5 Questions to Ask Before Your Hire a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent to sell your home or help you find your next house can be a cumbersome process.  If you have never used a real estate agent before, or do not have any recommendations from friends to consider, you will want to ask an agent you are considering a few questions before you decide to have them work for you.

Here are five questions to ask before you hire a real estate agent to work with you on your home buying or selling adventure.

#1-Do you work full-time or part time and do you have a backup? – It is important to understand how the agent you are considering hiring works. If they only work part-time, what kind of system do they have in place to take calls about your property or take your call about a prospective property when they are not working? Do they have an assistant? Do they work for a big real estate company that handles calls at other times?

#2- How many sales did you have last year? – A new real estate agent may have under 10 sales in a year. The average real estate agent has between 10 and 20 sales per year. A well-performing real estate agent has between 20 and 50 sales per year and if you have a real estate agent that has over 50 sales per year, you are looking at a highly motivated, superstar agent. You may also want to ask what kind of experience they have with the type of property you are interested in, i.e. short sales, high end residential, or investment properties.

#3- What are your fees? – Understanding an agent’s fees from the beginning is important. Ask about their fees and how they are paid. You will want to understand if they have a minimum fee to collect, which means that if you accept an offer on your home where the buyer will only pay a certain amount of the fees, you may be responsible for the additional percentage of the fees if this is the case. Make sure you understand these caveats up front.

#4- Do you have any references? – Asking for written references from clients who have used a particular agent is a good thing. You will want to follow up with these references. When people find a good agent, they will use them again and refer them. Look for references that have used a realtor for more than one purchase or sale.

#5- Are you a Realtor? – Becoming a Realtor takes additional steps than just becoming a licensed real estate agent. The term “Realtor” relates to a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Though it is not imperative to have a Realtor rather than simply an agent, being a Realtor shows dedication to the field of real estate. Members take an oath to put their clients first and follow the guidelines and rules of the National Association of Realtors.