How long have you been working in real estate?
While years in business are certainly not an absolute indicator of a good agent (in fact, many fresh new agents are just as effective in marketing and negotiations as those more seasoned) but do ensure you have a knowledge of your agent’s level of experience. Depending on your own familiarity with the market in which you are buying or selling (perhaps you are a first time buyer?), you may find it additionally helpful to have an agent who has seen it all.
Do you sell full or part time?
Because real estate can tend to follow seasonal trends (depending on the particular market), many agents actually divide their time between real estate and other professional pursuits. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with working with a part-time agent, it’s good to clarify and set your expectations in terms of their time commitment to your buying or selling process.
What additional training do you have?
Beyond the standard real estate qualifications in your market, it’s great to know if your agent has additional training, awards, etc. Some agents have undergone negotiation training, some agents have additional knowledge/certification in home design or renovation. Knowing what other qualifications your agent might have will help you to better understand their strengths and interests.
How will you market my property?
If you’re a seller, it’s important to know exactly what steps your agent will take to ensure your home is seen by not only the most potential buyers, but the right potential buyers. Enquire about their marketing plan including print advertising, advertorials/editorials, social media, web presence, etc. to determine their intended reach for your property.
What can I do to help sell my home?
Don’t forget that you and your agent are a team, and while they are there to guide you through the buying and/or selling process, it’s up to you to assist them in whatever they need to do their job effectively. This means disclosing any information about the home, being flexible for buyer appointments, and keeping your property in great showing condition.