What you should (and shouldn’t) ask in your search for a real estate agent

What You Should (And Shouldn't ) Ask In Your Search For A Real Estate Agent

Every now and then, our real estate team interviews with potential clients who come ready with a few questions they’ve found on the innerwebs – or were suggested to them by the guy at the water cooler. The first time this happened to me, I was so confused. Most of the questions seemed so strange, not what I’d have asked in their position.
Though I understand people’s desire to educate themselves, they often go to the wrong source. As they say, the quality of your questions determines your life… and when you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, you are talking about a life-impacting decision. The questions I was getting were not necessarily going to generate the kind of information that would benefit the consumer, who is doing what they can to get the right information, but they’re coming up short. Don’t worry, I’ve got you!

Before we go down this path of good vs. bad questions, get clear on your goals, which should be to determine if the agent you’re interviewing is qualified, hungry, and caring. If the agent checks all of those boxes, you might have found a winner! Without further adieu, here are the questions buyers and sellers should be asking in the search for a real estate agent.

Determine how qualified they are as an agent

Bad Question: How long have you been selling real estate?


I know agents who’ve been in the business for decades and have sold very few homes. You don’t become an experienced agent by simply holding a license; you actually have to be transacting homes. According to NAR, the average agent has 11 transactions per year. If experience is important to you, find someone with more transactions than the average, including folks on teams who sell hundreds of homes a year who are under the mentorship of experienced agents. 

Great Question: How many homes do you/your team sell per year?


If it’s more than 11, you’re off to a good start. 

Bad Question: If the neighbor just listed their home for X amount, which is significantly higher than what other homes here have typically sold for, does that mean I should list high?

The price someone lists their home for has no bearing on the actual value; an overpriced home will sit and is not likely to receive an offer, at least not near the list price. It’s important to take into account the competition, but considering market value, qualified real estate agents look at homes that have already sold. 

Great Question: How will you determine what my home is worth?

If your agent simply says they’ll “run the comps” or they send you a list of homes sold and give you a range, they’re telling you that they don’t have any value to bring you. The list of sold homes should come with an analysis and suggestions on where to price based on your goals. Don’t settle for the conveyer of information — demand the fiduciary who will evaluate the data and help you understand your options.

Find out how eager they are for your business

  • Has the agent’s level of responsiveness thus far been where I’d want it to be as we enter into one of the biggest financial transactions of my life and in a market where time is of the essence?
  • Is the agent providing helpful information prior to me committing to him/her?

Determine how much they care

This might seem fluffy, but I assure you it’s not. As someone who has built up a nearly $100 million real estate business entirely by referral, we live and breathe on the belief that every single client matters – a lot. This shows in the way that we make ourselves accessible, in how we are hyper-focused on training (education doesn’t end after licensing), and how our entire team goes above and beyond to ensure folks feel heard and our system and tools help them enjoy a smooth ride to the finish line.


Ask the agent:

  • How do you or your team demonstrate a higher level of care than the average agent?
  • May I see testimonials from past clients?
  • What sort of training do you participate in beyond required continuing education?
Ask yourself: 
  • Does the agent show up prepared, interested in learning about me and my goals or just in moving me quickly into a sale?

Asking both yourself and your potential agent these types of questions will help steer you on the right path to finding someone that will bring value to the transaction and keep your best interests at heart throughout the entire process.


Thanks to realtor.com