Top Questions to Ask Real Estate Agents Before Hiring

January 31, 2024

Choosing the right real estate agent is a big decision when you're ready to buy or sell a property. A skilled agent can make the process smoother and more successful. Our list of top questions will guide you in picking an expert who fits your needs perfectly.

Keep reading for insider tips on hiring the best!

Key Takeaways

  • Delve into a real estate agent's experience, asking about their success in selling homes and understanding local market trends to evaluate their expertise.
  • Check client testimonials and references to gauge the agent’s reliability and effectiveness from past customer experiences.
  • Determine if the real estate agent can balance both buyer and seller needs by confirming their ability to work with different clients effectively.
  • Confirm the agent’s availability, ensuring they have enough time to dedicate to your property transaction for prompt responses and efficient service.
  • Discuss important financial aspects such as list-price-to-sales-price ratio, earnest money details, closing costs, inspections, appraisals, and how these are managed during buying or selling.

About the Real Estate Agent

When considering a real estate agent, it's important to know about their experience, client testimonials, and if they work with both buyers and sellers. You'll also want to find out about their availability for your specific needs.


Asking about an agent's experience in the real estate career can reveal their expertise and success in the industry. Look for a track record that shows they've consistently filled buildings with tenants, which indicates they know how to navigate market challenges effectively.

Their history should also include sufficient knowledge of local trends and property values.

Inquire about specific cases where the agent demonstrated skillful negotiation or problem-solving, important traits for someone who will represent your interests. An experienced agent brings a wealth of market experience to the table, potentially helping you avoid common pitfalls during the buying or selling process.

They understand real estate law, are savvy with contract details, and have honed their approach through years of practice—all crucial aspects when choosing someone to guide you through complex transactions.

Client testimonials

When evaluating a real estate agent, it is vital to seek out client testimonials to gain insight into their performance and customer satisfaction. Gathering referrals and testimonials can help determine the agent's track record, reliability, and effectiveness in representing both buyers and sellers.

It serves as a valuable tool for assessing the agent's credibility and ability to deliver on promises made during the home-buying or selling process.

Client testimonials offer firsthand accounts of previous customers' experiences with a real estate agent, providing an understanding of their work ethic, communication skills, and overall satisfaction with the services provided.

Work with both buyers and sellers

When considering a real estate agent, it's important to determine if they work with both buyers and sellers. Understanding their experience in representing both sides of a transaction can be crucial in assessing their expertise and versatility.

This knowledge helps clients gauge the agent's ability to understand the unique needs and perspectives of each party, ensuring seamless communication and negotiation throughout the buying or selling process.


When considering hiring a real estate agent, it's crucial to inquire about their availability. Understanding the agent's schedule and how accessible they are can give insight into their ability to meet your needs promptly and efficiently.

Asking about the agent's workload and time commitments can help determine if they have the capacity to provide dedicated attention to your property transaction.

In addition, asking about their availability for meetings, property viewings, and communication channels is essential for ensuring effective collaboration throughout the buying or selling process.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring

Ask the real estate agent about their average number of homes sold per year, list-price-to-sales-price ratio, current number of clients, and familiarity with the area. Find out more about these important questions to ask before hiring a real estate agent by reading the full blog.

Average number of homes sold per year

The average number of homes sold per year is a key indicator of a real estate agent's success and experience. By asking this question, you can gauge the agent's track record and their ability to close deals.

It also provides insight into their familiarity with the local market and their efficiency in managing multiple transactions simultaneously.

When evaluating potential real estate agents, it's essential to inquire about the average number of homes they sell each year. This metric reflects their performance and helps you assess their capability to meet your specific needs for buying or selling a property.

List-price-to-sales-price ratio

When considering a real estate agent, inquire about their list-price-to-sales-price ratio. This ratio indicates how close the agent's listing prices are to the actual selling prices.

A high ratio suggests that the agent is skilled at pricing properties accurately, which can be a significant advantage in both buying and selling transactions.

Understanding the list-price-to-sales-price ratio provides insight into an agent's ability to negotiate favorable deals for their clients. It also demonstrates their proficiency in evaluating market conditions and setting realistic pricing strategies, essential factors for successful real estate transactions.

Current number of clients

Be sure to ask the real estate agent about their current number of clients. This will give you an idea of how busy they are and whether they can dedicate enough time to your needs.

Knowing the workload of the agent will help you assess their availability and ability to focus on finding or selling a property for you.

Familiarity with the area

When looking for a real estate agent, it's crucial to inquire about their familiarity with the area. This includes understanding their knowledge of local market trends, neighborhood amenities, and property values.

Asking questions about the agent's experience working in specific areas can provide valuable insight into their ability to effectively represent clients in those locations.

In addition to asking about the real estate agent's overall experience, it is important to assess their specific knowledge of the neighborhoods where you are interested in buying or selling a property.

Questions to Ask During the Buying/Selling Process

- During the buying or selling process, it's important to ask your real estate agent about red flags and concerns that may arise. Understanding how they handle negotiations, concessions, earnest money, inspections, appraisals, and closing costs is crucial for a smooth transaction.

Red flags and concerns

Look out for any signs of unresponsiveness or lack of transparency from the real estate agent. Ensure they address all your queries and provide clarity about their processes and fees.

Pay attention to any reluctance to provide client references or testimonials, as this could indicate a lack of satisfied customers.

Be wary if the real estate agent hesitates to discuss their track record, including the number of homes sold per year or their list-price-to-sales-price ratio. Failure to disclose this information may be a red flag.

Additionally, watch for indications of limited availability or an overwhelming number of current clients, which could affect the level of attention and dedication you receive during your buying or selling process.

Negotiations and concessions

During the buying or selling process, it's essential to discuss negotiations and concessions with your real estate agent. Inquire about their approach to negotiating offers and whether they have experience in securing favorable terms for their clients.

Understanding how the agent handles concessions can provide insight into their ability to advocate for their best interests during the transaction.

Ask specific questions about how the real estate agent navigates negotiations and leverages concessions to benefit you as a buyer or seller. Understanding their strategy in these areas can help ensure that you are comfortable with their approach and confident in their ability to represent you effectively throughout the process.

Earnest money

When negotiating terms and concessions with your real estate agent, it's important to understand the concept of earnest money. This is a deposit made by the buyer to demonstrate their serious intent in purchasing the property.

It shows commitment and is typically held in an escrow account until the deal closes. Asking your real estate agent about how much earnest money is customary for similar transactions can help you prepare financially and understand expectations surrounding this aspect of the buying process.

Understanding how earnest money fits into the homebuying process will give you confidence when discussing details with your real estate agent. It's essential to be clear on what this payment signifies and how it aligns with your overall budget and financial plans.

Inspections and appraisals

Before proceeding with the real estate transaction, it is vital to engage in thorough inspections and appraisals of the property. A professional real estate agent should be able to assist in coordinating these essential steps.

Inquire about the agent's process for arranging inspections and appraisals, as well as how they handle any issues that may arise from these evaluations. Be sure to ask if they have established relationships with trusted inspectors and appraisers, ensuring that you receive accurate and reliable assessments of the property.

It’s important to understand how a real estate agent handles potential challenges during the inspection stage, such as negotiating repairs or addressing appraisal discrepancies. By asking specific questions related to inspections and appraisals, you can gain insight into the agent's ability to guide you through this critical phase of the buying or selling process.

Closing costs

When finalizing a real estate transaction, it’s crucial to consider closing costs. These expenses include fees for services such as title insurance, home appraisal, and loan processing.

It's advisable to ask your real estate agent about the typical closing costs in your area and how they might impact your budget.

In addition to understanding the types of closing costs involved, it's important to inquire about potential negotiation strategies that can help minimize these expenses. By asking specific questions about closing costs early in the process, you can ensure that you are financially prepared for the final stages of buying or selling a property.

Different Types of Real Estate Agents

When hiring a real estate agent, it's important to understand the different types of agents and their roles. Whether you're buying, selling, or doing both, knowing the difference between a buyer's agent, seller's agent, and dual agent will help you make an informed decision.

Buyer's agent

A buyer's agent is a real estate professional who works exclusively with homebuyers, representing their best interests throughout the purchasing process. They assist in finding suitable properties, negotiating offers, and guiding clients through inspections and appraisals.

It's important to ask a potential buyer's agent about their experience in helping clients find the right property and navigating the complexities of real estate transactions. Understanding how the agent will advocate for your needs as a buyer can provide valuable insight into whether they are the right fit for your home-buying journey.

Seller's agent

When considering selling a property, it's crucial to understand the role of a seller's agent. A seller's agent works exclusively with homeowners looking to sell their properties and represents their best interests throughout the process.

They assist in setting an appropriate listing price, marketing the property effectively, and negotiating favorable terms for the sale.

Seller's agents are responsible for showcasing the property to potential buyers, arranging showings, and guiding homeowners through offers and negotiations. Their main goal is to secure the best possible deal for their clients while ensuring a smooth and successful transaction.

Dual agent

When hiring a real estate agent, it's essential to understand the different types of agents. A dual agent represents both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. This means that the same agent is responsible for negotiating on behalf of both parties.

It's crucial to ask about their approach and how they manage potential conflicts of interest to ensure transparency throughout the process.


In conclusion, asking the right questions before hiring a real estate agent is crucial. Customers need to ensure they find an experienced professional who understands their needs. By being proactive and asking specific questions about the real estate agent's track record, clients can make an informed decision.

Ultimately, this will lead to a more successful home buying or selling experience for all parties involved.


1. Why should I ask a real estate agent about their license and experience?

Asking about a real estate agent's license and experience ensures they are qualified to help you buy or sell your home professionally.

2. What questions can help me understand a real estate broker's commission rate?

You should ask the broker to explain their commission rates, any fees, and if there is a cancellation policy for ending the contract early.

3. Can I get a referral list from my potential real estate agent during an interview?

Yes, during your interview with the agent, it’s smart to ask them for a referral list of past clients to check reviews of their services.

4. What are some top questions when choosing a real estate agent for buying my first home?

When buying your first home, always inquire about the real estate agent’s approach to finding properties and how they'll assist you throughout the home buying process.

5. Are there specific questions I should ask about what happens after hiring a real estate agent?

Certainly! Ask about their comprehensive strategy for marketing your property, how often they will communicate with you, what kind of reports they will provide regarding showings and market analysis, and details on their contract terms.


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