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10 things you should ask a real estate agent

Having the right real estate professional by your side can greatly improve your home-buying experience. A good rule of thumb is to interview a minimum of three candidates.

Here are 10 questions to ask during an interview:

  1. Are you a full-time professional REALTOR®? How long have you worked full-time in real estate? What geographic areas do you specialize in?
  2. Do you have a Website? What information can I find there?
  3. How will you keep me informed during my home search and throughout the transaction?
  4. Do you have a staff or a team? If so, what roles will they play in my transaction?
  5. Will you show me properties from other companies’ listings? (Some real estate companies do offer their buyers’ agents a higher commission if they are able to sell “in-house” listings. In those instances, there can be added incentive to limit the range of homes you are shown. This may affect your home search and how much you your agent’s fee will be.)
  6. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you also represent the seller? May I have that in writing?
  7. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?
  8. What distinguishes you from other real estate agents? What is your negotiating style?
  9. May I contact some of your recent clients as references?
Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our buyer agency agreement?

(In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult to offer a performance guarantee. Typically, agents will outline verbally what you can expect from their performance. Keller Williams Realty understands the importance of win-win business relationships: The agent does not benefit if the client does not benefit.)