The Right Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

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Choosing  a Real Estate Agent to sell your home should not be a decision you take lightly. Many people are tempted to use a friend or friend-of-a-friend for selling their home, when the decision should be based on three main criteria: experience, track record and cost.


Say you need a major surgery. Would you rather have a surgeon who has performed the surgery hundreds of times, or one where you will be their first patient on the table? The answer is obvious – you would want the surgeon who has the experience. When it comes to selling your home, you need to take similar care. Your home is likely the heart of your financial health and future stability – so it is important.

Selecting a Real Estate Agent with experience is critical to a successful sale. It doesn’t only matter how many years they have under their belt; experience can include number of sales, years in the real estate industry in another capacity, experience selling similar products, and experience selling in buyer’s, seller’s, and balanced markets.  

Questions concerning their experience

  • How many years have you been a licensed Real Estate Agent? From this answer you can determine if they are fresh out of the exam room or if selling homes is nothing new to them.
  • How many homes have you sold? Just as important as number of years, is how many homes they have sold. A Real Estate Agent of 10 years who does it part-time may have sold less homes than a newer Real Estate Agent who does it full-time. Also, a Real Estate Agent who sells more homes more often will likely have better connections in the industry and a fresh list of potential buyers.
  • What types of homes do you typically represent? Some Real Estate Agents specialize in certain product types, such as waterfront or luxury homes and condominiums.. Selecting a Real Estate Agent who knows your product type and the area you live in is important – they need to be confident in what they are selling.

Track Record & Reviews

Related to experience is the track record and client reviews of a Real Estate Agent..A fantastic track record on paper with lots of sales is negated if the Real Estate Agent has poor reviews from clients. Being able to close the deal, as well as make it a positive experience for the client, is essential to a truly successful real estate sale. Working with a reputable Real Estate Agent that has a reliable track record and positive client feedback is crucial.

Questions concerning their track record & reviews

  • How much of your business is repeat clients? The answer to this tells you how many clients have chosen to trust this REALTOR® with the sale of their home more than once. If people use the same REALTOR® over and over again, you can assume they provide great service.
  • Where can I find client reviews? A reputable Real Estate Agent will have client reviews right on their website for you to view. Another great source for reviews is to look at the Google Review or Facebook rating of a Real Estate Agent and ask your loved ones who they trust to sell their home.


At the end of the day, we all want a good deal, but like with many things, you often get what you pay for. Whether selecting a commission-based real estate agent or one with a fixed fee, your bottom line will be impacted.

If going with a commission-based Real Estate Agent where your fee is based on a percentage of your home sale, you need to consider a few factors. The commission you pay your agent will be divided amongst your Real Estate Agent, their brokerage and the buyer’s Real Estate Agent. What is paid to the buyer’s agent is known as the co-operating commission..

Questions concerning commission

  • What is your commission from the sale and how much of that will go to the buyer’s agent? You want to ensure that you are offering a good co-operating commission, since this will entice Real Estate Agents to bring their clients to your home. If you’re not offering a co-operating commission or it’s too low, you may miss out on a potential buyer.
  • Does the commission include staging and photography costs? Depending on the amount of commission being paid, this may or may not be included.
  • What if you become unavailable while my home is for sale? Secure your peace of mind by confirming there will be another agent to assist you should your selected agent get injured, sick, or have a vacation booked.

If opting to use a fixed fee brokerage, you will pay a flat rate no matter what price your home sells for. Someone listing their home for $300,000 or $2,000,000 will pay the same amount and receive the same level of service. This is a more modern way of selling real estate.

Questions concerning a flat-fee Agent

  • What is included and not included in the fixed fee? Whereas commission-based Real Estate Agents often include everything in their commission amount, fixed fee Realtor may include the essential services for a fixed fee and other items. This may include staging costs, brochure printing, and hosting open houses.
  • Do I have a specific Real Estate Agent or is it a team-based approach? There isn’t a superior option here, but it is important to know who you will be working with for your home sale.

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