8 Important Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor

how do you find that needle in a haystack? Ask the right questions and you'll find out everything you need to know about a potential candidate.

Finding the right real estate agent can be a real challenge. There are plenty to choose from as it seems everyone is a real estate agent these days, but getting the one who will work hard and get you the best deal possible isn’t always so obvious. Realtors are your teammate in this game we call the housing market and you’re hiring an individual to provide you with their expertise, advice, and unquenchable zeal to find an amazing deal that keeps more money in your pocket on a sale or purchase.

No matter whether you’re looking to buy or sell, having a good real estate agent by your side can make all the difference. So how do you find that needle in a haystack? Ask the right questions and you’ll find out everything you need to know about a potential candidate.

You’ll want to interview more than just one or two Realtors, too. You may also want to avoid hiring someone with whom you already have a friendship so that you feel more comfortable disagreeing with that person should the two of you fail to see eye to eye on any aspect of the process. Here are eight of the most important questions you should ask a potential real estate agent before you engage his or her services.

1. Licensing

This is an easy one – if they don’t have a license, move on. Ask this question first and, if necessary, check with the regulatory body in your area to verify their claim. You can also see if there have been any complaints or disciplinary action taken against your prospective real estate agent. If not and everything looks good, then you’re on the right track.

2. Ask Which Neighborhoods They Serve

Ask your Realtor which areas they handle most frequently and where they’ve made the most successful transactions. Top real estate agents often have territories that they cover and become synonymous with over time. You may even see billboards or bus bench advertisements with their face on them. This should give you a good indication of the areas they serve most.

3. Is this a Hobby or a Business?

You want to find out if your real estate agent does this in their spare time or if they are devoting their full and undivided attention to their work. Realtors who work 24/7 to get their clients the best deals are obviously preferable to someone who might be distracted by other commitments.

4. Inquire About Ethics

Get a sense of their ethical outlook on making that sale. Do his or her views gel with yours? Finding out these things before you hire them will prevent regret later down the line when you decide you don’t like the way your real estate broker is conducting business on your behalf.

5. Recognition

We all enjoy getting it, so feel free to ask potential Realtors if they have received any awards or accolades from within the community or from their industry recognizing their abilities. Top real estate agents often advertise these types of things up front in order to attract more clients, but not all of them are comfortable tooting their own horn, either. Find out if they’ve been singled out for achievement and you may have a winner on your hands.

6. A Cut Above the Rest

Inquire about any additional accreditation or credentials they may have earned in pursuit of achieving the highest level within the field. Realtors sometimes specialize in certain aspects of the real estate business which required them to seek out special training and classes to attain credentials that are highly-regarded in the industry. So find out if your potential candidate have gone above and beyond to round out their expertise.

7. Time in the Industry

It’s a good idea to ask how long your potential Realtors have been working in the field. Someone with years of know-how isn’t necessarily better or more skilled at getting you the best deal on your home, but there is something to be said for experience.

8. Get References

This is just as important as any other question on the list. Ask your real estate agent for the names and numbers of people they’ve worked with in the past. Talk to former clients and see what their experiences were like working with every potential candidate. You can go one step further and talk to other realty professionals about your real estate agent’s reputation in the industry. If he or she isn’t spoken of highly, you may want to move on to the next candidate.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.