When selling or buying a home, knowing the right questions to ask a Realtor® is critical to your success—and to hire the right Agent, you must ask the right questions.
Most Agents can walk you through the process and prepare you for the steps ahead, but you should expect more from your Agent.
When you are looking to hire the right agent, the first sale that agent should be able to easily close is to make you feel confident in their skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Today I want to share with you some little-known questions to ask a Realtor®…these are industry questions that need to be asked because the Agent’s answers will tell you whether or not they are the right person for the job.
Okay, let’s dive in. If you have any questions about this, leave them in the comments and I’ll reply back!
5 Secret Questions to Ask a Realtor Before You Hire Them
#1 Describe the area
This open-ended question is gold. Ask a Realtor® and listen super carefully to the answer. By asking just this one key question and knowing how to probe further and interpret the answer, you can save thousands of dollars on your home purchase or sale because you will funnel out the wrong Agents for the job.
—An Agent who knows the area well can easily pinpoint geographic locations such as schools, roads, shopping, and transportation. “The elementary and high school are conveniently located across the street from one another on Main Street and the Metra Station is just a mile up the road that way.”
—An Agent who is knowledgeable about the area may speak of local news or events such as local developments in town. “Currently, there is a lot of construction going on in the area. We have a shopping plaza in development with 80 new construction townhome units that already broke ground.”
—An Agent who is familiar with the area can tell you the best routes to use to maneuver during times of heavy traffic in town. “During rush hour, many locals know to take Mill Street to Central Road instead of sitting in the heavy traffic on First Street. That can save you a good ten minutes.”
BEWARE! If the agent leaves you feeling like they don’t know much about the area after answering this one question, it’s best to interview someone else.
#2 Which properties have you personally closed in the local area (or in a 5-mile radius) over the past 12 months?
(There’s also nothing wrong with requesting a printed list of these transactions.) Ask this question the way it is written here and probe for more detail because a lot will be revealed.
To feel fully satisfied that the Agent is a local specialist, look for these clues: the agent is personally (not other Agents in the office) currently busy with clients at or around your price range and has closed such transactions multiple times in the last 12 months or so.
BEWARE! Please know that hiring an Agent who has little experience locally may cost you both time and money later.
#3 With whom, from your brokerage, will I be working directly with during this process?
You want to know that the person who you end up selecting will be engaged and working for YOUR benefit.
Ideally, the Agent accountable for your transaction should have at least a 90% presence in your project.
From the day of introduction through the closing, they should be your “go to” person.
Some Agents work on teams. Some Agents work with assistants. Some Agents work alone. While there are pluses and minuses to each scenario, it is imperative that there is always an unbroken and direct chain of communication between you and the Agent in charge of your transaction.
BEWARE! The more people involved, the more vulnerable the chain of communication will be.
Also, beware if the Agent is already passing you off to an assistant or putting someone in charge.
#4 Currently, how many active clients are you personally working with and how are you effectively juggling them daily?
Then follow up with this question: What areas are these clients in? Followed by: Where is your office located and what area do you live in?
Working with an Agent is a relationship. You want to not only be in a relationship with an Agent who is involved but one who is present throughout the process and reasonably available for you.
Therefore, ask this complete set of questions up front.
When the Agent is finished answering this set of questions, it will either make complete logical sense or will alert you that something is off.
They were written this way for a reason. Listen very carefully to the responses. These answers should come naturally, with an honest tone and make sense.
Only an Agent who is really on top of their game can answer these without struggling and come out with a common-sense answer.
In addition, an Agent may point out people, systems and tools that s/he utilizes to stay efficient and available to clients.
Bonus Question: You may also be interested in asking how many buyers versus sellers they are working with.
BEWARE! Red flags here are when the Agent is taking too long to answer this question or thinks through it and struggles with the answer.
#5 What will be the biggest challenges in reaching my goal and why are you the best Agent to help us get past these challenges?
You may or may not already know the challenges your home sale or home purchase will involve along with your current market conditions.
If not, listen to these answers carefully from at least three local specialists.
The replies to the first part of this question should be similar, within reason, and should give you a good idea of what to expect no matter who you work with.
The second part of this question is meant to really help you understand which Agent stands out and how in resolving issues.
Note: The ability to identify problems and resolve them is a trait possessed by the savvier negotiators.
BEWARE! This question is direct and dives into the Agent’s actual work knowledge. If the Agent you are interviewing had to take time to think about this question, or struggled in any way to answer it, that’s a red flag.
Knowing the Right Questions to Ask a Realtor Helps Your Home Transaction Succeed
When you are interviewing an agent to represent your family in your next real estate transaction, make sure they can intelligently answer all your questions, while simply and effectively explaining what is happening in the current housing market.
If you’re busy and this feels like too much to do, you are probably right about that.
There’s no need to stress yourself out.
Remember, this service is free, so there is no risk to you to simply ask us to do this for you!