
4. Can you give me a comparative market analysis (CMA) of recent sales in the area and homes currently on the market?
5. What type of marketing program do you and your company offer your clients?
6. What are your commission fees?
7. What happens if you bring the buyer in the sale of my home? Will you represent both of us?
8. How often will you update me on the status of activity on my home?
9. If I am not satisfied with your performance can I terminate our listing agreement?

Your agent should be able to answer all of these questions confidently. Be sure to ask friends and family for a recommendation of an agent whose service they were pleased with. Good luck to you!

-Sunny Fellman, Realtor
Cape Cod, MA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010

Please call or e-mail me with any further questions you may have. I would love to help you buy or sell your home. Good luck!

Megan Dreesen
(402) 578-6223
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010

What is my home worth? and what it will sell for
How long to expect in this economy downfall.
What you need to do to get your home ready to show.
How will you advertise my home.

Hope some of this helps. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have further questions,


Web Reference: http://www.MRGomaha.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
I think it is like interviewing a new employee. You will want to ask how much experience they have? How long they have been a realtor? their education? There statistics? How many homes they sell each year? What they can do to help you find a home or market the sale of your current home?
If you are looking for a new home, I would love the opportunity to help!
Monica Lang, Celebrity Homes
Web Reference: http://www.MonicaLang.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
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