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Questions to ask your next real estate agent

Selling real estate is more than putting a sign in the yard. Selling real estate takes skill and effort. Hiring an agent without interviewing them for the job is like handing a stranger a blank check; you are putting your hard earned money at risk.

Many real estate agents have different sales techniques, styles and goals. As a seller, you want to work with an agent whose goals and personality are in alignment with your own. If you are thinking about working with a real estate agent on the sale of your home, consider asking these four questions before you hire your next agent.

How invested in the real estate industry are you?

Just because an agent is a long-term licensee does not mean they are active and engaged in the real estate market. Instead of asking an agent how long they have been in business, ask them how they stay current with changing market information. An agent who is active and engaged in selling real estate on a regular basis is more likely to be better versed on market trends and policy changes.

How often do you communicate with your clients?

An epic complaint sellers often have is that they hired an agent to sell their home and never heard from them after the home was listed. Have an open discussion with your potential agent about how they communicate with their clients.

Ask the agent you are interviewing how often you as the seller should expect to hear from them. Also ask them how they will contact you; will they use email, text, or will they call you? Different stages of a transaction also need different levels of communication. Ask your prospective agent how they communicate with their clients throughout different stages of a transaction.

What are you going to do to market my home?

Before the internet, placing your home in the MLS system and putting a sign in the yard was the primary way to secure a buyer. Real estate marketing today is shifting towards selling a lifestyle, not just a home. Ask your prospective agent what they are going to do to market your home in order to reach your target buyer. A skilled agent will adjust their marketing plan to market to potential buyers who fit the most likely buyer profile for your property.

What’s it going to cost me to sell?

Your prospective agent should provide you with a current market analysis and benchmark cost of sale or net out before you list your home. Neighborhood requirements and trends may mean that you have different costs associated with the sale of your home. A good example of this would be if your live in a Homeowners Association. A good agent is familiar with the relevant real estate details of a neighborhood and how it will affect your bottom line.

As a seller, you are putting your largest financial investment in the hands of a stranger. Your time is money. Asking the right questions during the interview process will save time and money in the long run.


Kellie Tinnin is the Career Development Director for ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate and a real estate blogger in Albuquerque, NM. Kellie is an advocate for raising the bar in the real estate industry, often writing about how real estate agents can improve their service to the public. Visit her at: