How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your
full-time job? (While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate,
like many other professions, is mostly learned on the job.)
What designations do you hold? (Designations, such as GRI and CRS,
which require that real estate professionals take additional, specialized
real estate training, are held by only about one-quarter of real estate
How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that
compare to the overall market?
How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were
the final sale prices?
What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you
use to sell my home? (Look for someone who has aggressive, innovative
approaches, not just someone who’s going to put a sign in the
yard and hope for the best.)
Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the
buyer and the seller in the transaction? (While it’s usually
legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important
to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. A good
practitioner will explain the agency relationship to you and describe
the rights of each party. It’s also possible to insist that the
practitioner represent you exclusively.)
Can you recommend service providers who can assist me in obtaining
a mortgage, making repairs on my home, and other things I need done?
(Keep in mind here that real estate professionals should generally
recommend more than one provider and should tell you if they receive
any compensation from any provider.)
What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide
to you? (Having resources, such as in-house support staff, access to
a real estate attorney, or assistance with technology, can help a real
estate professional sell your home.)
What’s your business philosophy? (While there’s no right
answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s
important to the real estate practitioner—fast sales, service,
etc.—and determine how closely the practitioner’s goals
and business emphasis mesh with your own.)
How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?
How frequently? Using what media? (Again, this is not a question with
a correct answer, but that one reflects your desires. Do you want updates
twice a week or don’t want to be bothered unless there’s
a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?)
Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three
most recent clients?