Questions to Ask
When Choosing a Real Estate Practitioner
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. Are you a REALTOR®? Members of the National Association of REALTORS®, a
trade organization of over one million members nationwide, subscribe to a
stringent code of ethics that helps guarantee the highest level of service
3. What designations do you hold? Designations such as GRI and CRS, which
require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are
held by only about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.
4. How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
5. How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that
compare to the overall market?
6. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the
final sale prices?
7. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to
sell my home? Look for someone who has aggressive, innovative approaches,
not just someone who's going to put a sign in the yard and hope for the
8. 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
agent's obligations lie. A good agent will explain the agency relationship
to you and describe the rights of each party. It's also possible to insist
that the agent represent you exclusively.
9. Can you recommend service providers who can assist me in obtaining a
mortgage, making repairs on my home, and other things I need done? Keep in
mind here that agents should generally recommend more than one provider and
should tell you if they receive any compensation from any provider.
10. 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, or assistance with technology can help an agent sell your
11. 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-fast sales, service, etc.-and determine how closely the agent's goals
and business emphasis mesh with your own.
12. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How
frequently? Using what media? Again, this is not a question with a correct
answer, but that one reflects your desires. Do you want updates twice a week
or don't want to be bothered unless there's a hot prospect? Do you prefer
phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?
13. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most