How to Choose a Real Estate Agent: 15 Questions You Should Ask
Wendy Kedzierski
August 29, 2022 — Read in 4.3 mins · 862 words

When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, it’s important to have an expert real estate agent by your side. Most people will commit to the first agent they talk to, but that’s not always wise. Remember, this transaction will be one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make. Finding an amiable, experienced agent won’t be difficult, but for a match made in heaven, you should approach the process like a business owner searching for the perfect CEO. Here’s how you can vet the best – including 15 interview questions – for a seamless process and a rewarding transaction.

Read reviews.

Online reviews reveal much about an agent’s knowledge, personality and work ethic. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Google will help you screen your pool of candidates. Make sure you read all the reviews – a couple of disgruntled customers can be expected. Don’t necessarily eliminate a candidate as long as there are many more positive reviews. Few or no reviews could be a red flag indicating an agent who lacks experience and/or an online presence.

Look for common themes among the reviews – both negative and positive. Repeated complaints about a specific problem most likely indicate a real issue. Likewise, affirmations that attest to an agent’s positive traits are a good sign.

Decipher the terms and letters.

A “REALTOR®” designation means that this real estate agent is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict code of ethics. There are also other types of training that agents may have had which can show up as groupings of letters listed after an agent’s name. Always ask the agent what these letters stand for and how they earned them. Here are some of the more common abbreviations and acronyms:

  • ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative
  • ALC – Accredited Land Consultants
  • ASP – Accredited Staging Professional
  • CCIM – Certified Commercial Investment Member
  • CIPS – Certified International Property Specialist 
  • CPM – Certified Property Manager
  • CRB – Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist
  • GRI – Graduate Realtor Institute
  • MRP – Military Relocation Professional
  • NAR – National Association of Realtors
  • RAA – Residential Accredited Appraiser
  • RSPS – Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist
  • ROTY – REALTOR® of the Year
  • SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Browse their listings.

Look at the listings your local agents advertise. How closely do these match the type of home you want to buy or sell? Does the agent typically work within your price range?

Interview a few.

Once you have whittled the list to a handful of candidates, it’s time to start the interview process. It’s insightful to meet with agents at your house. In-person meetings are invaluable in gauging an agent’s personality and communication skills. Additionally, a good agent will come prepared with information specific to your house including a market update, a home valuation report and net sheet, and share videos and photos of their current listings. Advanced preparation is a good indicator of a hustle mentality. 

Here are 15 important questions to ask during the interview process in order to establish whether you and the agent will be a good match. Some questions are more geared to selling and some to buying.

  1. Are you a full-time agent?
    You deserve someone who is dedicated to real estate and doesn’t just see it as a side-hustle. You can also ask them how many transactions they closed in the previous year. At least 10 transactions probably means they work real estate full-time.
  1. How long have you been a real estate agent?
    At least a couple years of experience can make a big difference in knowledge and confidence.
  1. What geographic areas and neighborhoods do you specialize in?
  1. Are most of your transactions as a buyer’s agent or a listing agent?
    Most agents help both home buyers and sellers, but some will specialize in one or the other.
  1. Could you provide me with a few referrals?
  1. How many clients do you currently have?
    You definitely want your agent to have time for you. If the agent has more than ten clients, question #8 may alleviate your worries.
  1. Do you work with a team?
    Real estate teams can be a powerful force, making sure that all details are taken care of in a timely manner, no matter how busy your agent is.
  1. How (and how often) will you communicate with me during the process?
  1. What types of marketing will you use when selling my home?
  1. How fast have your past three listings sold?
  1. What is your marketing strategy to beat the competition?
  1. What type of properties do you usually handle?
  1. Will you also represent the buyer/seller?
    It’s in your best interest to hire an agent who is only accountable to you.
  1. What is your average list-price-to-sales-price ratio?
    You’ll want an agent who knows how to price homes. Note: a hot seller’s market might skew this number quite a bit.
  1. What upcoming infrastructure/business/zoning changes might impact home prices here?
    A good agent will have good insight into the local community.

Reach out to one of our expert real estate agents to learn more about making the right choice for your next move.

Match Me with a Relocation Specialist

MM slash DD slash YYYY
What are you looking for?(Required)
How do you prefer to be contacted?(Required)
Do you have a military background?
©2022 CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty. All rights reserved.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.